By Romio Fernandes
It was a good day for a game of cricket with Risinghurst fighting with Radley to finish top of the league and it came down to the last few games to decide who would finish on top of the league, so this game was very important for RCC to win. The ground had uneven areas going downhill on one side of the ground which made it very difficult for players to field. Risinghurst started the inning with our opening main bowlers Rakesh and Govind who is our leading wicket taker and they both started brilliantly. Both opening batsmen looked good playing their shots, but they couldn’t get the best out of themselves with Govind doing what he does best at bowling consistently and Rakesh on the other side putting pressure on the batsman. As we all know what Govind can do with the ball, he just kept putting the ball in the right areas trying to get the batsman to play their shots and finally he got an early breakthrough by getting their opening batsman out followed by Rakesh taking the other opening batsman’s wicket. In came their next batsman who started settling in playing their shots and the scores started ticking on for Horspath when they started hitting boundaries, but I think we as RCC gave a lot of boundaries away with mis-fields although it was also down to the outfield being very quick and uneven, so it was difficult to stop the ball. I also witnessed some great fielding by our players on that day with some of our senior players showing great athleticism like Paji Martin who caught this amazing diving catch in the air with myself fielding near him, so I had the pleasure to see him go for it considering him facing some injuries but his spirit hyped me up and I believe it did the same for the rest of the team too because I witnessed some amazing stops by Mondal, Rakesh, Saurabh, and Sandeep. In comes John Thompson who is always difficult to play with his flight bowling which always makes the batsman greedy to go for big shots, but it is not as easy to play him as it looks, and number 5 batsman went for the big hit and completely underestimated his bowling as does every batsman because it looks easy to slog those kinds of balls and he got caught out. I was really impressed by the energy Risinghurst were showing and were on the roll keeping the oppositions score down as much as we could. Two of their young batmen towards the end looked really good who were quite difficult to get out and I was getting quite frustrated as they were just trying to play the overs to the fast bowlers, but then our captain decided to take charge and switch up the bowling from fast pace to spin with the support of John Thompson and he managed to bag the wicket which was a relief. John Thompson also came through again with his spin bowling trying to make the batsman go for big shots and once again they underestimated him, and the batsman walked down the pitch to play him and missed the ball which led Mansoor with his quick hand behind the wickets flicking the bails off and it was a goodbye to the batsman. It was quite difficult to finish the first inning off as the last few batsman were just trying to play the overs and not going for big shoots but again John Thompson showed his magic and got Shreyas out.
In comes Risinghurst batsman and our captain decided to switch it up a little and gave the opportunity to Romio to open the batting with Saurabh. Romio decided to face the first ball and got hit straight on the pads which led to Shreya appealing for LBW and I do not know what the umpire was thinking, but he took sweet time to give me LBW on the first ball of the inning. I was (and still am) quite upset about the umpire’s decision because he did not seem sure and decided to favour the bowler and gave me out. In comes Rakesh, who is one of our finest batsmen too played really well with Saurabh, they both looked really good and played some amazing shots down the ground. Saurabh played amazing shots down the ground and looked good on the pitch, the ball was coming nicely on his bat and he did not look uncomfortable on the pitch at all until he got caught out. And then in comes Lucky who has also been batting really well this season and played some important innings, Lucky looked really good on the pitch. Lucky and Rakesh looked really good until Rakesh got caught which broke their partnership and came in our big hot shot S M Mansoor Abbasi with his aggressive style of batting and changed the game. It is always a pleasure watching him bat as he plays with a similar style to what I play and I enjoyed watching him hit some big sixes and am sure we as Risinghurst as a team loved the batting show Mansoor put on during the match. Mansoor was accompanied by Sandeep who played very smartly and tried not to give his wicket away and both Mansoor and Sandeep kept the score ticking. Although I could see Mansoor was trying to play aggressively but he had to keep his head in the game and we as a team were all shouting from the outside trying to encourage him not to give his wicket away and he listened and conquered the game with a big 78* not out. It was a big relief for Risinghurst when we won this game as it was battle between Radley and Risinghurst for the top spot of the league and there was no way Risinghurst were going to give it away without a fight. We as a team fought hard to win the game and we got out results at the end when we found out Radley lost that day and we topped division 6 table so hats off to the whole team for everyone’s effort and refusing to give up till the end.