Match 9 – Marching on
First game of the second half of the season, Siyapa played away at Knight Riders home ground at Groats Road, a traditional stronghold for them. Knight Riders won the toss on a hot Aberdeen summer day (it is now a real thing!) and put Siyapa in for bat. Saad khan and in-form Shahram opened the innings for the visitors. They both gave a solid start with regular rotation of the strike and without taking much risks. In the first ten overs Siyapa had scored 34 runs without a loss and seemed well set for a good total.
Saad was the first batsman to go who got run out, owing to some good fielding by KR and poor calling between the batsmen. Captain Salman joined Shahram in middle at the score of 48. The experienced duo carried the innings further with both senior batsmen showing their class by hitting boundaries at any lose delivery and making regular singles. Shahram departed at the total of 73 with his individual score of 32 when he was trying his favourite cut. Next came in Bilal who started in his natural lazy (but elegant!) way and supported his skipper who carried on his sublime form of the season. Both of them took the score to a healthy 147/2 in 31 overs with Salman completing his yet another half century. Unfortunately for him he too edged and got caught at slips.
This brought a yet another Siyapa collapse where they lost 5 middle and lower middle order wickets for only 18 runs with three ducks.
It took the company of the vice-captain Naveed and all rounder Asif to restore some order and bring an end to the batting ‘siyapa’ (Chaos). Both of them negotiated the KR bowlers for almost 9 overs and managed to take the team beyond 200. Naveed only got out on a ball which remained low and hit the stumps but by then the team had reached a decent score to defend. The score of 220/9 had good contributions from Asif Yousaf (30 n.o), Bilal (30), Saad(21) and Shahram (32). Salman (55) was the top scorer yet again and lead the team from front.
After a nice lunch break KR started their innings and Siyapa’s new ball bowlers, both Naveeds started in their usual economical fashion, maintaining tight lines and length. Naveed Ahmad was rewarded early in with the first scalp of V. Nair (3) when batsman was caught behind by Bilal and batsman walked out without waiting for umpire’s signal. He didn’t have to wait long for his next wicket as he managed to get a splendid reflex catch of V. Nangia (4), taking KR to 13/2 in five overs. Naveed ul Husnain got the 3rd wicket from the other end further making KR 3 down at 29. This brought the KR’s veteran captain P Ballal who has carried the batting many times in the past but this time his stay in the middle was not long as he got cleaned up by Shahid’s in-coming delivery which stayed bit low and captain had to depart in a rather unlucky way.
KR were 4 down at 46 in 15 overs and were needing a bit of control. The fifth wicket provided that adding 40 runs in the next 7 overs. Team Siyapa’s march towards victory seemed to have paused but Salman brought himself into the attack and broke the partnership by cleaning up the opener R. Pamdas (26) who had been on the crease for 23 overs. He also introduced Umer from the other end to escalate the over rate. Both the spinners bowled well in tandem with Umer also managing a caught and bowled. At this stage game was looking well in control of Siyapa but another consolidation phase came in when 14 years old young lad from KR stood solid against spinners and helped to take his team’s score to 135 for 6 in 34 overs. It seemed at this stage that match is turning into another close finish but this changed with Siyapa’s captain decision to bring in Naveed Ahmed who took wickets on regular intervals in his second spell to finish at miserly figures of 32/5 in his 10 overs. At end of his spell KR were 180 odd with three overs left and last wicket standing between Siyapa’s victory. It didn’t take long as Shahid made a good fielding effort and his furious throw from the cover boundary last man got the last man run out. Siyapa got another well-deserved victory and they ended the day with 31 runs comfortable win.
As a whole team batted, fielded and bowled well but the pick of the day was batting of Salman who scored yet another 50, and bowling of Naveed Ahmad who managed the team’s 3rd five-for of the season.
The summer and Siyapa marches on….
PS: Grades have conveyed the decision of awarding the Ellon-Siyapa game to Siyapa, better late than never. Match report for the game will be updated soon (drum beats......)