Game 3 of the SFCA 20 over season took place at Girl Scout Friendship Park with Tropics CC as the opponent. After several games postponed due to weather and hurricanes, the Palm Beach Titans XI squad looked forward to getting back to some cricket.
The day started inauspiciously with only 4 Titans present at the ground 20 minutes before the game. With Glen "Fire" Anglin indisposed, the team was down to 9 players. After some last minute phone calls it seemed that Titans would take the field with 8 players and eventually build up to 10. Krishna arrived 2 overs into the first innings and Leju, playing his second game for Titans in the day, arrived towards the end of the first innings.
Titans bowled first, but some aggressive fielding and a slow outfield rarely made the team feel short-handed. Chucky took up the gloves for the day and skipper Andre, with both of his opening bowlers missing started off proceedings with the ball. Vice Captain Tanmay opened the bowling from the other end. The two leaders combined to form an effective partnership allowing just 18 runs in the first 4 overs with no fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle. Tanmay also struck in his first over taking out one of the opening batsmen. Krishna and Nag replaced the opening bowlers. Krishna was extremely efficient allowing just 7 runs in his first two overs, but Nag came in for a bit of a stick. Nag's first 3 deliveries went for 14 runs, but he bounced back very well to allow only 16 runs in the rest of his spell while picking up two wickets. This period also included the run out of the highest scorer for Tropics, which was affected via a no-look throw from Nate onto the stumps. Nate also replaced Krishna to bowl an efficient spell. Bowling mostly short of a length outside off, Nate was able to pick up 2 wickets for 24 runs during his four-over spell. One of these wickets was via a memorable catch by Tanmay where he ran backwards and dove sideways to finish a nicely judged catch. Tanmay took another athletic catch and dropped a more straightforward one off of Nate's bowling as well. Tanmay, Andre and Krishna came back to finish their spells. Andre had some issues with wides in his penultimate over. Tanmay had a batsman dropped and a stumping missed on consecutive deliveries. Krishna meanwhile bowled a very measured spell giving up 12 runs in his 4 overs, but unlucky to miss out on wickets. The innings last over bowled by Krishna produced only 3 runs, of which two were leg byes. Tropics ended up with 118. Tropics benefited from 21 wides and about 5 dropped catches and 1 missed stumping by the Titans fielding unit. Titans XI Bowling details for the match is below:
Andre- 4 overs, 0 maidens, 28 runs, 0 wickets.
Tanmay- 4 overs, 0 maidens, 19 runs, 2 wickets.
Krishna- 4 overs, 0 maidens, 12 runs, 0 wickets.
Nagarjun- 4 overs, 0 maidens, 30 runs, 2 wickets.
Nathan- 4 overs, 0 maidens, 24 runs, 2 wickets.
Dalip and Tiki started the chase to 119. Dalip pulled up with a cramp after taking a single on the first ball and was consequently bowled the second ball of the innings. This brought Praveen to the middle. Praveen was in fluent form and almost immediately started stroking the ball nicely while Tiki struggled to find his rhythm. After having hit three beautiful sixes, Praveen was also a victim of injury. A quick single resulted in Praveen pulling his hamstring and he was retired hurt with 27 runs to his name. Chucky replaced Praveen and looked fluent during his stay. He hit one four and a 6 before edging a slower delivery to first slip. Andre's short spell at the crease was not very fruitful as he skied a catch to cover point after scoring just 1 run. When Nate walked in Titans still needed 47 runs in the remaining 8 overs. Nate hit a beautiful six over long-on off of a length ball only for the delivery to have been called a dead ball. The very next ball stayed low and crashed into Nate's off stump. Krishna replaced Nate and his 24 run partnership with a more fluent Tiki, brought Titans to within 4 runs of victory. Tiki's ugly swipe to attempt to finish the game with a boundary caused him to get bowled out. Krishna lost his wicket soon through an edge back to the keeper as well. Leju and Nag made 1 run each to reach the required target of 119 and finish the game.
The skipper highlighted a few things to improve in the post-game chat. Getting to the ground on time being the primary focus. The chase taking 17 overs and six wickets with our batting lineup was also a concern. The dropped catches did not help either. Overall though, the bowling performance was commendable, especially with two frontline bowlers missing and the team did cruise to an easy victory despite being shorthanded. There are tougher tests in store and Titans XI seems to have the core to take them on.
The team extends special thanks to Leju for making the game after driving across South Florida.