Cricket: Vijay Cup 2015 – Knockout round

777 move to the final

After completing the league stage it was finally the time for the first two play-off games of the Vijay League Cup 2015 on Sunday July 12 at Stad Popiler.

The first qualifier game was between 777 and Lakstars in the morning. Winning the toss Lakstars skipper chose to bat first which proved to be costly for them as they lost 3 early wickets.

The 4th wicket partnership of 79 runs between Aruna and Nilan steadied the ship for Lakstars. Aruna’s knock of 51 runs included 4 sixes and 3 fours whereas Nilan’s innings of 31 runs included 4 boundaries and 1 six. Lakstars were at a spot of bother once these two batsmen were dismissed but were looking strong for a big finish at a position of 112 for 5. However, after Janaka was dismissed for 10 runs, the lower middle order failed to contribute and Lakstars lost their last 5 wickets for just 9 runs ending up being bowled out for 121. For 777, Gaurav picked up 4 wickets giving 20 runs and Anbu got 3 wickets conceding just 14 runs.

In their run chase 777 lost Natraj early for 7 before Krishna and Vignesh contributed 15 runs apiece for the 2nd wicket stand. Once 3 wickets fell in quick succession (Krishna, Vignesh and Shiva) 777 were in a slight spot of bother. Babu came to the rescue for 777 putting on a solid 30-run stand with Gaurav (scoring 10 runs) for the 5th wicket.

The match became more interesting with Gaurav’s dismissal in the 16th over. However, coming in at number 7 Anbu scored a quickfire 16 runs including 2 fours, ensuring no twist in the tale. Babu’s calm and patient innings of 34 runs (including 3 fours and 1 six) supported by Anbu’s quickfire cameo helped see 777 through within the 19th over. For Lakstars the economical bowlers were Dharma with figures of 1 for 13 and Sanka with stats of 2 for 12.

This 5-wicket victory ensured that 777 qualify for the final of the Vijay League Cup 2015.


Gran Kaz Kings move to second qualifier

In the second game of the day, Gran Kaz Kings were up against Patel Youth for the eliminator contest. Winning the toss Kings’ captain Arup Das elected to bat first in tricky batting conditions.

The Kings’ openers struggled to get going due to some tight bowling by Patel Youth skipper Dharmesh. After the openers Tim and Neel were dismissed Hari and Murray consolidated and started building a partnership for the 3rd wicket stand. Kings were looking at a shaky position as they were 33 for 2 in 9 overs. From the 10th over the acceleration began as Kings started hitting boundaries in each over. Hari scored a special knock of 49 which included 7 fours and 1 six whereas Murray hit 2 massive sixes for his 23 runs.

After the dismissal of these 2 players the upcoming batsmen Robbie and Ashay continued the hard work providing a terrific finish to help Gran Kaz Kings reach a total of 135 for 6 in 20 overs. Robbie’s innings of 32 runs included 3 sixes and 2 fours whereas Ashay’s quickfire 17 involved 1 six and a four. For Patel Youth only Dharmesh bowled an economical spell of 1 for 14 whereas Sohail picked up 4 wickets but conceded 37 runs.

In the run chase Patel Youth lost Nayan for 3 in the 3rd over. Things became worse as Russell removed Govind (11 runs) and Ritesh in consecutive deliveries reducing Patel Youth to 24 for 3. Naresh and Bharat then started building a partnership for the 5th wicket helping Patel Youth motor along. However, the introduction of Dada (Arup) in the 11th over shifted the control of the game totally towards the Kings as he picked up the wickets of big hitters – Bharat (9 runs), and Piyush in his first over and Dharmesh in his second over.

Naresh’s fighting 23 (including 2 fours) finally came to an end as Tim picked up 2 wickets in 2 balls to end the Patel youth innings for 79 runs. The absence of Ajit after getting injured in the 11th over while fielding hurt Patel Youth as they were left with 1 batsman and bowler short.

For Gran Kaz Kings, Dada bowled a fantastic spell of 3 overs for 8 runs and took 3 wickets and was well supported by Tim who ended up with figures of 3 for 18, Rusell took two wickets, Riki captured one wicket and Neil with a very good spell.

After this 56-run victory Gran Kaz Kings will be taking on Lakstars for the second qualifier on Sunday July 19 and the winners will proceed to the final to face 777 on Sunday July 26.

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