Hammad Bukhari And Jenson Singarajah Shine As MTSSC Ease Past Old Lyonians
Saturday 18th August, 2012
First XI Fixture – Division 1(Middlesex Championship)
Middlesex Tamil Sports & Social Club V Old Lyonians Cricket Club at the MTSSC Grounds
- Left-arm spinner grabs six wickets on his return from injury
- The elegant opener scores a brilliant unbeaten half-century
Hammad Bukhari & Jenson Singarajah…
MTSSC kept their hopes of winning the Middlesex Championship title alive by beating Old Lyonians by 8 wickets on Saturday Afternoon. Old Lyonians won the toss and elected to bat on a flat batting track in the hope of defending a good total just like they had done two weeks ago. MTSSC started just like they had done in the reverse fixture with opening bowler Kavi Kannathasan claiming the wicket of H.Ashfaq in just the third over to leave Old Lyonians at 5 for 1. The visitors then rallied back from their early troubles as the experienced pair of M.Ahmed and W.Butt batted patiently to get the inning back on track. The batsmen negotiated the MTSSC opening bowlers brilliantly whilst scoring runs at a steady rate. The lack of a wicket brought the changes around and the home team skipper decided to introduce spinners early on. Hammad Bukhari replaced Kavi Kannathsan at one end whilst David Devadoss replaced last week’s hero Ashok Andrew at the other end. However, the batsmen refused to let the spinners settle in as they punished both spinners regularly. David Devadoss’s knee injury was affecting his bowling rhythm and he was duly punished by the Old Lyonians’ batsmen. Skipper Abdul Hamza then decided to make another change and brought vice-captain Raghu Loganathan to replace David Devadoss. At the first drinks break Old Lyonians looked on target to post a big score as they kept on ticking the score board with much ease. Then the break through MTSSC were hoping for came when M.Ahmed tried cutting a delivery off Hammad Bukhari and was clean bowled. The 67 run partnership had provided Old Lyonians an excellent platform with plenty of batting to come. Hammad Bukhari had other ideas though as he went around dismantling the Old Lyonians batting line up with brilliant support from Raghu Loganathan. The two spinners used their variation and guile with great intelligence as they went around unsettling each and every batsman who came out to bat. E. Ahmed who had come in at no.4 was sent back early when he was caught at extra cover off Raghu Loganthan. Hammad Bukhari who already had a wicket to his name then removed W.Butt when he was caught at slip – a sharp catch taken by David Devadoss to leave Old Lyonians at 86 for 4. Hammed Bukhari claimed two more quick wickets as E.Ilyas was caught at covers and F.Jabbal was brilliantly stumped by Jenson Singarajah off his first ball. Old Lyonians, who at one stage were threatening to post a huge total, were now struggling at 87 for 6. MTSSC sensed their opportunity and started piling on further pressure which led to the Old Lyonians losing their last 4 wickets for 33 additional runs. The last four wickets were shared equally by Hammad Bukhari who finished with figures of 6 for 43 and Raghu Loganathan who finished with figures of 3 for 30. Hammad Bukhari, who played his first game for the first team following his return from a 10-week injury layoff, showed what the team had been missing in recent weeks with a fine display of spin bowling. Old Lyonians were all out for 120 off 46.3 Overs.
Hammad Bukhari on the field…
If any team found a smaller total a tricky one to chase its MTSSC and their openers were well aware of it when they walked out to bat. The opening pair of Niro Sritharan and Jenson Singarajah were off the blocks pretty quickly though as they looked to finish the run chase in ‘Usain Bolt’ fashion. The pair constantly punished the Old Lyonians attack that made several early changes to restrict the carnage. Niro Sritharan who has been a consistent runs scorer this season displayed his experience as an opener by taking calculated risks and giving new bowlers no time to settle. Jenson Singarajah on the other hand found the boundary on a number of times with little ease as he elegantly caressed the ball to all parts of the ground. MTSSC were then given a mini scare as they lost two quick wickets, first Niro Sritharan bowled off M.Ahmed and then Theeban Raj stumped off H. Ashfaq to leave MTSSC at 79 for 2. Jenson Singarajah was joined by Kishore Sathasivam who spent little time settling in as he ruthlessly attacked the Old Lyonians bowling attack. Jenson Singarajah reached his half century, his second in three innings, with 15 runs to win. The young batsman has made heavy progress during the course of the season and looks to reach his much touted potential. The pair scored the remaining runs in no time as MTSSC secured victory in just 19.3 Overs.
Jenson Singarajah reaches his half-century…
The club still remain 10 points off league leaders Osterly CC in the hunt for the Middlesex Championship title.