Catches win matches
This game will be well remembered by BICC players for a long time, for several reasons. Mohsin Nawaz announced at the end of the game that he was stepping down as captain, and taking a break from playing for a few months; there was a superb innings from Stu Boyd; and it was the final of the elongated Slog Fest that had been delayed by a few months. It was BICC’s chance to show Men In Blue who was really the king of cricket in Barcelona…
Mohsin won his final toss and decided that we would bat first. Out went regular opener Hamza Baig and debutant Umair Iqbal. Off the very first ball Hamza took a wild swing and the edged the ball over the fence behind him, out! Following a prolonged delay in trying to get the ball back, Stu Boyd kicked off his innings. He was soon given a lifeline, as he was dropped without having scored. Following this, the two batsmen built a monster partnership of 119 during which Stu was dropped again from a difficult chance at short fine leg. He continued to punish MIB for their mistakes and passed 50 with a huge six, before Umair, denied the strike for most of the partnership, was bowled for a fine 27. In came Damien McMullen (8), who decided to leave a straight ball and was bowled. Then came Mohsin, who was dropped on his way to eight, kindly offering Pandian at long on a second opportunity to catch him. In at 6 was Anish Shindore, who became the third batsman to offer MIB catching practice, and the third to get away with it! At the other end, Stu survived a scare as he was bowled off a dead ball (as it pitched short of the matt), before finally reaching his century in the following over. Unknowingly on 99, he sliced the ball up into the offside. Everyone on the side-lines, knowing that he was on 99, watched in panic as the ball went straight towards a fielder, only for him to drop it! The batsmen scampered through for two runs and everyone celebrated! But he wasn’t quite done yet… Anish fell soon after for thirteen, and Sid Tewari came to the wicket. Stu smashed four more sixes to end up on 130 not out, with Sid finishing on six from his three balls. BICC had set a very challenging 211 for MIB to win from their 20 overs.
Mohsin decided to open with himself, alongside another debutant in Rez Hassan. Their first overs went for just five and seven runs respectively, setting a good tone for the innings. A more expensive third over was followed by a wicket in the fourth, with Rez claiming his first BICC wicket. Mohsin took himself off, probably to calm down after the traditional dropped catch off of his bowling. Sid came onto bowl in the fifth over, and like the openers had a cheap first over. In the following over, MIB opener Shankar fell foul to the same local rule as Hamza had in our innings. Rez finished his four overs with impressive figures of 1-23, and Sid took a break having gone for just 12 from his two overs. Umer Razi and Stu came on to bowl, both keeping the pressure on and the required run rate going up. Umer took a wicket in his first over, bowling Prasanna as he tried to reverse sweep it, and Stu took one in his second over, having Shubh caught behind by Hamza. Naresh and Harpreet came to the crease, facing an evermore daunting task. The two built a good 55 run partnership, before the former was run out following some confusion by Anish. With MIB now requiring over 20 an over, Mohsin brought back Sid for one over, with Stu finishing his four overs at the other end, matching Rez’s figures of 1-23. For the final over, outgoing skipper Mohsin came back on trying to get himself a wicket. MIB required 43 runs, meaning the game was done and dusted. They scored ten off the final over, but sadly Mosh couldn’t get his wicket. But BICC had won the game and the first edition of the Slog Fest cup!
Everyone did whatever the 2020 equivalent of shaking hands is, took a couple of team photos, congratulating Stu for his fine knock and Mohsin for his near four years as captain. We retired to our favourite chiringuito Tropical Jesu, for the first time in six months for a celebratory tipple. Mohsin gave a farewell speech and announced Sid as the new captain. Sid himself then gave his own speech and announced Stu as his vice-captain. Roll on the next season of the Slog Fest cup!
Long Live the Supreme Leader.