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Midwest Match PQF against West Virginia University Cricket Club (WVUCC).

UCCC storms into the QF thrashing WVUCC!      Scorecard

The prequarter final matchup could'nt have been better. UCCC - making its way to a record 16th consecutive play-off appearance versus WVUCC - a first timer to the play-offs. But with league MVP and other quality players in their team, WVUCC claimed some serious respect from UCCC. The game was played at Nationwide Cricket Ground, Columbus. UCCC has an unbeaten record at this ground and was determined to keep it that way. Wet outfield, late arrivals saw the game start a bit later than 11:00A. WVUCC won the toss and elected to field.

UCCC opened with RahulP and RahulM. A very slow opening partnership ensued with RahulM getting a life, a simple catch dropped at covers, in the 5th over. The partnership recovered from this shaky start and proceeded slowly but steadily to the usual 28/0 in the first 10 overs. The batsmen were then asked to increase the scoring rate, which they promptly did. At the end of 15 overs, UCCC was at 54/0. RahulP got out LBW in the 16th over. RahulM immediately followed due to a catch at covers.

VijayS and Vignesh took over. VijayS started his account with a six over deep square leg and followed it with an even better one 3 balls later. Vignesh on the other end was striking the ball well and was consistently rotating the strike. With both the batsmen on song and the prequarter finals on the line, the push for a defendable target of atleast 180 was on. Good running between the wickets and controlled aggression saw UCCC inch closer to the target. In the 25th over Vignesh got out to a catch at long on. UCCC was at 112/3, ending a 58 run partnership. VijayS got out 3 overs later to a ball that kicked on him, fending it to point, 4 runs short of his 4th 50.

Bijoy and VijayW were in the middle with their task cut out for them. VijayW got out immediately in the 29th over trying to put one over the boudary. Santosh joined Bijoy in the middle. The partnership looked steady until Bijoy, running like a hare that day, went for a nonexistent single and was run out in the 30th over. Ram went in and struck one mighty six off the league MVP but got out trying to repeat the same shot off the very next ball. At the end of the 31st over, UCCC was at 144/7.

Santosh and Swapnil continued, but Santosh got out to a beautiful delivery and was bowled. With only 2 batsmen left, Swapnil and Nagendra were asked to play out the overs. With only 10 balls to go, Swapnil got out to a catch at midwicket. Chandan and Nagendra now had to play out the remaining overs. Nagendra got out in the last over with only 2 balls remaining. UCCC had amassed 161, a defendable total but around 30 runs short of what should have been scored. It was now up to the bowlers to do their job.

UCCC started off with VijayW and Chandan. WVUCC batsmen got some lives but managed to keep the scoring rate more than 4. UCCC got its first break with Chandan bowling a beautiful out-swinger and Nagendra taking a diving catch, diving face forward at covers. On the other end Sohail, the league MVP, was scoring consistently. RahulP replaced VijayW and got a break through in the 10th over. WVUCC was at 40/2. Then came the blinder. RahulP bowled one which cut in sharply and was pulled hard by Sohail. The ball screaming towards Santosh was held, ending the MVPs innings in a brilliant fashion.

Vignesh was keeping it really tight on the other end. At the end of 15 overs WVUCC was struggling at 55/4. With the top order gone and more than 100 runs to score, WVUCC had an uphill of a task. UCCC, in the meantime, was determined to wrap it up as quickly as possible. In the next 5 overs, Ram and Nagi picked up 5 wickets and giving only 17 run in the process making WVUCC fall to 72/9. WVUCC batsmen, determined to atleast play off the remaining overs, started playing slowly and steadily. Aided by UCCC's complacency, they stuck around for another 7 overs and scored 26 runs, until Vignesh got the last wicket. WVUCC was all out for 98 in 27.5 overs.

With good cricket allround, UCCC's victory was complete and convincing. Though the team did not play up to its potential, it was enough to ensure the victory. But, as the tournament progresses and with 3 games to win, the competition only gets better and better. UCCC now has its task cut out for the remaining 3 games.