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Raghu Loganathan & Niro Sritharan Lead MTSSC To An Emphatic Win 

Saturday, 12th May 2012

Osterly Cricket Club Vs. Middlesex Tamil Sports & Social Club at Osterly CC Grounds

A brilliant half century by the No.3 and a magnificent five wicket haul by the left arm spinner seal a thrilling victory for MTSSC against Osterly CC.

MTSSC began the 2012 season in style by beating Osterly CC by 31 runs on Saturday afternoon. MTSSC’s newly appointed captain Abdul Hamza won the toss and elected to bat on a slow pitch. Following a quick start by the openers Harry Singh and Jenson Singharajah, the decision to bat first seemed to have backfired as MTSSC went on to lose both openers with the score at just 20.

MTSSC needed to steady the ship and that was exactly what the next pair provided; a well measured partnership between Raghu Loganathan and Thashrif Gaffoor. The pair batted patiently during their excellent partnership of 67 with both batsmen rotating the strike regularly. Once they laid the foundation, the batsmen started accelerating with ease finding the boundary at regular intervals. Raghu Loganathan’s six over extra cover was the highlight of the inning as he came charging down the track and timed the ball to perfection as it sailed over the fence. Thashrif Gaffoor on the other hand didn’t allow the Osterly CC bowlers time to settle either as he kept scoring runs at a good rate. The partnership was finally broken when Thashrif Gaffoor tried playing a cut shot off a ball too close to the stumps and was bowled. Meanwhile, Raghu Loganathan coasted through to his half century and looked set to reach yet another century for the club.

Raghu Loganathan reaching his well deserved half-century…

MTSSC then suddenly appeared to have handed over the initiative back to Osterly CC when they lost 5 quick wickets. Niro Sritharan was the first to depart as he was adjudged LBW when he attempted a lofted drive, Yogi Raithatha was stumped and Kavi Kannathasan was caught shortly afterwards at midwicket.

The MTSSC inning looked to go further downhill when Raghu Loganathan’s valiant display came to an end when he was stumped as the team looked to accelerate towards a big score. His exceptional inning had enabled the rest of the team to bat around him and had provided the bowlers with a defendable target. Kush Shah was caught behind shortly after and MTSSC looked at the prospect of being bowled out. However a good partnership between debutant Ashok Andrew and Abdul Hamza helped MTSSC reach a defendable target of 200 in their allotted 55 overs. Osterly CC was set a target of 201 for victory and 164 to gain a winning draw and 4 points along with it.

MTSSC started off proceedings with Kavi Kannathasan at one end and Kush Shah at the other. The two bowlers bowled a disciplined line apart from the occasional delivery which was dispatched to the boundary by the aggressive Osterly CC Batsmen. Kush Shah made the first break through when he clean bowled Osterly CC’s opener with a brilliant in-swinger.

The slow Osterly CC pitch forced Abdul Hamza to bring the spinners on early and it paid dividends as both the spinners, Niro Sritharan and Hammad Bukhari made inroads early on. However, the Osterly CC batsmen kept on with the required run rate with their aggressive style of batting. MTSSC got back into the game as both left arm spinners bowled excellent spells to give the team a fighting chance of winning the game. Niro Sritharan’s discipline with the ball paid off as he got wickets on a regular basis. Hammad Bukhari on the other hand provided exemplary support by making the batsmen work hard for their runs. Osterly CC reached the target of 164 for the winning draw with a few overs to spare and two wickets in hand. MTSSC was left with no choice but to go for the kill and that’s exactly what they did as Niro Sritharan grabbed the ninth wicket of the Osterly CC line up to bag his five-wicket haul.  He had done an impeccable job, especially considering he was brought on as a part-time spinner. Hammad Bukhari’s magnificent spell was completed when he claimed Osterly CC’s final wicket to provide MTSSC with a nail-biting win.

Niro Sritharan with the bat…

The jubilant players celebrated an outstanding victory against an exceptionally tough opposition. The club now aims to build on the victory and win the Championship in order to gain promotion.

Well Done MTSSC!!!