Our fifth league game of the season was against our eternal rivals POCC. The weather forecast was looking very tricky so it appeared to be an important toss to win. It was raining in the morning so it was decided to take early advantage of any moisture in the pitch after winning the toss. Home Captain won the toss and decided to field first.
Once again our new ball bowlers started well and kept the things tight. Asher got the first break through when he got the dangerous Murtaza out. Adnan also got one wicket and opposition was 21/2 after 6 Overs. Awal Khan and Omer tried to settle their innings and they were hoping to play sensibly and bat long. However their plans were set back when Abdul returning after 4 games absence got Omer in his very first over. In the next over Shakoor got rid of Awal and soon afterwards they were 73/5 after 17 Overs.
But like the game against Erlangen we took the foot of paddle and let the POCC late middle order settle. They were once again helped by our shambolic fielding with several catches going down. Mehmood Khan kept their innings together and they batted complete 40 Overs and set us a challenging target of 201 runs.
During the break there was sumptuous Lunch prepared for both teams. Special thanks to Arshad Bhai and Bilal for bringing marinated Chicken and tasty Chapal Kebabs. A very big thanks to Naeem Bhai, Mustafa Bhai and Ali Bhai for doing the BBQ and preparing delicious tea. We should have such events quite often :)
After the interval, we were very confident that would chase these runs and started with Naveed and Ali. However we had bad luck when Ali was struck by snorter and was hurt. Rafiq came to replace him however he also got out with the ball hitting his arm guard (not sure whether it is our or not). Arshad and Naveed started the recovery mission and both were happy to play sensibly and were not taking any risks, we were given lot of extras by the opposing team. With the things looking rosy Naveed got out in 17th Over with our Total score 79. Then some reckless running caused the Arshad to be run out and at break we were 91/3 and handsomely placed to drive home our advantage.
However not sure why our batsman started panicking and started going for big shots, Asher was fourth out with score 108 after 24 Overs. Kashif Bhai brought some respectability to the innings and put us back on to track. He was out in 29th Over and we were 140/5. However what followed afterwards was a horror show as 140/5 quicky became 142/7 and then 169 all out after 35,1 Overs. We had the game in our hands and lost it by batting like headless chickens.
The game was lost by 32 runs and we still had almost 5 overs remaining. If we had batted sensibly and just rotated the strike we would have won the game very comfortably. However it was good learning curve for us and each one of us should take the responsibility and put a heavy price tag on his wicket. The next game is against high flying MCC and we should play with maturity and sensibly to get back on track.