THCC 186 (Steve 50, Israfeel 37, Marvin 31, Jafar 3/11, Kahn 3/28) lost to HSV 260 (Jafar 148*, Bipin 3/44)
A cricket team has eleven players, but sometimes one of those eleven can be so dominant as to single-handedly take the contest away from the opposition, to the point where his ten teammates are rendered almost obsolete.
Such was the case when HSV’s Bilal Jafar made 148 not-out, on HSV’s home ground in Mümmelmannsberg, with the rest of his team combining for just 83. His innings was made more impressive by the fact he came in when the score was 4/14. Umair and Bilal steadied the HSV innings, after they were put into bat when Cam won the toss. The pair put on 66, then Zaheer stuck around long enough for a partnership of 65. Bilal continued to smash sixes, but eventually ran out of partners, when Safi bowled Raju for the last wicket. HSV all out for 260.
Credit should be given to Bipin (3/44) and Israfeel (2/33), who got THCC off to a very good start and bowled out their 10 overs economically. New player Marvin also bowled admirably, picking up two wickets, as did Safi (2/16). But THCC had no answer for Bilal, which is a shame because take his innings away and HSV would have had a mere 112.
Chasing 260 on a field where the grass slows the ball down and where adventurous hitting reaps more rewards than considered stroke-play was always going to be difficult, not to mention on a pitch where many different things can happen when the ball lands on a good length. After Chandan and Cam fell cheaply, Marvin hit some big shots on his way to 31. Israfeel and Steve also showed some middle-order fight, putting on 65 for the sixth wicket, with Steve going on to make a fine 50.
But it was Bilal again, coming on as the eight bowler to dry up the runs, dislodge Steve and take three wickets, including the last, to cap an outstanding one-man performance.
Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives for THCC to take from the game, including new player Marvin (our first West Indian!), some good catching in the field, improved middle-order batting, and excellent spells of bowling from Bipin and Israfeel. It was also good to see the team show some fight, even as wickets fell and the game started to slip away. Unfortunately, coming away with the win today was a Bilal too far. Sorry, that should be a bridge too far.
THCC wishes HSV all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season. Many thanks to lone scorer Moritz for the impeccable coloured scoresheets.