2011/2012 Match Reports

Chetan MOM again as UCC defeat Sri Lanka (22nd April, 2012)

On a hot and humid morning, UCC's bowlers, led by Chetan, subdued the prowess of the Sri Lankan batting line-up and the batsmen finished off the job to win by 3 wickets in a tightly fought contest. 

With the men in blue and yellow (SSC) desperate for a win, UCC knew they'd have a tough match.  Suhard won the toss and elected to bat on an outfield which was slightly less dewy than usual.  Vijesh (2-34) opened the bowling to Sri Lankan danger man Lakmal(4) and started with 2 uncharacteristic wides down the leg-side.  Lucky then hit a glorious four through extra cover but was then undone the very next ball to one that popped up from a length, looped up and Vijesh steaming in off his follow through caught it inches from the ground. In the process, he took a knock to the head which left him slightly dazed but it was a stupendous catch!  However, with the formidable pairing of Suhard (1) and Bertie (20) at the crease, the bowlers couldn't let up and Bertie started to get going, hitting a huge six over square leg.  The introduction of Chetan in the third over paid immediate dividends with Suhard hitting his trademarked cut straight into the hands of Morris who gleefully accepted the chance.  Hiran (6) joined Bertie in the middle and played the supporting role as his partner hit another six and 4 before he knicked behind to the rampant Chetan (2-11).  Hiran was then bowled by Malone (1-20) in the next over who had been bowling well but without any luck to leave Sri Lanka at 49/4 at drinks.  Nalin (2) and Sumedha (14), dropped twice to difficult chances, rebuilt the innings nicely by adding 23 runs before a mix-up lead to Nalin being comfortably run-out by Mijin and Chetan.  Sumedha, who was starting to strike the ball cleanly, then tried to cut Praveen (1-11) but a diving catch by Morris saw him return to the stands.  Vijesh then tried to bounce out Priyantha (12) but the batsman hit two very accomplished pull shots to the boundary but Sam fell, caught by Dormer running in from long-on to complete an excellent catch.  The final overs didn't go for many runs due to the tight control of Meikle and Sri Lanka made a below par 110- 7 off their allotted overs.

In response, UCC got off to a mixed start.  Geoff (18) was seeing the ball nicely (a point underlined by a massive six over midwicket) but with some excellent catches held by the Sri Lankans, who had ominously dropped nearly all of their warm up catches, UCC found themselves 5 down in next to no time.  First Radha (0) was caught brilliantly at extra cover by Banuka who had to move sharply to his left.  Then Dormer (2) fell trying to heave Sumedha (1-19) but only succeeded in skying it over square leg.  Nalin, running backwards and looking over his shoulder did wonderfully well to even get there and he did even better than that to cling onto the ball whilst tumbling backwards.  Then a moment of controversy as Geoff, who had previously been warned by the bowler, was mankaded by Sumedha although replays suggest that he had already entered his delivery stride before he dislodged the bails.  However, while UCC's batsmen weren't making any runs, wides were leaking at regular intervals so the run rate was healthy.  At 51/4, UCC were in trouble, and things got worse as Chetan (2) was caught at long-off to another fantastic catch by Sumedha.  At 60/5 at drinks, Green (9) and Jones (15) had some work to do.  Green was stroking the ball around nicely for singles, but Jones was a bit more circumspect until one was put in his slot and he casually flicked it over deep square leg for 6.  Green continued to turn the strike over and when Jones dispatched a long-hop over the rope for another 6, UCC were coasting at 99/5 off 15 overs.  Lakmal (1-10) was troubling the batsmen, bowling right arm round and was perhaps fortunate to have Green, who may have hit the ball and didn't appear to be hit inline, trapped LBW.  Hiran (2-20) came back into the attack and removed Jones plumb LBW with just 3 runs needed for victory.  Malone happily watched another wide go past and when the keeper failed to get across in time, an easy single was completed to leave UCC victorious with 3 wickets and 14 balls to spare.

UCC were certainly helped by the 60 extras conceded by Sri Lanka.  Without them, it might have been a much tighter game.  Despite the wides, there was some top quality catches from both sides which will have pleased the respective skippers.  All in all, despite a few moments of controversy, it was an toughly fought out, yet enjoyable contest against one of the teams that on their day, are one of the best in the competition.

With yet another great performance with the ball, UCC's quartet of quicks remain a force to be reckoned with.  Malone and Meikle bowled a cracking line and length and both were unlucky not to take more wickets.  Vijesh's caught and bowled (his second of the season) was something special and it was nice to see him bowling with full intensity.  Chetan, as always, was lively and getting the ball to jag in at good speed with fantastic control.  Praveen bowled with great control, and his ability to spin the ball both ways keeps all of the batsmen guessing.  Having his variety in the team has certainly been an asset and he'll be sorely missed when he leaves for Indonesia this week.

The batsmen still have a bit of work to do, but Geoff is looking solid at the top of the order.  If only he could stop getting out in weird and wonderful ways!  Green has proven his worth in knocking around singles and keeping the strike ticking over.  To coin a Ben Daley expression, the sleeping giants in the engine room were asleep in this game, but when Radha, Dormer, Meikle and Chetan all start firing, I wouldn't want to be in the opposition's bowling attack.

Until next time UUCians, Viva UCC

UCC cruise to victory over ICCS (8th April, 2012)

Despite not playing for just under a month, UCC showed no signs of ring-rust as commanding performances all around the park ensured a 40 run victory against the men in light blue.

Dormer won the toss and decided to bat first on a dewy, yet ominously hot morning.  With batting right down to 11, UCC were confident of putting on a big score against the under-performing ICCS side who, on their day, are capable of taking wickets and scoring big runs.  As is so often the case, ICC's innings got off to a quick start with wickets falling at regular intervals.  Morris (5) fell plumb LBW to D. Gill, and Radha (13) and Miekle (4) were both caught to leave UCC at 35-3 off 7 overs.  At a crucial juncture of the innings, ICCS knew that they had to break UCC's partnership of Dormer and Chetan and had a great chance as Dormer mis-timed a Gill full toss to long-on.  Fortunately for the men in brown, the chance was spilled and Dormer then proceeded to smash 2 sixes, and 3 fours on his way to 43* off only 30 balls.  Green (9) came in and proved solid support for Chetan, who continued in the same vain as his captain, scoring 22 from 16 balls including one massive six over long-on.  Vijesh (10*) and Malone (7*), who had heroically missed the final day of the test match in Columbo to play in the match, added on some valuable runs to leave UCC at 138/6 off their overs.  Vijesh's mighty straight six being the shot of the innings.  The bowling spoils for ICCS went to S.Shah with 3-24 and A. Sinha with 2-23.

With a defendable total on the board, UCC were confident and when Chetan (2-34) bowled Atul with a sweet in-swinging delivery, confidence grew even further.  However, up stepped N.Goel who smashed Chetan's second over for 20, with 4 consecutive boundaries including 2 sixes and 2 fours.  This was all the more remarkable as they were genuine cricket shots which were sweetly timed and, not so much for UCC, a joy to watch.  Just as UCC were starting to think it wasn't going to be their day with ICCS at 51-1 off just 7 overs, a horrendous mix up with the batsmen resulted in both batsmen being at the same end.  Praveen, at the bowlers end, throw to Jones, who gratefully took the ball, knocked out all three stumps and celebrated the wicket of Goel (27) who was looking unmovable and in ominously good form.  This moment seemed to breathe life into the UCC attack and Malone (1-15) trapped S.Shah (14) LBW and Chetan bowled Nikhil for 2 which left UCC firmly in-control at drinks with ICCS at 60-4 off 10 overs.

If Dormer and co had thoughts of wrapping the innings up quickly, Gill (12) and Samresh(9) had other ideas and built a patient partnership of 23.  With Miekle cramping up, Dormer turned to Radha (1-6) who yet again delivered a wicket, courtesy of a smart catch by Jones, who dived forward to his left to clutch onto ball, just millimeters above the turf.  With Samresh removed, Gill and Salil were both stumped by Chetan off Praveen (1-14) and Miekle (1-15) respectively and Vijesh put his stamp on the game by getting Manish caught behind, to the impressive Chetan, and running out Kanwar the very next ball, thanks to a diving stop and swift throw by the ever young Radha.  The final balls passed without incident and ICCS finished with 98, 40 short of their target.

This was one of the most rounded performances of the season.  Dormer and Chetan laid the foundations for a good total and credit has to go to Green who rotated the strike nicely and provided stability at one end which enabled the big hitters to play their game.  The bowling unit of Dan, Chetan, Vijesh, Miekle and Praveen all bowled tidy spells with much more control than previous games, evidenced by only 15 extras being conceded!  With the likes of Mijin and Radha waiting in the wings, the strength and depth of the squad will give Dormer some tough team selections in the upcoming weeks.  However, the spoils once again go to Chetan, who despite getting tanked in one over, bowled, batted, kept and celebrated every wicket with all of his energy and enthusiasm and deservedly won his second MOM trophy.  Well done boys!

UCC do the double over SACC (11th March, 2012)

UCC's season continued in brilliant fashion with a tense 7 run victory over SACC in a sun-baked afternoon in Saigon.  Thanks to a fantastic all round performance from Chetan with the gloves, bat and ball, good catching and the golden arm of vice skipper Radha, UCC took their winning ratio to 6-2 to virtually secure a spot in the end of season finals.

After winning the toss, Dormer decided to bat first which almost backfired immediately as Radha was run out in disastrous fashion in the second over.  Bad went to worse as an uncharacteristically out-of-sorts Dormer skied Furtado (2-22) to Ecott, and Meikle, so often the hero this season, fell in quick succession to leave UCC 20-3.  This brought Chetan to the crease to join Morris (19) to repair the early damage.  Despite getting off to a slow start, Morris hit 2 fours and a six before being ''opportunistically'' run out to R. Armstrong in slightly dubious circumstances.  Abheshik (8) and Jones (5) shared 22 and 24 run partnerships with Chetan, who was starting to look at his ominous best hitting 32 off 26 balls including 2 mighty straight sixes.  Chetan's demise brought new comer Donovan (11) to the crease, who added 25 for the 9th wicket with Vijesh (4) to take UCC to a respectable, if not spectacular, 123.  UCC gave long-on Robinson some easy catching practice, with 3 batsmen holing out to his safe pair of hands.

SACC's response got off in a very solid fashion.  Arguably the league's best batsman Robinson (3) opened the batting with SACC skipper R. Armstrong, who was dropped from a regulation chance at mid-on when barely off the mark, and saw off Vijesh's opening gambit and the lively Chetan, buoyed from his exploits with the bat.  Then, on the final ball of Malone's first over, the moment of magic UCC was looking for came.  Green, who was strategically placed on the 45 by Malone, anticipated a leg glance from Robinson who could only look on motionless as the agile Green took two paces to his left before driving to take a spectacular catch to the delight of his teammates.  However, any thoughts of a collapse, at least for the moment, were quashed as Cashion (13) and his skipper kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely to reach 57-1 at the interval and seemingly on course to their target against an unusually flat UCC team.   After drinks, Radha was entrusted with the 12th over, which appeared folly as Armstrong launched a 4 and then huge 6 off his first two balls.  Then, the breakthrough.  Armstrong tried to repeat the dose to Radha's third ball and only succeeded in skying it high.  Dormer, made a cup of tea, read the paper and comfortably held the chance to crucially deny Armstrong, 5 runs shy of his 40.  3 balls later, Radha struck again.  Cashion, losing patience, attempted to charge, missed, and quick as a flash Chetan had the bails off, actually all 3 stumps out of the ground, to leave the game interestingly posed at 72-3.  With the dangerous Connell (8) and Daley (1) still in the middle, the odds were still with the SACC, but that soon changed in the 15th over with Radha (4-20) once again proving to have a golden arm.  First, Daley fell in identical circumstances to Armstrong and then Connell sliced a drive high to cover where Malone took a nice catch on one knee.  With the score at 85-5 the tide had turned and where cool heads were needed, the comical run out of Ecott on the last ball of the over left the game firmly in UCC's control.  Despite a few wobbles and desperate boundaries, UCC fielded tightly and with Vijesh (3-16) to bowl the final over, they could have been forgiven for thinking the game was a formality with 12 runs being required.  With the first ball of the final over, Furtado (4) holed out to Dormer and with only 4 being scored from the subsequent deliveries (including another wicket for Mosquito with the final ball), UCC run out 7 run winners.

As always, UCC v SACC never disappoints.  Chetan and Geoff in particular dug UCC out of a big hole, and new boy Donovan certainly helped boost their tally to respectably in his first of many useful contributions.  In the field, Green's moment of magic might well have stopped a straight-forward run chase and UCC must have been glad it was Dormer under the catches of key men Armstrong and Daley.  The bowling unit, as always, was excellent but 35 wides remains a concern.  However, it was Chetan's game and UCC's big little man stole the show!  Next up for the men in brown (really need to work on that) is ISCS in a top of the table clash.

UCC pommel the poms!  (19th February, 2012)

Desperate to bounce back after a disappointing run chase against India B, UCC responded in the best possible style by slaying the English in a one sided contest.  Led by Meikle and Radha, UCC's batsmen backed up their bowlers to lay the platform for a comprehensive 60 run victory.

Dormer lost the toss (he's a useless tosser) and was fortunate when Thwaites inserted UCC into bat.  Radha (39) got proceedings off in an extraordinary fashion by smashing the second over of the day for 20.  Despite the early loss of Abhesik, Radha and his skipper looked to dispatch any lose bowling to the boundary and after 8 overs UCC were cruising at 63-1.  However, in trying to escalate the run rate even further, Dormer (24 off only 14 balls) holed out  (to what must be said was a ridiculously long square boundary), Chetan did the same, and Geoff was unlucky to be given out LBW to a ball which sounded like caught the edge of the bat.  At 69-4 at drinks, a rebuilding job was required.  After the resumption, Radha fell, 1 short of his 2nd retirement of the season, and Vijesh soon followed.  This left Meikle and Jones to rebuild an innings which was threatening to collapse.  After getting his eye in, Meikle hit several towering sixes and crunching fours in a magnificent and chanceless knock of 40 off only 23 deliveries.  Jones (13), playing the support role, also hit the boundary and despite losing some late wickets, UCC finished with a formidable total of 150-8 off their allotted overs.

In response, the English openers started in cavalier fashion by smiting UCC's talisman Vijesh for 2 sixes.  However, it was Vijesh (2-16) who made the first breakthrough with a truly astonishing caught and bowled to a ball that fizzed off Wood's (12) bat like a bullet.  The batsman froze in shock, the umpire applauded and UCC celebrated their first wicket.  This was promptly followed by 2 more as Chetan (3-14) was introduced into the attack.  He first bounced out Handscombe (8), thanks to a tumbling catch by Green, and then trapped Davies out LBW the very next ball.  The next wicket was particularly sweet when Chetan knocked out not 1, not 2 but all 3 of Beaumont's stumps out the ground to blow away the English top order.  Despite some resistance, ECCS never looked like getting the required runs and wickets tumbled at regular intervals.  Malone (2-20), Mijin (2-14) and Meikle (1-17) blow away the lower order with Geoff, Dormer and Abhesik all taking good catches.  The final wicket was taken by the man who started the procession, with Vijesh comically bowling England's number 11 Stein with a trademark slower ball to get UCC's campaign back on track.

Finally UCC's batsman have arrived.  In total, 6 sixes were struck and 9 fours were amassed, showing that they have the ability to make the fence without premeditating shots and putting away the bad balls.  Radha and Dormer set the early tone and MOM Steve's sensible hitting ensured a fantastic total and the bowlers, as always, proved that they are a force to be reckoned with.  Next up for UCC is Sri Lanka in 5 weeks where they will be looking to secure a berth in the end of season finals.  Viva UCC!

UCC slump to defeat against ISCS (5th February, 2012)

A disappointing batting performance led to UCC slipping to a disappointing 12 run loss against ISCS, who now sit pretty at the top of the VCA table.  More to follow....

Sri Lanka bowled over by Malone & Co (15th January, 2012)

On a game dominated by the ball, UCC earned a well deserved 30 run, bonus point victory against a strong Sri Lankan outfit to extend their unbeaten run to 4, leaving them sitting high and pretty at the top of the VCA tree.  Spearheaded by Dan Malone, UCC ripped through the much lauded SSC batting line up to skittle them for 56 to leave UCC with an impressive 4-1 winning ratio.

Dormer lost the toss and was relieved when Suhard opted to insert UCC into bat on a slightly dewy but bright Sunday morning in Saigon.  Party boy Chetan was initially drafted to open, but as he was late to the ground was demoted and replaced at the top of the order by Abhishek.  This wasn't the start Dormer would have wanted.  Radha (11) and Abhishek (13) got UCC off to a solid start.  In particular, Abi sought to take the attack to the Sri Lankans with a mighty six over long-off.  However, his demise to Joel (4-16) started the fall of regular wickets with no real partnerships forming.  Rohit (4) and Malone (2) both fell LBW to Joel while Dormer (8) tamely clipped Sam (3-24) to short midwicket.  Fortunately Hayden (10) and Chetan (10) both managed to hit boundaries to take UCC to 86 but that total seemed too low against a formidable batting line up.

UCC's prayer for early wickets was answered almost immediately in the 2nd.  Malone (3-11) removed danger man Bertie (0) with a delicious in-swinging yorker.  This was followed in the next over by Vijesh (2-7) removing Sudmedha (3) thanks to a top-class catch by Dormer at slip lunging low to his left.  The fourth over bought further success as Sri Lankan skipper was unluckily bowled round his legs via his flamingo leg by Malone to leave the tournament favourites reeling at 3-11.  This soon turned to 4-19 as Joel became Malone's third victim with middle stump being ripped out of the ground by another perfect, full length pearler. However, with opener Nalin and Dileepa still at the crease, UCC were still wary of the Sri Lankan threat.  This duo steadied the ship, playing carefully and not taking risks.  With the run rate increasing, the pressure on the batmen was starting to tell, and Dormer recalled Vijesh into the attack to try to break the threatening partnership.  This decision paid dividends immediately as a full length ball was lofted by Nalin (6) to Abhishek who took a smart catch running in from long-off.  This signaled the end of the Sri Lankan challenge as the final 5 wickets fell for just 16 runs.  Mijin and Rohit bowled tightly and with the batsmen being unable to pierce the field, Sam (5) went for a big heave over square leg where Jones made a simple catch rather more difficult by misjudging it before plucking it of the sky in-front of the dejected opposition. A couple of suicidal singles were attempted, all of which ended with the Sri Lankans being sent back to the pavilion and via a Dormer direct hit runout, UCC ended victorious. 

In a game where the highest score was 13, it is clear that the bowlers ruled the roost.  Despite the low scores, it was a fantastic game of cricket played in a great atmosphere.  Credit should go to the SSC bowlers for bowling a disciplined line and not allowing UCC's batmen many boundary balls, although some of UCC's shot selections have to be questioned.  However, UCC's bowlers were simply awesome.  Malone and Vijesh bowled great lines with controlled swing, leaving the batsmen with no answers.  Chetan bowled superbly (4 overs with only 6 runs conceded) and was unlucky not to take any wickets.  The number of extras stood at only 16, markedly lower than previous games.  Finally, the fielders backed up the bowlers by holding their catches, giving away no unnecessary overthrows and stopping everything that came their way. 

While there is undoubtedly room for improvement, especially in the batting department, UCC will be thoroughly satisfied with an outstanding performance in the field.  Well done lads!!

UCC win a Christmas Day cracker at the RMIT Oval (25th December, 2011)

UCC enjoyed a festive day victory, but they made hard work of chasing a relatively low target on a Christmas day show down.

Miekle guides UCC home against dogged SACC (4th December, 2011)

UCC bowler put on a fine performance, but it was the heroics of big man Steve Miekle who stole the headlines for UCC against a determined SACC outfit that refused to surrender the game.  SACC won the toss and decided to bat first on a glorious day for cricket.  However, he soon lived to regret it as the UCC bowlers ripped through the batting line.  Only skipper Armstrong (15 - but after being dropped twice), C. Armstrong (12) and Daley (13) made double figures as they were bowled out for just 80.  Mijin (2-7) took the best figures, but the most damage was done by Chetan, Malone and Vijesh who all took 2 wickets a piece to blow away the SACC top order.  However, UCC's response when they lost Radha, Chetan, Dormer and Asif in quick succession.  Suddenly 80 looked like a much better total.  However, Miekle (20*) played a chance-less knock and, with able support from Vijesh (13) and Malone (9 - including two magic lofted driven fours), he saw UCC cross the finish line with 4 balls to spare.  Credit must go to the SACC bowler who put up an incredible fight.  In particular Daley (3-21), C. Armstrong (1-8) and M. Ecott (1-8) all bowled with great discipline.  However, UCC will be thrilled to have finally beaten the SACC.

UCC smash ICCS (27th November, 2011)

Looking to bounce back after a disappointing lose against ECCS, a superb knock of 41* by Radha laid the foundations for an emphatic UCC victory.  After winning the toss, Dormer elected to bat first and his decision was justified as all of the top 5 hit double features.  However, it was Radha who stole the show, becoming the first man to retire for UCC with his runs coming off only 30 balls.  Miekle contributed 20 with some bit hitting, and Asif skipped in with a timely 19 to see UCC through to 149 off their allocated overs.  Swaroop was the pick of the bowlers, returning 3-17.  In reply, ICCS' batsmen never got going and Malone (2-21) removed both openers.  Puneet (19) was the only batsman to offer any resistance but ICCS were swept aside for 95 with Mijin taking exceptional figures of (4-9).

Rusty UCC lose season's opener (23rd October, 2011)

Showing definite signs of ring rust, UCC put in a disappointing performance to lose by 37 runs.  ECCS won the toss and decided to bat first at the RMIT oval.   The English batting line up took a positive attitude to the crease and looked to punish any wayward UCC bowling.  In particular, Davies (39) and Rowson (35*) dispatched any short and wide deliveries and amassed a competitive total of 133.  Radha (2-20) was the pick of the UCC bowlers with Mijin (2-31) and Abhishek (1-20) the only other wicket takers.  In response, UCC's batsmen never really got going and England took wickets at regular intervals.  Despite a determined 20 from Keshav and some big hitting from Suresh (18), UCC fell 37 runs short thanks to some tight bowling from Hopkins (2-13) and Rowson (2-15).  Overall, it was a below par performance and skipper Dormer will be expecting a much sharper performance against ICCS in their next outing.