FCCC are the 2017 Twenty20 CHAMPIONS !!! - Last updated 23-Oct-2017 1:43pm
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FCCC are the 2017 Twenty20 CHAMPIONS !!!
FCCC are the 2017 Twenty20 CHAMPIONS !!!
69 games and 7 months of a superb T20 season of 2017 have brought us to this point. One final game that glorifies and epitomizes what T20 cricket is all about. And what better way to do that with the top two teams, FCCC and FRCC battling it out for glory, pride and also trying to vindicate all the sacrifices made by each individual to arrive at this grand spectacle. Grab yourselves some pop corn and a drink as this one’s going to be a humdinger of a game and you all will get to read about it and in a way be a part of history.
On a sunny yet chilly, windy afternoon in Longmont, FCCC won the toss and decided to put FRCC to bat.
Sumeet and Amal opened the innings and got off to a good start scoring 9 runs of the opening over by Dipal. Amal was dropped the next over off the bowling of Naveen. But in the following over by Naveen, he was caught by Gopal at long on for 8 runs and the score read 21/1 in 3.1 overs. In came Abhinav and he didn’t stay much longer either scoring 2 runs getting caught by Venkatesh off the bowling of Naman. Soon Sanket too, was run out in the next over by Sagar and at this stage FRCC were in a spot of bother with the score reading 31/3 in 5.5 overs.
Sumeet and Rohit steadied the sinking ship with Sumeet capitalizing on his dropped catch and Rohit blasting boundaries while playing sensibly. FRCC went into the break 58/3 in 10 overs and FCCC at this point had the upper hand. In the final ball of the 12th over, Rajesh bowled a beauty to get rid of Sumeet and FRCC at this point were 79/4. Sumeet scored a well made 34 runs and the partnership with Rohit added to 48 in 6.1 overs. Afshin came in but couldn’t get going either, scoring only 5 and getting caught by Venkatesh who now at this point can be considered a well established out-field catcher. Omer took the honors of sending Afshin back to the pavilion.
In came Girish who really couldn’t get going and FCC C thought they could restrict FRCC. But it seemed like he was hustling us and he scored 3 sixes racing him to 22 off 12 balls before he was run out by Gopal when the score was 142/6 in the 20th over. In came Subhashish who hit a boundary off the first ball. Rohit was dropped off the last ball of the innings and scored a magnificent 57 off 46 balls and ensured FRCC reached a respectable and competitive score of 150. Rohit in his innings scored 5 maximums, one noteworthy six over long off which even crossed the dreaded trench we all know of at the Longmont ground. As far as FCCC’s bowling is considered, Naman shone with figures of 1-20 in 4 overs.
FCCC got off to a decent start scoring 6 runs in the opening over. But tragedy struck in the first ball of the second over when Omer was bowled by Murali for just 2 runs. Midway through the third over, Darshan hit a magnificent flat shot to wide long off but to everyone’s surprise, was caught by Sanket running to his right and everybody from FCCC were shell-shocked while FRCC was elated. Dipal and Naveen steadied the innings with the 6th over being the momentum change FCCC needed. Chari who is a disciplined bowler was taken apart for 18 runs with 2 sixes and a boundary by Dipal. 18 runs came off that over and it gave impetus to FCCC to accelerate. Dipal and Naveen were going really well scoring and being aggressive as the game situation demanded. But then in the 9th over, they handed the initiative to FRCC with Naveen being run out after confusion between the two batsmen. Naveen made 12 off 11 balls and the score read 57/3. Santanu too was out the next over and at the end of 10 overs, FCCC were 68/4, 10 runs better off and wicket worse off than FRCC at the same juncture.
Venkatesh was sent in to just go for straight up hitting but he managed to do otherwise and was out within 5 balls. Gopal too couldn’t accelerate and was out with the score 75/6 in 12.3 overs. Rajesh came in and couldn’t do much damage either and FCCC were reeling at 90/7 in 14.3 overs. To FRCC’s credit, Abhinav pulled them back into the game. Sagar came in and gave strike to Dipal who hit Abhinav for a four and huge six to spoil Abhinav’s figures. Sagar got out the next over trying to go for it from the get go and Dipal at the other end was losing partners with the score 102/8 in 15.1 overs.
You are thinking game over, right? Hold your horses. Dipal had other plans. At the end of 16 overs, FCCC needed 44 in the 4 overs at 11 RPO. 17th over by Rohit went for 12 runs which included a superb six by Dipal. The 18th over by Murali went for 15 runs including a six each from Nikhil and Dipal. FCCC now needed 17 off their final 2 overs. You thought game over for FRCC now, right? Sanket had other plans. Having to bowl his first over as the 19th over after a wonderful bowling change by Rohit, Sanket got the danger man Dipal clean bowled for a well-made which is a huge understatement, it was a match saving 83 off 58 balls which included 4 4’s and 7 huge sixes!
Now you thought game over for FCCC, right? As the saying goes, It’s never over until it’s over. Only six runs came off Sanket’s over and FCCC needed 11 runs of the last over with a sole wicket in hand. This is testament to their batting depth. Shiril was given the responsibility of bowling the last over. It started off well with a single by Nikhil to long on. Naman was on strike and hit the ball to long on and everyone thought it was game over as it was headed straight to Abhinav’s hands. It was either a misjudgment or sun in his eyes but what we choose to believe it as a miracle and the luck we deserved, it sailed over Abhinav’s hands and into the boundary after taking a couple of bounces. FCCC still needed 6 off 4 balls. The next ball went up high to long off and two fielders Subhashish and Sanket converged but because of miscommunication, neither of them got their hands on the ball and it trickled past them to the boundary and FCCC needed 2 off 3 balls.
I am sure you are thinking game over now too, right? Haha. Not so soon! Naman glanced the next ball to leg side and they picked up a run, but a miscommunication happened this time between the batsmen and Nikhil was indecisive a was wondering whether to run or not and at the end, neither did he run nor did he get back to the crease and was run out and the scores were now tied. The crazy part was FCCC still had 2 more balls left to score that single run. Dipal scored 83 off 58 balls, Nikhil made 14 off 11 balls and Naman made 13 off 6 balls to get the score to 150. Subhashish bowled well for 3-22 in his 4 overs.
It was super over time!!! As memory serves, this was the first time in the history of CCL. FCCC batted first with Dipal and Omer opening and Subhashish bowling for FRCC. The first ball went for 2 runs by Dipal, with the next going for a single run. Omer was now on strike and he heaved his bat towards the leg side but the ball hit the toe edge and went towards point for a single. That’s 4 runs in 3 balls. Dipal took a single in his next ball and it was 5 in 4. Subhashish bowled a beamer which couldn’t be stopped by Sumeet and a single was taken too. So that made it 7 in 4 with the free hit to go off which Dipal managed only a single, unable to carry his regular innings form. Omer was on strike now with FCCC needing at least a boundary to be safe and comfortable. And they got what they asked for with Omer hitting a six behind the wicket while some people had thought his time was up as a cricketer! That made it 14 with FRCC needing 15 to win.
Rohit and Sumeet were sent in and Naveen was given the huge responsibility of defending the super over and hand victory to FCCC. It got off to a bad start with a boundary of the very first ball by Sumeet. But no one in the FCCC side was perturbed at that. They still believed in Naveen. You think that start was bad, the next ball went for a wide and a single and FRCC had 6 of just 1 ball. Rohit was now on strike and the second ball went for 2 runs. 8 off 2. FCCC couldn’t afford to concede a boundary now. The next ball went untouched by the batsman and the keeper Santanu who was standing up and the batsmen ran 2 runs. 10 off 3. The next ball went for a single. 11 off 4. FRCC needed 4 of 2 balls. Sumeet managed to get a single and it all came down to the last ball. FRCC needed 3 off the last ball. Everyone’s hopes and dreams rested on this ball. A boundary or 3 runs would mean an FRCC win. A single or a wicket would mean an FCCC win. There was still a possibility of a tie and no one would have envisioned a tie even after a super over. Naveen ran and delivered a full toss ball and Rohit hit it to long off. Omer came running in but couldn’t pick up the ball and FRCC managed to run 2 runs and the super over was tied too!!
Yes, this is NOT a movie, this was an actual game. No one could have scripted this!! There was confusion, bewilderment and profound silence in everyone trying to determine who had won the game. There had to be a winner. After long discussion by the umpires and as per rule, the team scoring more boundaries than the other would win. FRCC had scored 14 and FCCC managed to score 16!!! The game was that close! FRCC didn’t lose, FCCC just managed to win and grab victory from the jaws of defeat. It honestly could have gone either way but FCCC came out victorious in their third consecutive final and their second championship in 3 years!
If you got through this report, all these scenes actually took place and people in the ground managed to witness a spectacle. These are the days you dream of and both teams FCCC and FRCC managed to live it. Irrespective of the result, FRCC should be proud and hold their heads high. FCCC were beyond elation and at the end showed respect and the spirit to pose for a picture along with FRCC to commemorate this topsy-turvy game.
Dipal was adjudged the Man of the match for his wonderful innings, his second MoM in as many finals. What a player! In the end, FCCC walk away with the Mantle of being Champions of T20 having felt deserved to be so! What a game, what a final!
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