Monday, 18 June, 2007

Rains spoil Poona Club’s party

B D Narayankar

PUNE: Overnight rains spoiled the party of Poona Club to make a match out of it on the final day’s play of their match against Solapur in MCA Senior Invitation League Tournament here on Monday.

Going by how the match ended, if Poona Club could have got 40-odd overs to play, they would have bundled out Solapur and successfully chased an easy target. But destiny had something for Poona Club in store.

The overnight rains had penetrated through the covers making one side of the wicket damp. The play could only start at 4 pm giving Poona Club an option to declare their overnight score at 183 for 6 and run through the rival’s innings in 24 overs. That certainly was a Herculean task.

When the match ended, Solapur were reeling at 179 for 7 in 24 overs. “If we had another session’s play, we would have scripted an outright victory. We knew we were on the top considering our bowling form. I and Fallah are in fine fettle,” Poona Club captain Ajay Chavan told Maharashtra Herald.

Solapur top-order could not negotiate Samad Fallah and Chavan’s pace for the second time in the match. Fallah cleaned up Mukhtar Kairatikar for naught and Chavan had Amol Sarwase caught for one.

After Nikhil Kotwal removed Maharashtra Ranji bat Pravin Deshetty for three, Solapur were tottering at 24 for three. Vaibhav Irabatti and Sarfaraz Sayyad put on 52-runs partnership thereafter for fourth wicket giving a remote chance for Poona Club to essay an outright victory.

Irabatti played some exhilarating shots to entertain his teammates, who were enjoying every stuff of his batsmanship. He scored a quickfire 60 runs studded with nine delightful boundaries. He departed after lobbing a running catch to Prem Ahire at short covers of Kotwal.

When Solapur realised that they were safe, their tailenders unleashed an array of shots in their typical style. Amol Chandan Shetty hammered five fours and a six in his 32-runs knock. Another was Munna Sheikh belting four fours in his 21-runs knock.

Mahesh also joined the party blazing 28 runs with four boundaries and a six to his credit.

Earlier, umpires Anup Ghosh and Anil Gajengi had their first inspection at 9 am and decided to have another inspection at 10.30 am as they were worried about the dampness on one side of the wicket.

The next inspection was conducted at 3.30 pm and Ghosh decided to resume play at 4 pm.

BRIEF SCORES: Solapur II Innings: 179 for 7 in 24 overs (Vaibhav Irabatti 60, Samad Fallah 2 for 33, Nikhil Kotwal 2 for 44, Ajay Chavan 1 for 24) drew with Poona Club I Innings: 183 for 6 dec; Solapur I Innings: 99 all out

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