SRT XI has been crowned the Champions of Calpine Cricket League (CCL5) as they trounced the Eagles by 4 wickets in a nail biting grand final. Chasing a score of 80 in the final, SRT XI achieved the target in the last ball of the match. A match, fitting to be called the grand final, was played between two strong teams, evident from the way the three finals were played.
Yet again winning the toss, SRT XI captain Aneesh decided to field first. Eagles chose to open with Binish and Latheesh, but the opening partnership didn’t last long, as Binish was caught behind in the first over of the match off the bowling of Ajith. Binish was replaced by Ben and he gave good support to Latheesh to take the innings forward. They say, “never run on a miss-field”, but that’s exactly what Ben and Latheesh did, which resulted in a run out. Attempting a second run on a miss-field, Latheesh was caught short of the crease and was adjudged run out at the striker’s end. Abhin, who replaced Latheesh, appeared to be in a mood to erase his lacklustre performance in the last match, as he hit some lusty blows to the fence, helping the Eagles to increase the scoring rate. Once he lost his batting partner Ben, Abhin found an able partner in captain Sandeep as both went on with their scoring. A catch from Sumesh S at the covers ended Abhin’s innings. Baji joined Sandeep at the crease and made further additions to a score, which was already looking quite robust. However in the last over bowled by Sumesh N, Eagles were not able to score heavily which helped to shift the momentum back to SRT XI.
Scoring 80 runs in 10 overs in a final could be a tricky task, particularly against a bowling attack as strong as that of Eagles. SRT XI strategy seemed to be around the idea of giving their star batsman Saleem as many overs as possible, as they knew more time he spends in the crease, more chances are for him to score heavily. SRT XI opened the innings with Saleem and captain Aneesh at the crease. But it was not an auspicious start for SRT XI as Aneesh was out caught behind in the first over itself, off the bowling of Sandeep. Sumesh N joined Saleem at the crease and slowly but steadily moved the scoreboard forward. But misfortune struck the SRT XI as they lost both Sumesh N and Ajeesh within a short interval of time. Ajith, the ‘secret weapon’ of SRT XI, joined Saleem in the middle and the duo accelerated towards the target. The final recognised batting pair of SRT XI was broken when Saleem was taken at the deep by Abhin off the bowling of Nisam. All hopes of SRT XI was on Ajith and other batsmen who partnered him in the middle scored useful runs to take the team closer to the target. Four scored by Gopan was quite crucial for the team as well.
When Ajith was out bowled in the fifth ball of the 9th over, the match underwent another twist. Then SRT XI needed 9 runs off 7 balls and the last ball of the 9th over went to the boundary of Sobin’s bat, which took the target to 5 runs off 6 balls. Though Sobin was out attempting a double in the over, Sreejith Sadasivan combined with Sreekumar and in the fourth ball of the over the scores were levelled. In the last ball SRT XI needed just 1 run and Sreejith played the ball to the on-side boundary bringing home a well deserved win for the team.
Ajith was adjudged Man of the Match.
Calpine Group’s CEO Jijo John gave away the Championship Trophy to SRT XI.
Dinu Abraham, Gopalan Marimuthu and Vasanth were the umpires for the three finals.
|EAGLES – Batting
|C Gopan | B Ajith
|C Sumesh S | B Aneesh
|C Gopan | B Ajeesh
|79/5 – 10 Overs
|SRT XI- Bowling
|SRT XI – Batting
|C Nizam | B Sandeep
|C Abhin | B Latheesh
|C Latheesh | B Abhin
|C Latheesh | B Ben
|83/6 – 10 Overs
|EAGLES – Bowling
|SRT XI Won By 4 wickets
|Man of the Match – Ajith Paulson
You can find snaps of the grand final at the following locations.