In the first final match of the best of three finals of CCL6, Stormers defeated Tuskers United by 7 wickets and gained a very important lead of 1-0. In a match that richly deserved to be called a final, fortune frequently swayed from one side to the other before resting fully on the side of the Stormers at the end. With this win Stormers got back to winning ways, whereas the Tuskers United has their work cut out.
For the previous many matches luck was not with the Tuskers as far as the toss was concerned. However on this very important final match lady luck smiled on them and they won the toss and chose to bat first. A break from the past saw the Tuskers starting their batting with a new opening pair of Ajeesh and Saravanan. Batting teams often find it difficult to score swiftly against the Stormers that has a strong bowling unit at its disposal. Today the Tuskers batsmen also found it difficult to despatch to the fence the likes of Anas and Renjith Kumar. Scoring appeared to be really difficult for the opening duo, but they surely managed to move the score board along. Every now and then they got loose balls to score off and they were surely aided by the butter fingers of Stormers’ fielders, who spilled as many as four catches. Saravanan and Ajeesh did their bit to up the ante and they were successful in increasing the scoring rate. However once they both fell, Tuskers lost wickets in quick succession. Their worries were compounded by the accurate bowling of Binish who scalped four wickets. Tuskers batsmen were unable to give that final push to the scoring that is required in the last few overs and the innings ended at a par score of 75 for the loss of 6 wickets.
Stormers also overhauled their batting strategy to a great extend, which was evident when they started with a new batting combination of captain Ranjith E and Renjith Kumar. In the first two overs of the innings Stormers made their intentions clear with their focus on hitting big shots. It appeared that they wanted to tame the required run rate to manageable level from the start of the innings itself, so that even if they lose a wicket or two, the succeeding batsmen would find it easy with a lower required run rate. However such a strategy hit a roadblock when Renjith Kumar was out stumped in the second over, when he was looking good with two fours. Binish, who replaced Renjith Kumar, appeared to take his good bowling form to his batting as well. It looked as if he is in some kind of hurry to finish the match as he hit a flurry of sixes. When Binish looked all set to take the game away from the Tuskers, Ajeesh, inarguably the safest fielder in CCL, came up with what could be called the “catch of the tournament” to dismiss him. An airborne hit, which everyone thought will land near the ropes and roll across it, was caught brilliantly by Ajeesh by diving forward after a long, speedy run to the cow corner from deep midwicket, where he was positioned. If the Tuskers thought that the breathtaking snatch from Ajeesh would open up new opportunities for them to come back to the game, Ranjith E had other ideas. He stood solid at the other end and taking the companionship of Joseph, took his team to a well deserved win. Stormers achieved the target in 7.4 overs with loss of 3 wickets.
Binish is the Man of the Match for his all-round performance.