LCC are the 2017 Premier CHAMPIONS !!! - Last updated 19-Oct-2017 3:15pm
Author: Bodhayan Chakraborty
Submitted: Oct 16, 2017
FRCC @ LCC: Premier game final, Oct 15, 2017 - Reported by Bodhayan Chakraborty(LCC)
LCC meet FRCC in the 2017 Premier final. Some would say two best teams of the league are playing in the final. But, for LCC, it was destined. They wanted to play FRCC in the final. They had a point or two to prove. They were beaten comprehensively by FRCC in the RMSG final, T20 and P40 league games. Was it the downhill for LCC and the rise of FRCC as the new superpower in CCL? LCC undoubtedly bossed CCL arena from 2012 till 2016. They won 10 of the 12 championships in this period and were runner ups in two other occasions. But, this year when they were beaten by FRCC thrice, some thought the end of LCC is near. That is what LCC had to prove wrong. They learned from their mistakes and made some plans and that worked perfectly in the final.
The 3rd Sunday of October was beautiful and the highest temperature was in mid 60s. Except for some morning dew, Cornerstone Park was bathing in the sunshine and inviting two teams to start the game as soon as possible. CCB umpires Satyam and Kanag decided to delay the start by 15 minutes to allow the outfield dry up a little more.
Continuing the tradition this season, LCC captain Dharam lost the toss but got what he wanted. FRCC captain Rohit elected to bat first. LCC, after playing a few games in their newly laid pitch, understood that chasing in this pitch is easier and if they can restrict FRCC anywhere below 200, it would be game on. LCC had plans against few key FRCC players. But, making plan is one thing and executing them is another. It is the time to execute the plan.
FRCC opened with Sumeet Khule and Abhinav Kidambi. Dhiren started with a maiden. Jay from the other end started decently where the last ball of his over went for a boundary. LCC knew that Sumeet is going to play the new ball bowlers safe and wonít try to play any risky shot. So, it was very important for LCC to get wickets from the other end. That exactly happened when Dhiren trapped Abhinav in his 2nd over. FRCC rookie Kalyan joined Sumeet and they played till 12th over cautiously. Even though they were getting boundaries here and there, LCC managed to keep FRCCís run rate around 4 runs per over. That is mainly due to cutting the singles and not providing any free runs via wides or no-balls. Bhavya was introduced in the 13th over and he immediately broke through by getting Kalyanís wicket. Raj took a simple catch at the 30 yards circle in the cover-point region. Sanket came and he and Sumeet stitched the highest partnership for FRCC of 53 runs. They were steady but for LCC, it was not all over. The run rate after 17th over was 4.00 and they knew they are just one wicket away to pull things back. That wicket came on 24th over.
LCC bowlers, bowling tight line and length, did not allow Sumeet and Sanket to get easy runs. FRCC knew that they need above 200 to challenge strong LCC batting line up. So, at some point, they had to take some risk. That risk didnít come off when Sumeet skied Dhruv to long off and Jay took a well-judged catch. That is the turning point of the game and LCC knew they are back in the game. Dharam brought Dhiren immediately and Rohit, after playing his first ball tentatively, chopped on his second one back to the stump. May be the pressure of the final or may be the loss of Sumeet and Rohit in quick succession, the other FRCC batsmen went into a shell. They were neither able to rotate the strike nor hit the boundaries. LCC now tightened the grip on their opponent. Bhavya got Sanket on 27th over caught by Raj at mid-off. Raj trapped Subhashish on 32nd over and Dhiren bowled Murali on 33rd. After Sumeet got out on 24th over with FRCCís score 103, they could add only 36 more runs. Phani, Jay and Dhiren got last three wickets on 37th, 38th and 39th over respectively. FRCC bowled out for a paltry 139 runs.
Dhiren was the pick of the bowler with 4 wickets for 14 runs. Bhavya took 2 where Jay, Phani, Raj and Dhruv took 1 each. All LCC bowlers bowled economically and bowled in good areas. For FRCC, mentionable contributions came from Sumeet and Sanket who scored 54 and 30 runs respectively.
Nayab and Dharam opened for LCC. FRCCís only way to win this game was to take early wickets and put pressure in LCCís strong middle order. Even though Dharam didnít get going, the experienced Nayab and LCC newcomer Sakthi did not let FRCC to drill into LCCís middle order early in the innings. Both of them were solid in their defense. Sakthi was rotating strike at will and Nayab played some superb shots in between. The short arm pull six of Rohit was beautiful. When Rohit trapped Nayab for 27, the foundation of a successful chase for LCC has already been laid. After the first drinks break, LCC were placed comfortably 55/2 in 13 overs.
Dhiren came with an intention to finish this game early. He deposited the second ball he faced of Rohit over cover for a boundary and then next over he slashed Subhashish over cover-point for another boundary. But, the best shot of the game came next over when Dhiren nonchalantly back foot punched Rohit for six over cover. May be the confidence or may be the rush of blood, Dhiren got out trying to loft Chari over long on. Now LCC only need to play sensible to get over the line. Bodha and Sakthi did exactly that. They didnít take any risk and only accumulated ones and twos. They were helped by FRCC bowlers as well who provided lot of extras in that period. And, when FRCC bowlers got frustrated, they bowled some wayward deliveries which Sakthi duly cashed in. Sakthiís innings is a masterclass on how to chase a small but tricky target. He never lost his composure and waited for only bad balls to hit boundaries. Bodha got out when he tried to finish the game with a six. But, the job has already been done. Jay came and he and Sakthi finished the game with a few singles. Sakthi remained unbeaten for 47 runs.
This is a remarkable victory for LCC. Even the most hardcore LCC supporters could not believe that they can win against FRCC so convincingly. Some would say that this is a revenge of the three losses. But, LCC players had a point or two to prove. They are still a champion team. When it matters most, they will bring out their best game as all the champion teams do.
LCC would like to thank all their current and former players, the supporters, the sponsors David and Marilyn and all the well-wisher of the club. They would also like to thank current EC and CACU members for successfully conducting 2017 season. As LCC sign off another season on a high, they wish a wonderful holiday season for everyone. See you all in the AGM and next year.
Man of the Match: Dhiren Patel was declared MoM for his superb all-round effort of (7.1-2-14-4) and (20 of 14 with 2x4 and 1x6) to win his team the Premier championship.
See LCC Vs FRCC Scorecard
See LCC Vs FRCC Final Match Video
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