TROJAN CRICKET CLUB
University of Southern California
Popovich Panthers vs Cromwell Champs match reportFeb 09, 2016 10:18 PM | Popovich Panthers won by 27 runs | Scorecard
Popovich Panthers and Cromwell Champs met for the first time since the CPL Fall 2015 Final and both teams were looking for the 1st win of 2016 season.
New faces on both teams but the result was no different from the previous 4 meetings - a Panthers win and yet another Rana Aijaz duck. Rana Aijaz has been in the batting form of his life since Fall 2015, but in the last 4 meetings against the Panthers, the veteran has scored four ducks against 4 different bowlers and in 4 different ways. The pendulum is sure to shift some time, given Rana's talent and ability reservoir, but it didn't happen last Friday.
Panther's had a nail-bitting loss against the Viterbi Vultures in the last game and the defending champs were looking to get their 2016 campaign started with a W against their favorite rivals - CC. Tarun Sandhu, won the toss and elected to bat. With their regular opener Sushil Premjani still unavailable, Sandhu stepped up to open the innings with rookie Ravindra Jain (18). Both the openers put on a solid stand of 50 plus in 6 overs. Gaurav Mathur (25), got locked in to the CC bowlers and hammered a flurry of sixes to boost the innings. Tarun (48) fell short of his half-century and the Panthers were 100/3 in 10 overs. Veteran Ankur Saxena (51) put on a show in the last 5 overs as he smashed the CC bowling attack all over the park. A brilliant innings highlighted by 6 home runs for Ankur bolstered the PP score towards 175. Raj Kansagra, played a solid supporting role to add 21 valuable runs as well. Hima and Sruthi added bonus 10 runs in the girl over to add to the lead.
Cromwell Champs were chasing 186 and skipper Suhas B Shekar and Nayan lead the way with a flying start. Suhas flayed the veteran PP bowling attack as CC were 50/0 in the 4 powerplay overs. Sandhu turned to rookie Hamza Malik and Hamza provided respite as he picked up Suhas at Long Off. Very next ball, Rana lofted one to long off again and Ashish Relan took a brilliant diving catch to dismiss the former skipper. CC could never recover from this double strike by Hamza. Ravi Lingineni, provided excellent support on the other end and cleaned up Nayan as well. Ankith Nagarle and Vidya added some consolation runs for CC. Hima was reliable as ever as she conceded only 6 runs in the girl over.
A solid win for the Panthers to get their campaign started. Ankur Saxena with his 51 off 21 balls and Hamza Malik with the ball, were the star performers for the Panthers. They will look to build on this start as they take on the rejuvenated Marshall Sixers in the next game.
Good Luck to the Cromwell Champs for the rest of the season.