MCA vs Henry Ford Health Systems, Sunday, 16 May, Canton C. C. Ground: HFHS 100/7 (20 overs) lost to MCA, 101/6 (18.3 overs) by four wickets; MichCA Man of the Match – Kishan Patel
HFHS, new to MichCA this season, won the toss and elected to bat. Only opener Abdul (Ali) Ahmad made double figures for the newcomers, scoring 41- top score in the match — before falling lbw to Kishan Patel in the eighteenth over; however, Sridhar Kolluri (9), keeper Lokesh Jayachandran (6), and Arbab-Ali Syed (7 not out) helped boost HFHS’s total in the final overs, Syed bringing up the hundred with the penultimate ball of the innings, to the delight of his team mates. Kishan had opened the match with a maiden; in the third over he dismissed opener Nilesh Gupta lbw for two, and returned later in the innings, first to break the fourth-wicket partnership of 44 between Ahmad and Kolluri (the biggest in the HFHS innings), by bowling Kolluri, and then to dismiss Ahmad, in all taking three key wickets for 19 in four accurate, quick overs; Rohit Mogalayapalli (age 13) opened from the other end and also maintained a good line and length to take 2/14 in 3 overs, putting HFHS in some trouble by sending the off stump of their number three, Ramprasad Suribhotla, spinning for three, leaving the doctors at a precarious 14/2. Anurag Yerabati (1/11; he also kept for the last ten overs), Aniruddha Mayasandra (0/5 in two overs), and Deepak Chilla (1/12 in three overs) kept the HFHS batsmen quiet and took the remaining wickets to fall, while MCA débutant Jeet Nirban (who conceded eleven runs in three overs), Gordon Makin (who had kept for the first ten overs), and Pawan Canchi also kept the run-rate down in the “slog overs”, before Kishan and Rohit returned to choke HFHS; the last two overs were bowled by Deepak and Jeet, for a total of eleven runs, including one leg bye. MCA fielded well and limited the extras to 27, a relatively modest total for a youth side (the oldest bowler for MCA was twenty).
MCA, playing with only two senior men (Coach and Captain Shyam Mayasandra and Motown C. C. Captain Kashif Akhtar), chased down their target largely thanks to Man of the Match Kishan Patel (28 not out) and fifteen-year-old Aniruddha Mayasandra (24 not out), whose six into the covers off Gopal in the eighteenth over settled MCA nerves. Earlier, a second-wicket stand of 27 between MCA’s second débutant Jay Nirban, twin brother of Jeet (11), and Gordon Makin (4) provided the foundation for the successful run chase, after Shyam Mayasandra had fallen lbw for two, trying to pull a ball from fellow captain Prasad Rao; later Kishan, with a well-constructed innings, led the chase, while wickets fell around him (including that of the other senior player, Kashif Akhtar, for 2), until he was joined by left-hander Aniruddha, batting six down and with the match result still very much in doubt. Told to play his natural game, Ani hit the ball hard, especially delighting his team mates with his six, only the second of the entire match (the other was hit by Ahmad whose innings also included two fours – the total number of boundaries scored by HFHS; Kishan hit MCA’s only 4). The unbroken, match-winning seventh-wicket stand for 52, between Kishan and Ani, was the biggest partnership of the match. HFHS’s bowling was led by the splendid Nilesh Gupta, coming on second-change, and taking 3/10, including a wicket maiden; he consistently beat the bat with excellent movement and gave HFHS serious hope of victory, dismissing Gordon (playing on to a ball outside off stump), Kashif Akhtar (caught behind), and Deepak (clean bowled). Also among the wickets for HFHS were Prasad Rao, who took the new ball (1/19 in 4), Ahmad (1/18 in 4), and Syed (1/14 in 2).
This was the newcomers’ first match in MichCA, and they played with great enthusiasm and commitment, aided by some experienced imports. The Academy side, now in their second season in the T20 league, took great delight in recording their first victory of the new season, with Captain and Coach Shyam Mayasandra particularly pleased that all the heavy lifting had been done by youth players. After the match, HFHS were generous in their praise of MCA’s bowlers (average age –15¾). One distinguished MichCA player, a guest on the doctors’ side, wrote to MCA: “I was very much impressed with Anurag’s bowling yesterday especially the ball that got me bowled. He was swinging in most of the deliveries and all of a sudden swung one out. …Even though I got bowled cheaply I was happy that I got bowled to a good delivery”. He added, “The MCA team has improved a lot in the last year, especially in the bowling department. There is lot more discipline than last year…”. In his turn, MCA Coach and Captain Shyam Mayasandra also praised the sporting attitude and support for our players shown by Sunday’s opponent.