Sports Reporter :
ANKUSH Wakode came up with a brilliant all-round performance as Medical Representative Cricket Club (MRCC) defeated Lipton Cricket Club by 11 runs in Vidarbha Cricket Association organised Guzder League A Division Twenty20 Cricket Tournament that got under way on Monday at its Civil Lines ground with a double header. Electing to bat, MRCC scored 147-7 in 20 overs and then the bowlers did a fine job bundling out the opponents for 136 in 19.2 overs. Light and medium showers made the ground wet and the following match between Indian Gymkhana (155-8) and Navniketan Cricket Club (12-1 in 3.1 overs) was declared abandoned just after the second innings started. MRCC openers Siddhesh Wath (8) and Wakode (61; 48b, 6x4, 2x6) gave the team a decent start adding 35 in 5.5 overs. After Wath was removed by pacer Akshay Dullarwar caught by Vivlesh Boddolu, Vidarbha’s Indian Premier League (IPL) all-rounder Darshan Nalkande joined Wakode.
Nalkande could not connect big but yet scored run-a-ball 13. Nayan Chavan and Ankit Tiwari contributed 22 and 16 respectively as MRCC reached 137 for seven in 20 overs. Lipton were penalised ten runs (for two overs) for not completing the quota of 20 overs in prescribed time. Those runs swelled the total to 147. Lipton’s Vidarbha medium pacer Lalit Yadav took 2-25 from his four overs while Dullarwar, Yash Thakur, Kushal Pimpalkar and Boddolu picked one wicket apiece. Lipton top order batsmen got starts but none could convert those to a substantial score. Nalkande drew first blood having caught Vipul Rathod (11) caught at the wicket by Wath. Leg-spinner Rohit Dattatraya got rid of other opener Dullarwar (20). Then Wakode (4-0-23-3), with his off breaks, picked three wickets in a row to expose the tail. Lanky Vidarbha seamer Aditya Thakare (3.2-0-20-4) proved to be too hot for the tail. First, he had number five and top-scorer Tushar Kadu out for 29 and then poolished off the bottom players. Number ten Yash Thakur though gave them some scare hitting one four and a six in his unbeaten 6-ball 16.
Had Lipton not conceded those ten penalty runs, it would have been a much closer opening match of the season. Wakode was declared player of the match. In the next match, Indian Gymkhana decided to bat against Navniketan Cricket Club and the openers gave them a flying start. R Sanjay (29; 31b, 2x4, 1x6) and skipper Gyani Kaushik (53; 36b, 6x4, 2x6) took the team to 96 in 10,4 overs when the latter was run out by Varun Palandurkar. New man Amit Paunikar lasted just two balls and one run later Sanjay too departed. Himanshu Joshi (22; 28b, 2x4) and later Rajneesh Gurbani (23*; 11b, 4x4), who used long handle to good effect, ensured that the team get past the 150-mark. Credit must be given to Navniketan bowlers for the way they fought back after the opening stand was broken. Pacers Suniket Bingewar and Abhishek Gupta and offie Yash Kadam snared two wickets each. Chasing the target, Navniketan lost Kadam lbw to Siddhesh Neral for nought and when the match was called off, both Akshay Agarwal and Dharmendra Ahlawat were not out on five. Heavy showers lashed the city in evening and it remains to be seen whether Tuesday’s games will be held or not.