RCA Youth team beat EPCA Zalmi Youth team in InterCity Cricket Carnival at Dammam on Friday 25th, March 2022.
EPCA Zalmi won the toss and elected to bat first and started with a bang as both openers Skipper Abdul Mannan 48(40 balls, 6 x4s) and Abdul Rahman Tanwir 80(74 balls, 10x4s) piled up 91 in 10 overs. Abdul Mannan was dismissed by Sashwath and Varun Saravanan got Rihan Ali leg before when the scorecard read 98/2 in 12.2 overs.
The spin trio Saud, Varun Saravanan and Murtaza Adnan bowled 16 overs conceding 92 runs. EPCA Zalmi’s batsmen’s struggle against spin slowed down their scoring rate; thus, the targeted total of 275-300 runs turned out to be a missed opportunity. RCA Youth XI could have restricted EPCA Zalmi below 190 runs with sharper fielding and catching, but the boys from Riyadh were rustic on the field and didn’t offer adequate support to their bowlers. Skipper Saud and Varun deserved better economy and more wickets to their tally- their variations weren’t read by even EPCA’s top-order batsmen. Mohammed Sauky bowled his heart out in the death and managed 2 wickets (in 4 overs at the cost of 30 runs) to blunt EPCA Zalmi’s chances.
Sashwath dismissed in-form Abdul Rahman Tanvir at 80 and Wasif Butt. He grabbed 3 wickets for 44 in 5 overs. EPCA Zalmi was eventually restricted at 234/6 in 30 overs. RCA Youth XI’s skipper has to be credited for bringing the right bowling & fielding changes after a stellar start by EPCA Zalmi. His team had to score less than 8 runs an over to chase down the target successfully.
RCA Youth lost its opener, Ismail Majeed, early of Rihan’s bowling in the 4th over. The other opener Sashwath Vijay (125* of 83 balls,13x4s & a six) continued his sublime form (from RCA) scoring runs at will. Mehmood Abulhassan (24 of 27 balls) & Sashwath built a crucial 73 runs partnership by scoring running between the wickets and odd boundaries. Mehmood lost his wicket while completing his 2nd run. Scorecard read 97/2 after 15 overs during the chase. Varun Saravanan (14 of 11 balls including a 4) joined Sashwath when RCA Youth needed 137 runs in 90 balls.
These two batsmen stitched a 41 run partnership for the 3rd wicket and the untimely dismissal of Varun due to miscommunication while running forced Fahad Munir into the scene. Fahad (25 of 14 balls laced with 3 boundaries) was caught at the point after scoring 2 successive boundaries of Amjad’s bowling.
Sashwath scored his 2nd century of this season in 73 balls. Skipper Mohammed Saud started confidently, but he was bowled by Rihan for 7 runs in 6 balls. Shehroz (8* of 6 balls including a lone boundary) joined the centurion when the team needed 24 runs in the last 3 overs. Sashwath picked a couple of outside the off-stump line deliveries scoring 2 boundaries over the long leg and fine leg to take the team closer to a decisive win. Sashwath & Sheroz ensured the victory in 29.2 overs and Sashwath scored those winning runs. Stand out bowlers from the EPCA Zalmi team were Rihan (2 wickets and a run out) and Amjad (1 wicket) and the bowling attack was well backed by smart fielding.
The ability to restrict EPCA to 236 runs and the adept application of RCA batsmen led by Sashwath earned the RCA Youth team a precious win after many years of dominance by EPCA Youth. Man of the match.: Sashwath was awarded man of the match for scoring 125* in 83 balls and picking 3 crucial wickets. EPCA’s sponsor also rewarded him with a mobile phone for his superlative performance.
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