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2021 Oxy Cup Final - Match Report - Shell CC v AAS

Overcast conditions at Mannofield greeted Shell CC and Aberdeen All Stars for the eagerly anticipated Oxy Cup final showdown. The energetic groundsman constantly looking skywards for any signs of precipitation and impending doom. Despite a few light drops the game went ahead uninterrupted.

 

Both teams resplendent in coloured clothing, Electric blue for AAS and Black aided by the washing machine effect, cunningly removing the Shalimar logo to reveal the Shell pecten. Aqeel winning the toss and electing to bat first. Irfan and Shahid getting some last minute practice in the nets and displaying some high class strokeplay…could they continue this form out in the middle?

 

The answer; an emphatic NO with Irfan cutting a wide ball off the first ball into gully’s safe hands caught Abrar bowled Prashant…0-1…Scorer Patrick entering zero in the scorebook….Shahid was next to go bowled off Chamila for 1 trying to force square off a straight ball…off stump removed. 9-2…..Ajay next man in with some rebuilding to do…his bat was also rebuilt after resembling chopsticks cracked right through the centre….the low quality white balls continuing to cause havoc with batsmens favourite sticks. Ajay eventually out for 23 bowled Himanshu caught by Chamila. Taj next man and despite facing 7 deliveries only managed to score 2 dismissed by Mayank. Zubair was next in and was immediately dropped…it could have been calamitous, but fortune favours the brave…the cricket gods siding with Zubair for the 2nd time this season…what followed was solid defensive shots, brute force and deft touches…..a good exhibition of textbook strokeplay. Zubair retiring on 35 with a back foot pull over deep midwicket for 6 – shades of Headingle 1981; “straight into the groundsman’s hut and out again”. Zubair also the centre of a controversy of how the bails fell off the stumps without the ball actually hitting them. The Bermuda triangle doesn’t compare to the mysteries of phantom bail dropping when you enter the Aberdeen Twilight zone. Mausum came and went, out for 1 lbw off Mayank, leaving Abid and Anjum to try and get the score to respectability. Both out for better than a run a ball 15…how costly would those not getting to 30 and retiring prove to be? Good partnerships between Ajay and Zubair and then Zubair and Aqeel took the score from 47 for 4 into the nineties….this set of ten proved to be a bumpy climb for Shell with 3 wickets falling taking the score to 98-7. What could Abid and Anjum do? The forboding dark clouds only dropping a few spots of rain and causing the umpire the slip on the greasy outfield and hit the deck…no lasting damage to umpire or the turf.

 

They took the score to 126 with Abid bowled by Prashant. Could Shell CC get to 140 in the dying overs? No, Shell finished on 135 with the last ball of the innings resulting in Tanweer being caught and bowled for a duck off Chamila. A good team bowling and batting performance with Prashant, Chamila and Mayank taking 2 wickets apiece with Himanshu and Ash taking 1 each. AAS gifting Shell CC 22 runs in extras. To sum it all up could have and should have done better….Mush in his last game for Shell CC missed out on a bat.

 

AAS innings started well with AB using all sides of his bat to get AAS off to a good start…Taj showing some real athleticism in the field using his frame and not his hat to good effect to prevent boundaries….Aman the first to go for 15 caught Mausum bowled Shahid – the score 33. AB the next to go runout for 23 off only 20 balls through the lethal fielding duo Abid and Tanweer...Some great strokeplay on view from the young Abhilash including a sumptuous cover drive that would have graced many a cricket stadium. Abhilash eventually out for 23 stumped by Irfan ‘Bijli’ Bashir off Ajay. The first of Ajay 2 wickets, his second bamboozling Ash bowling him for 1. AAS continued to chase the score down despite the fading light. Abid Ali despite being wicketless bowled a very economical spell with only 15 being taken off his 4 overs. Tanweer used flight, guile and bravery to slow the scoring down whilst also taking a wicket; a tremendous caught and bowled off Himanshu for 12. He finished with figures of 1 for 24. It seemed the faster the ball came the faster it went off the batwith both pacers Anjum and Shahid going to all parts for 36 off their spells. Anjum picked up one wicket and Shahid picking up Aman caught and Indy lbw. As the runs were being compiled the light was drawing in with the crowd made of up representatives from the local community and other Grades teams saying it was the first time they had seen the lights above the scorers hut shining so vividly through the gloom…..suddenly the equation was 35 runs required 25 balls….who would triumph in the closing stages?

 

The match turned in the 18th over with Chamilla lofting Anjum Toor for 6 into the gardens at the scoreboard end and following it up with another boundary….Anjum having the last laugh bowling Chamilla for 16. The end coming quickly in the 19th over with Mayank scoring 20 runs off the first 4 balls of Shahid’s over….Shell CC gifting AAS 12 runs in extras…..AAS victorious winning by 2 wickets with 8 balls remaining.

 

The only thing remaining was the presentation ceremony with the awards and Oxy Cup being presented Mush. Not only was the cricket exhilarating the presentation ceremony also created history with Himanshu despite playing a pivotal role in his team’s success not receiving the Man of the Match award….for the statisticians out there this is the first time that Himanshu has not received Man of the Match despite playing in a final. Was this a conspiracy by Aqeel? Again a question that will remain unanswered; covered in a shroud of mystery….the curse of the Aberdeen Twilight zone resurfacing. The winners MoM went to Mayank for his well deserved all round performance of 20 timely runs and 2 wickets with the runners up MoM match award going to Ajay for his 23 runs and 2 wickets. The only thing remaining was for Indy Pandit to receive the Oxy Cup for a well fought victory.

 

A great final and positive advert for cricket. Well done both teams, umpires and scorers!
aqeel  3 Sep 2021 - 10:13   
 
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