Dominant MTSSC Outclass Birbeck College CC
First XI Fixture
Middlesex Tamil Sports & Social Club V Birbeck College Cricket Club at the MTSSC Grounds
Ashok Andrew, Hammad Bukhari and Kavi Kannathasan shine as MTSSC build on a strong start to the new season.
The match winners… Ashok Andrew, Hammad Bukhari & Kavi Kannathasan
MTSSC made an excellent start to the new campaign by claiming their second successive win in as many weeks by beating Birbeck College CC by 71 runs on Saturday Afternoon. MTSSC won the toss and decided to bat first on a slow but dry pitch. The opening pair of Niro Sritharan and Jenson Singarajah got the home side off to a blistering start by punishing the Birbeck College bowlers right from the word go. MTSSC reached 32 in just seven overs when Niro Sritharan was caught behind off A. Haider when he attempted to drive a swinging delivery. Raghu Loganathan walked in at no.3 looking to provide the inning a platform just like he had done last week but found himself in the midst of further disarray when Jenson Singarajah’s lofted drive was caught at mid-on. The MTSSC top order’s poor shot selection was further proved when Thashrif Gaffoor’s attempted lofted drive was caught at Mid-off. Last week’s star batsman Ragu Loganathan was the next to depart when his powerful drive was caught at short extra cover to leave MTSSC at 50/4. In the mean time Ashok Andrew had walked in at no.5 and was making steady progress and looked the most likely batsman to take MTSSC to a defendable target.
It looked as though he would run short of partners when Mustafa Baghat was adjudged LBW shortly after as MTSSC struggled to adapt their style of batting and build a partnership on a slow wicket. Ashok Andrew continued his mature display by batting sensibly whilst finding the boundary at regular intervals. A small partnership of 26 runs between Ashok Andrew and Kavi Kannathasan seemed like it would finally set off the home team, but was ended when the latter was yorked brilliantly by F.Nawaz. Another small partnership of 28 runs between Ashok Andrew and Abdul Hamza got MTSSC passed 100 runs but was well short of their desired target. The partnership ended when the skipper’s leading edge ended up being an elementary catch for the fielder at point. The team languished at 108/7 and were desperate for a partnership when debutant Prasanna Rengarajan walked in to join the immaculate Ashok Andrew. The pair batted expertly, adapting to the team’s situation and building a valuable partnership the team was so desperately in search for. Ashok Andrew reached his fifty in style with an exquisite six over the bowler’s head.
Ashok Andrew against Birbeck College CC…
The elegant batsman has already become an integral part of his new club scoring invaluable runs in each of his outings. His excellent inning came to an end when he was caught at first slip for 60 with the score on159. The 52 run partnership between the pair gave the home side hope of defending their total and claiming yet another victory. An additional10 runs were added to the total there after with Prasanna Rengarajan, Kush Shah and Hammad Bukhari losing their wickets soon after. MTSSC at the end of their inning were all out for 168 off 42.3 overs.
Following the tea break MTSSC started off by gaining advantage early on with Kavi Kannathasan claiming the first Birbeck College wicket with just his seventh delivery. Birbeck College then went onto build the only established partnership of their inning when A. Shahzad and K. Maan put together 34 runs, the partnership ended when A.Shahzad was caught off Kavi Kannathasan. The need for spinners on a slow wicket was identified early and Hammad Bukhari was introduced to support the threatening pace of Kavi Kannathasan.
The move paid dividends as the pair tore into the Birbeck College line up with some spectacular bowling. The Birbeck College batting line up had no answer to Kavi Kannathasan ‘s pace and Hammad Bukhari’s guile as both left-arm bowlers piled pressure on the opposition. The next four wickets fell for a meagre 8 more runs as Kavi Kannathasan claimed the wickets of I. Haider and M. Zaman. At the other end, Hammad Bhukari claimed the wickets of Z. Chaudary and F. Muhammed. The ball to claim the wicket of Z. Chaudary would probably go onto be a ‘ball of the season’ contender as the ball pitched outside leg stump, turned viciously and hit the top of off stump.
Hammad Bukhari on the field…
Birbeck College were struggling to get a grip on the match as they found themselves at 51/7 and needing another 118 runs for victory. Niro Sritharan, who took a five wicket haul against Osterly CC was introduced into the attack and he continued his good work with the ball by trapping F. Nawaz LBW. The victory was wrapped up when Hammad Bukhari took the final three wickets with Birbeck College CC on 97 runs to end his fine display with figures of 5 for 15. Kavi Kannathasan on the other hand was unfortunate not to end up with a five wicket haul, nevertheless it was his 4 for 32 that provided the team with the spark it needed to defend a small total. MTSSC won the game by a comfortable margin of 71 runs.
Kavi Kannathasan in action…
MTSSC have now won both its opening fixtures against two of the toughest oppositions in the league. The club now face Wycombe House CC at home, a game expected to be yet another thrilling encounter. Should the team exhibit the type of team spirit they showed during their first two games, they should definitely be able to stand up to any challenge Wycombe House CC throw forward.
Well done and good luck to the entire squad!