THCC 112 (Henrik 23, Amar 4/11) beat SG Findorff 88 (Shafiqullah 26*, Safi 4/22)
They say that no score is too low to defend and this once again proved to be the moral of the story as the THCC Academicals fought it out with SG Findorff on a typical summer’s day in Hamburg.
Aswin, captain in Shane’s absence, won the toss and decided to bat first. The THCC innings got off to a less than ideal start with Milad getting bowled by a good first ball of the innings and Safi soon following, despite starting his innings positively with two classy boundaries. With the score at 9-2, Mohibullah and Imran managed to steady the ship, playing patiently and building a good partnership before Mohibullah was given out LBW (or was it caught?) with the score on 39. Khalil was also given out LBW before he was able to hit his stride and Silva played well for his 10 before Jalil somehow managed to bowl him around his legs.
And so, with the team threatening an all too familiar batting collapse, it was up to the wise Dane to show the young ones how it’s done. Henrik used all of his experience and patience to drag the score closer to triple digits, scoring 23 off 42 whilst being ably supported by Aswin and Jens. As Findorff grew increasingly frustrated by our middle-order’s resilience, more extras started to creep in, and Saied and Henrik brought the score to 98 before Henrik was out caught on a full toss thanks to a sharp catch at cover. The team was determined to get the score over 100 and this was achieved through a useful last wicket partnership between Saied and Kamal, which could have brought even more runs were it not for a classic THCC run out, thereby ending our innings with the score on 112. Amar Butt was definitely the pick of the Findorff bowlers, returning outstanding figures of 11-4 off 10 overs, followed by Jalil, who finished with 14-2 off his 6 overs.
Despite posting a relatively modest score, THCC were confident that their bowlers could defend the total and get the required wickets. These hopes were dented somewhat on the third ball of the innings which opener Jalil hit through mid-wicket, with the ball presumably landing somewhere between the polo club and the train station. His cameo was short-lived, however, as Kamal had him caught behind in the second over thanks to a great catch from wicketkeeper Mohibullah. Both Safiulllah and Kamal kept their bowling extremely tight, restricting Findorff to 13 off the first 6 overs. This excellent bowling was repaid in the seventh over when Safi twice shattered the stumps in three balls, leaving Findorff struggling on 13-3. The wickets kept on tumbling as Kamal had the danger man, Amar, caught for 3 through a very smart catch from Khalil at short midwicket (thanks also to some astute field placement by Aswin). Safi continued to bowl with speed and accuracy as twice more he sent the stumps flying in successive overs to bring the score to 33-6. Having bowled all of his allocated 10 overs in one spell, Safi finished on a very well-deserved 22-4 and was unlucky to miss out on his 5-fer. Yet the game was far from over as a middle-order Findorff fightback from Hamid and Farooq brought the score nearing 50 with plenty of overs still to play.
Khalil swung the momentum back in THCC’s favour with two quick wickets (one LBW and another good catch behind the stumps from Mohibullah). The pressure on Findorff was building with Silva keeping things tight at the other end and Khalil soon got his third wicket and the ninth of the innings, bowling Farooq to leave the score on 57-9 and victory in sight.
However, one lesson for our young THCC players to learn is that no game is over until the final wicket falls, and this almost proved to be our downfall as some sloppy fielding, and some big hitting by Findorff’s number 10, Shafiqullah, meant that the score crept into the 80s, giving Findorff hope and making THCC increasingly uneasy thanks to the team’s unfortunate habit this season of throwing away games from a winning position. However, an inspired bowling change by Aswin meant that he threw Saied the ball, and the young off-spinner once again showed his worth as the first ball of his spell trapped Findorff’s number 11 leg before wicket, with Shafiqullah stranded on 26* at the other end.
The jubilant celebrations from the THCC team highlighted just how good of a win it was, with an excellent bowling performance keeping the extras low and making our seemingly low target a difficult task for Findorff. If THCC can replicate the discipline and patience they showed today in the field in their next batting performance, then they can look forward to some more positive results in the weeks to come.
Thanks to SG Findorff for a close and exciting (albeit low scoring!) game, to Tanseef from SC Europa for umpiring, and to Frank for once again providing the food which was appreciated by all. Big thanks also to Tina for scoring.
THCC 129 (Shane 29, Silva 29, Imran 2/6) lost to Masroor 130 (Imran 30, Ather 24 , Emil 4/28, Khalil 3/20)
The fifth game of the season got underway at the HICC ground in Hamburg with Masroor CC winning the toss and deciding to bat.
Kamal and Khalil opened the bowling for THCC, with a solid display from both of them. Khalil removed Masroor’s opening pair. Imram and Safiullah continued the good bowling, keeping a good line and not giving away any runs. Emil (aka Ronaldo) came into the attack to take four wickets, ending with innings’ best figures of 4/28.
THCC did really well to get Masroor to 93/9. But last man Ather teamed up with Imran to put on 37 runs for the last wicket; runs that would turn out to be very valuable in the end.
All out for 130, Masroor then supplied lunch for all the players, which was very generous.
Emil and Khalil opened THCC’s innings, but both fell without scoring. Imran did his best to stop the flow of wickets. With the score at 24/4, and nearly all of the runs coming from extras, first Silva batted with Imran and then Shane did, to move THCC into a winning position at 103/5. The team needed 28 runs and had five wickets in hand.
But it was not to be. Nabeel was out caught. Then Kamal and Imran collided when taking a second run, which resulted in Imran being run-out. Skipper Shane compared this tragic event to the Lance Klusener and Allan Donald run-out during the South Africa v Australia World Cup semi-final in 1999.
Imran had batted well, making 15 off 94 balls, and was unlucky to get out in the fashion he did. Kamal soon followed and the score was 126/9. Things became very tense, with Masroor pushing hard for the last wicket. With just two runs to win, Jens was hit on the pad, the entire Masroor team appealed, and the umpire gave him out.
Is there a cricketer anywhere in the world, be they fan or player, who wants to see a very close match decided by an LBW decision? And a contentious LBW decision at that? A match goes right down to the wire, but what it actually comes down to is an umpire’s interpretation of a complex rule. Is that the spirit of cricket?
To the victor go the spoils, but the nature of the LBW decision may mean this one counts as a hollow victory. It was rather a shame to see such an exciting match end this way, as some really good cricket was played by both teams on the day and it ended up being a nail-biter in the end.
It was hard luck again for THCC, as they got so close but couldn’t get over the line. The team played really well and the players should keep their heads up as there are plenty of matches to go.
We wish Masroor all the best for the rest of the season and extend a big thank you for the lunch provided.
THCC 157 ( Nabeel 46, Safiullah 43, Usman 3/21, Imran 3/29) beat Masroor CC 126 (Butt 40, Maher 22, Silva 3/29, Saied 2/10)
The game between THCC and Masroor got underway on THCC’s home ground in light rain. Skipper Shane won the toss and decided to bat first, giving Masroor the ball in wet conditions.
The THCC innings started badly, with Khalil out LBW first ball. Nabeel came in and built an important partnership with Mohibullah to steady the innings, until Mohibullah was bowled for 21. Safiullah joined Nabeel, and the two slowly took control of the innings. Masroor bowled very well, but Safiullah and Nabeel batted with discipline and smarts, with Nabeel giving good advice and support to his young partner as they put on 94 together to take the score to 2/137.
But when Safiuallah was bowled by Imran and Nabeel was run-out, THCC suffered a complete batting collapse, to be all out for 157. Full credit to the Masroor bowlers, who fought back hard, including left-arm spinner Usman and medium-pacer Imran, with both getting three wickets each.
After the break, THCC’s opening bowlers Khalil and Kamal both pushed a little too hard for wickets. The Masroor openers Shams and Imran quickly put on 26. It took a fine low catch by THCC’s Imran off Kamal’s bowling to remove Masroor’s Imran.
While several catches were dropped, some were held, including a good catch by Saied in the slips. Silva tied up one end, mixing it up with eagle-eye pace and hypnotic lobs, while Nabeel worked his off-spin from the other end. Wickets fell at steady intervals, with only Shams providing resistance, as he made 40. But when he was bowled by Nabeel, THCC looked to be getting the upper hand.
With Masroor at 5/92 and the captain removed, THCC started fielding more aggressively and showed that they were ready and willing to win this game. Silva continued his great spell, bowling 10 overs straight to finish with 3/29. Saied also bowled well, to pick up two wickets.
Things got really tight when Masroor was 8/122, and Ather and Maher were at the crease. These two former THCC players were keen for victory, but THCC were not to be denied. Saied bowled Maher, then he took a ripper of a catch in the slips, off Safiullah’s bowling, to remove Ather and finish the match, with THCC winning by 19 runs.
THCC did really well to fight back in the field and played well under pressure. Some really good cricket was played by both teams on the day and it ended up being a nail-biter in the end. The match was also played in a great spirit. We wish Masroor CC all the best for the rest of their season.
Thanks to Samiullah from SC Europa for umpiring and doing a great job. Thanks also to Cam for scoring and to Hendrik for his support.
Let’s hope THCC can continue the fighting spirit for the rest of their season.
THCC 140/6 ( Safiullah 52*, Shane 21*) beat HSV Tigers 139 (Imran M 50, Emil 4/32, Shane 3/18 )
The fifth game of the season got underway at HSV’s ground in Mümmelmannsberg, with the HSV Tigers winning the toss and deciding to bat.
Imran and Safiullah opened the bowling for THCC, and they maintained good line and length. But the HSV batsmen were looking to take advantage of the fielding restrictions and tried playing some shots over the fielders. Some good bowling and variation got THCC off to a great start with an early breakthrough.
From there, wickets continued to fall thanks to excellent bowling from second change bowlers Emil and Shane, who combined for seven wickets. Imran M was the only batsman from HSV to show some fight, hitting a fifty that included some big sixes. But when he was bowled by Emil, the resistance was over, and HSV were finally all out for 139, a total which included 34 wides.
Credit to the THCC bowlers, and to the fielders as well, with six wickets coming from catches. Youngster Mohibullah took an amazing catch and executed a direct hit run-out.
After the HSV Tigers generously provided lunch, openers Christian and Mohibullah got THCC’s innings going. Arshad was the pick of the HSV bowlers, and he removed Mohibullah in the first over, and trapped Christian, Nabeel and Jens LBW. Emil occupied the crease, and tried to get the scoreboard ticking with Safiullah, but when Emil was bowled and Hardeep was run-out, THCC were in a precarious position, at 6/70, with 70 runs still required.
In recent games, THCC had pushed hard for victory only to come up short. It was looking like the same would happen today. Until THCC skipper Shane joined Safiullah and they set about building what would become a match-winning partnership. Not even a short rain interruption could break their concentration. They got on top of the HSV bowlers, with Safiullah making a fine half-century. Together, they got the runs and the THCC Academicals deservedly earned their first victory of the season.
THCC’s score of 6/140 also included 34 wides.
Some really good cricket was played by both teams on the day and it ended up being a nail-biter in the end. THCC wishes HSV Tigers all the best for their rest of the season and thanks once again to HSV for lunch.
THCC 142/10 (Nabeel 49, Khalil 34, Qasim 3/7) lost to SG Findorff 2nd XI 162/10 (Aziz 57, Imran 5/28)
While starting the season with three losses, the THCC Regionalliga team was playing with great spirit and enjoyment, and had shown improvement with each game. The team went to Bremen to face SG Findorff 2nd XI with high hopes of returning to Hamburg with their first victory of the season.
It started well, with skipper Shane winning the toss and deciding to bowl, to take advantage of the window of opportunity made available by the clear skies. Kamal and Khalil opened the bowling, with a great display from both of them. They took early wickets, removing some pretty good batsman.
Imran and Safiullah continued the good bowling. Imran distinguished himself as the best bowler of the day, taking five wickets and achieving his personal best figures for THCC. Nabeel also came into the attack to take some good wickets.
At this point in the game, THCC were looking at keeping SG Findorff under 100 runs, but due to some big hitting at the end from Aziz (57) and Jashid (31), and some really poor catching from THCC, these batsmen ended up with some extra batting lives and got their team to a defendable total of 162.
THCC started their innings with youth and experience, as new youngster Mohibullah opened with Adrian. They did an excellent job of taking the shine off the new ball and keeping their wickets. Eventually SG Findorff’s bowlers made a break through and THCC lost some wickets. Nabeel steered the ship and got some great batting support from Khalil. The pair built a vital partnership to bat THCC into a winning position.
At 120/4, THCC had the match in control and victory was within reach. But when Nabeel was out for 49, it triggered a batting collapse. THCC lost five wickets for five runs and the only batsman still standing at the end was Jens.
It was a hard loss for THCC after coming so close, and the team will rue the dropped catches during SG Findorff’s innings, but lots of good things came from the game. This included our new players Saied and Mohibullah, who did really well for the team, Imran’s bowling and Nabeel’s batting.
Some really good cricket was played by both teams on the day and it ended up being a nail-biter in the end. Well done to SG Findorff. We wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
THCC 226/10 (Wides 61, Shane 42, Silva 40, Jayaraj 2/41) lost to SC Europa A 285/10 (Muralidharan 62, Khailil 3/42)
The second game of the season got underway on THCC’s home ground with the visitors winning the toss and deciding to bat in the rainy conditions. This match marked the debut of THCC’s new coconut mat pitch, which played brilliantly throughout the day.
The persistent rain made it hard for the THCC fast bowlers to control the ball. The SC Europa openers capitalised on the bowling and put on a great opening partnership, getting to 89 runs before Hendrik removed one of the openers with some good spin bowling. After the much-needed breakthrough, THCC bowlers Khalil, Kamal and Silva took wickets, and THCC also held some great catches in the field (Jens and Hardeep), but the runs kept coming. SC Europa A did a good job with the bat, getting to a very competitive score of 285/10.
Play was stopped for an hour during SC Europa’s innings for rain, when all the players retreated to the THCC clubhouse for some hot soup (thanks to Frank S.). And the match was reduced to 45 overs.
With a big score on the board to chase, THCC had to keep wickets in hand for as long as possible. Unfortunately, Kamal fell early, putting THCC under pressure from the start. Khalil was looking in form before he was run out. Frank tried to steady the innings, but got bowled by a good ball. THCC was on the back foot with 65/5 on the board and SC Europa in total control of the game.
Enter skipper Shane, who tried his best to stop the flow of wickets. He got some good support from Hendrik, then put on 79 with Silva. With the wide tally already over fifty, and the rain having cleared, THCC could sense an unlikely victory. But when Shane was bowled and Silva was out not long after, the game slipped away. Aswin and Hardeep showed fight right until the end, getting THCC to a respectable score of 226/10.
Some really great cricket was played on the day and THCC showed some great determination and fight. Congratulations to SC Europa A and best of luck for the rest of the season.
Thanks to Vignesh from HICC, who did a very good job umpiring, to Safi for taking on the 12th man duties, and to Cam for scoring.