In the 4th game of the Lincoln Clarke Trophy 2020 which took place on 16th of February, Aztecs and Reforma faced each other for the first time this season. Let us find out how Reforma got an upper hand over Aztecs.
Chasing a target of 144, Reforma were off to a flying start with 16 runs coming from the first over. Thanks to a flurry of boundaries scored by opening batsman Pavan Chaitanya Satyavolu 18(15), Reforma were quick to move to 28 in the 4th over before he was caught by Puneet Arora at point, in the bowling of Bhargav Miriyala. In at no.3, Ketan Shah was given a breather, the first ball he faced, by the fielder at backward point. The other opener, Waseem Tabrez 7(14) kept hanging at the other end till he was cleaned bowled by off-spinner Praveen Krishnan. Reforma's scorecard read 49/2 at the end of 7th over. While Ketan was scoring with ease at one end, luck didn't favor the no.4 Jagdeesh Umanath when a straight ball he defended rolled back onto the stumps to dislodge the bail. At no.5, Daniel Buys started off his innings with his usual attacking flair and added a quick 23 off 13 balls along with Ketan for the 4th wicket. He was caught out by Bhargav at backward square leg, in the bowling of Praveen. Reforma 85/4 in 11 overs. Then came in to bat, Reforma Captain Rama Krishna Inampudi, was quick to cash in on the looseners bowled by Suchit Misra with two huge hits over the boundary. 38 required in 7 overs.
With required run rate just under 6, both the batsmen in charge nudged the ball around the ground to keep the scoreboard ticking. Later, Rupesh Singh produced consistent turn with the ball and was successful to remove the left handed Ketan 43(43), who was caught at cow corner. No.7 Nithin Kumar Shetty and Rama Krishna kept their cool to deal with some good overs from Aztecs bowlers Harish Kumar and Gavish Kumar towards the end of the innings. With 7 runs required to win in the last over, a 4 and a 6 from Rama Krishna sealed the game for Reforma, with 3 balls to spare.
Earlier, Aztecs won the toss and elected to bat first. Left hander Rupesh Singh and Captain Gaurav Dutta opened the innings for Aztecs. Reforma bowlers were quick to remove this reputed batting pair who had 50+ partnerships in their earlier games of the season. Rupesh skied a length ball in the bowling of Rama Krishna and was caught superbly by wicket keeper Daniel Buys running towards the fine leg. At no.3, Puneet Arora opened his innings with a boundary towards the deep backward point and was given a life in the subsequent over when he was dropped at long off. Gaurav didnt stay long at the crease, he gave a simple return catch to Nithin Kumar Shetty. Aztecs 31/2 at the end of powerplay. Then came in Rohit Galgalikar, who along with Puneet carefully dealt the formidable Reforma attack while pouncing on those rare loose deliveries. Rohit 20(17) hit two huge sixes in the over of Mainak Dalal but was later caught out behind the wickets in the bowling of medium pacer Waseem Tabrez. Puneet and Rohit's partnership added 40 runs to the Aztecs scorecard in just 39 deliveries. Praveen Krishnan at no.5 couldn't last long as he missed a full toss and was cleaned bowled by Waseem.
Suchit Misra in, Aztecs 82/4 at the end of 13 overs. Suchit gave good support to Puneet who at one end was making use of the bowlers pace to guide the ball to boundaries. After adding 21 runs to the scorecard along with Puneet, Suchit was caught out by debutant Benjamin Rees at short mid-off in the bowling of Dilip Nallapareddy. Aztecs moved to 103/5 in the 18th over. Just when Aztecs required a strong finish, Puneet put forward a brilliant display of batting. He scored 3 fours and 3 sixes and amassed 33 runs to his score in his last 11 deliveries. This took Aztecs to a more than decent score of 143/5 which didn't seem possible 3 overs earlier. Puneet stood not out at 64 off 48.
In the end, Puneet Arora's brilliance with bat was overshadowed by the batting effort of Ketan Shah and Rama Krishna who had the luxury of the flying start provided by Pavan Chaitanya at the start of the innings. Man of the match was awarded to Rama Krishna Inampudi for his 36*(26) and 1 wicket.
For complete scorecard, team details and other stats from this game, click here.