Skipper Ajish blasts 44 Ball 82 to help IndiaFirst Life Insurance beat CCD Blasters in the CCD’s Progressive Cup 2019

It was Day 1 of the prestigious and highly competitive Progressive Cup 2019 organised by Cricket Club of Dombivali (CCD). IndiaFirst Life Insurance was pitted against CCD Blasters at the Sonale Cricket Ground, Bhiwandi, Kalyan on the 5th of January 2019. Blasters is one of the 3 Teams from CCD participating in the T20 Tournament. With 4 Teams each in 3 Pools, the Top 4 Teams based on a single Points Table (for the 12 Teams) would move on to the Qualifier/Eliminator Rounds à la the IPL.

IndiaFirst Life won the Toss and elected to Bat on a Pitch that looked hard and was devoid of any grass. The first Ball lofted Boundary by Skipper Ajish Abdul Rehman to the Covers fence was a sign of things to come. The second Over saw a sequence of 6, 4, 4, 4, launching IndiaFirst onto a rousing start. Though the other Opener Pushkar Sharma got out for 7 after the Score was 37/0 in 2.5 Overs, Vice Captain Ramana Meesala (20 off 12 Balls, 4 Fours) put on a Partnership of 53 with his Skipper. Akhtar Shaikh scored a quickfire 36 in 18 Balls with 4 Fours and a Six to put together 54 Runs with Ajish before getting out Lbw. All the while Ajish was blazing his way through with some exquisite Shots. Eventually he got out after scoring 82 off just 44 Balls that consisted of as many as 14 Boundaries along with a Six.

IndiaFirst’s Run Rate was around 11 per Over throughout. But the last 16 Balls saw a Partnership of 60 Runs from Babli Sharma (25 in 13; 2 4s, 2 6s) and Wasim Sayyed (29 in 8; 2 4s, 3 6s), before the Innings was inexplicably declared closed by the Umpires as Blasters could only complete 17 Overs in the stipulated time. IndiaFirst finished at 215/4 in 17 Overs, looking good to score at least 270 had the full quota been completed. The 17th Over had yielded 35 Runs. Between all the carnage, Sunil Mane (3-1-20-1) bowled really well. Though Swapnil Patil took 2 Wickets, he went for 57 Runs in his 3 Overs.

In reply, needing almost 12.7 Runs per Over, Blasters were never in the game after being 11/4 in 4.2 Overs and 37/6 in 8.5. No. 8 Vaibhav J played a lone hand, being unbeaten on 53 from 33 Balls that consisted 8 Fours and 2 Sixes, while the IndiaFirst Skipper tried out his non-regular Bowlers in the latter half. Nitin J (18) and Prasad Surve (17) provided some resistance.

Pacer Dharmendra Gupta was the pick of the Bowlers with a spell of 4-1-13-2 with twice rattling the Stumps. A bullet throw by him from the deep got Prasad Run Out with a Direct Hit. The other Opening Swing Bowler Imtiyaz Khan also bowled well taking 2 for 14 in 3 Overs. Medium Pacer Sandeep Shetty also took 2 Wickets for 21 Runs in 3 Overs. Wicket-keeper Babli bowled tidily for a short spell of 2-0-11-1. Finally, Blasters ended up with 113/9 in 17 Overs, thus losing by a high margin of 102 Runs to IndiaFirst Life. Their Innings consisted of 4 Ducks. Ajish was adjudged Man of the Match for his superb Innings.


Ajish Rahman


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