The good news for Team Nafis continued today as Team Aftab trampled Team Nazmul in an incredibly one-sided match here today. The Nazmul batsmen were no match for the class of Piranha and the unpredictability of the pitch.
Piranha was simply unplayable taking 4/27 from 7 overs and destroying the top order. His first two overs were solid as he built up rhythm. Tehsin then assessed the conditions and a change of ends was in order. It was a great move as Piranha bowling with the wind picked up a wicket with his first ball from the scoreboard end. It swung in and was simply too quick for Jubaitca and thatís where the day ended. His next two ball beat Sakin comprehensively and on Sakinís third ball he offered a simple chance to the slip cordon. It was poor batting and footwork was lacking as he played away from his body.
Tintin and Akaís main objective was to see off Piranha and then build a partnership. Tehsin outsmarted them though, as soon as he saw Tintin leaving everything outside off he pulled Piranha out of the attack, keeping him fresh and using him as a shock bowler. At the other end Chinaman was bowling tight and tying down the batsmen, playing the supporting role to Piranha. For the overs he was off the pair looked at scoring runs and was successful as they took 11 off a Tehsin over.
Piranha was re-introduced to bowl his fifth over and had immediate success. Bowling a top nut, full and swinging away, tempting Tintin to drive and finding the outside edge. Piranhaís delight was obvious, after a disappointing first season he showed great form and rhythm. Pundit was brought in from the other end and dropped an easy catch. It was a half-volley which Aka looked to hit back over the bowler and into the sightscreen. He however didnít quite get under it and hit it straight back at Punditís right hand. Pundit did well to get two hands to it but the ball was on him too quickly and down went the chance. It wouldnít prove costly though as Piranha got him next over with a classic sandshoe crusher. Aka was just not good enough for the in swinging yorker. Not only did it strike him on the toe, but it was plumb LBW and he hit his foot with the bat. Piranha celebrated his best one-day figures as Aka limped off the ground with a while compiled 40.
At 4/81Tehsin, not going to risk injury or fatigue pulled Piranha out of the attack and brought in Navarene. With his first ball Rana played a poor shot to Tehsin at cover. The ball wasnít there to hit and Rana threw his wicket away and failed to score his first run. A big innings was needed by Oracle. The only way they were going to get out of it is if Oracle batted with the tail and scored triple figures. On 15 he was dismissed by the catch of the season. We thought it would be hard to beat Zephaniahís effort but Radicalsami jumped high and plucked the ball out of mid air well over his head. Oracle picked the length early and hit it well. Off the bat he must have thought it was a certain boundary and was amazed at what he saw.
Chinaman came back into the attack and found the penetration that he was lacking in his first spell. His first wicket came as a batsmanís mistake, getting a leading edge to Navarene in the gully but it fired him up to more success. His next ball was an absolute jaffer. The ball shaped away and off a good length seamed further away. TAIF got behind it and in the end did very well to get anything on it, edging it into the gloves of AgentSmith. The modest crowd awaited the hat-trick as batting bunny Mona came in to face. Chinaman stayed over the wicket and shaped the ball across the left hander, it found edge but fell short and wide of the cordon. That wasnít the end though.
Shaoun fought well and delayed the inevitable but Chinaman got him, offering AgentSmith his third catch. Mona fell victim to Asif Rahman and theyíd collapsed to 101 all out. It was a poor display from Team Nazmul who would have been looking to show the other teams they can be competitive. Instead, the inexperienced showed as they were no match to the opening bowlers.
Chinaman and Piranha did a great job, Chinaman being good support for Piranha in the opening spell, helping him to claim his four victims. Tehsin handled Piranha very well but the big test will come next week when Piranha has to bowl longer spells. We hope he wonít be blessed with another bowler friendly pitch and the Virginia curator will get his act together. When Chinaman bowled alongside part-times he found that extra gear and stopped any chance of a late order fight back, almost picking up a hat-trick along the way. The two bowled very well in tandem and showed why they were so successful in Sri Lanka.
101 would never be enough but the bowlers hoped they could send a few shudders to the order. It didnít happen and they didnít land the ball on the seam enough. TAIF bowled a good first spell without luck. Asif Rahman isnít known to be tied down and swept TAIF over the ropes, taking advantage of the short boundaries. TAIFís confidence was dented after this and started bowling more defensively, allowing the openers to bat their way in. Jubaitca was poor from the other end bowling too many loose balls and not showing any signs of control.
The change of bowling was affective as LateCut produced a chance in his first over. It was a fine ball that found the edge of Punditís bat but Tintin failed to back up the bowler. Shaoun got some harsh punishment, his first over going for 13 but didnít lose his head and bounced back to keep his next over to only two runs. In between those two overs the first wicket fell, Pundit played it to Monaís left at gully and set off. Pundit didnít end up close due to a direct hit and the fact that he didnít realise it was Monaís strong side. It was the last wicket Team Nazmul would get however as the batsmen strangled all life out of the Nazmul attack.
Asif ďThe ManĒ Rahman took a liking to Tintinís left arm spin and dispatched him to the boundary in consecutive balls to bring up his second fifty of the series. Nasif and Asif Rahman conquered the pitch and backed their ability and as a result brought up the win after only 17.2 overs.
Team Nazmul lacked depth in their batting line-up and penetration in their bowling. Serious offers should be put forward to get Unknown or IanW out of retirement; otherwise I canít see anything but a wooden spoon ending up in New Jersey. Oracle has a lot of work to do if his charges are to be competitive in the four-day match starting on Wednesday.
It was a completely different story for Team Nafis, having two of the best pacers working together and it such form is something that doesnít happen very often but they took full advantage of it. Piranha sent shivers down the other teamís spines today with a man of the match performance and the top order performed again. Asif Rahman looks in fine touch and will be hoping for more time at the wicket on Wednesday.
The first four-day match takes place at Virginia on Wednesday and we hope not to see the rabble we saw today.