For the second time in three weeks MCA faced a Saginaw team short of players, and for the second time lost, despite sterling work by the Academy’s familiar firm of Mayasandra and Son, who contributed a total of 59 runs to MCA’s 115, overhauled by Saginaw in the eighteenth over for the loss of five of seven available wickets. This time it was not the quick-fire 23, including two sixes and one four, from Captain and Coach Shyam Mayasandra, that led the scoring for MCA, but the slightly more circumspect 36 from Ani Mayasandra (two fours). No other MCA batsman reached double figures.
Bloomer Park was unexpectedly dry on Sunday morning, Rochester Hills evidently spared the rains that had drenched more westerly parts of the metro area over the preceding 36 hours, and when MCA won the toss and elected to bat against an under-strength Saginaw, hopes were high of avenging the recent defeat by posting a good total and putting the opposition under pressure. A good opening stand between father and son, taking MCA to 48 in seven overs, gave further reason for optimism. Then the Saginaw captain Shami dismissed Shyam Mayasandra with an excellent catch off his own bowling (Shami later remarked that, having been hit for a six and a four off the preceding two deliveries, he was determined to get a hand to the ball, whatever the cost), but, with solid batting still to come, MCA continued to hope for a big score. Kashif Akhtar came and went quickly, hitting one four in his eight before pulling Shami (who took 5/22) to backward square leg; Anurag Yerabati played a couple of nice shots for his six, before falling lbw to Shami, and the same fate quickly befell Deepak Chilla. Rohit Mogalayapalli, fresh from his heroics at the national U-15 tournament, seemed very unlucky indeed to be given out caught-behind for 2, off a ball that might have bounced off the pitch immediately after hitting the toe of his bat. Jai Sura scored 3 before playing around a ball on the stumps from Shahzad and then, in the seventeenth over, Ani Mayasandra was run out in the most unfortunate manner, when his runner attempted a suicidal single. Another wicket quickly followed when Vasanth Krishnaswami was given out lbw attempting to sweep. In the final over Gordon Makin was run out for three as his partner attempted another risky run late in the innings. Eleventh man Neil Makin’s pull to backward square leg got him his first run in the T20 competition (to go with his “Chinese cut” for one for Motown against Grand Rapids in the 40-overs competition last month), and he was not out when Pawan Canchi was caught off the last ball of the innings for 2.
116 was not a large target, but MCA began their defence with some optimism, knowing that Saginaw would be all out when the seventh wicket fell. However, that moment never came, despite an excellent spell from Anurag (4-0-15-1), one wicket from Kashif Akhtar, and two from Shyam Mayasandra. When Saginaw were 19/3, after Rohit and Gordon had run out Vishal for 1, Rohit had taken a good catch off Anurag to dismiss Utkash for the same score, and the swashbuckling Ram had fallen to Kashif
Akhtar, Vasanth Krishnaswami taking the catch, for 10, prospects looked very good for the Academy. But only two more wickets fell – the dangerous Fahad for 10, lbw to Shyam Mayansandra, and Shazad for 16, caught by Kashif Akhtar, also off Shyam Mayasandra – and Salil guided Saginaw home with an unbeaten 36, supported by captain Shami (7 n.o.). Pawan Canchi bowled an economical over that troubled the batsmen, but MCA’s other bowlers lacked penetration, and the Academy was left to rue the absence of Anurag’s usual opening partner, Chamila Kannangara.
Ani Mayasandra was chosen as youth-man-of-the-match without the slightest hesitation.
Next up for MCA is HFHS C.C. on Sunday.