BSL 4: As it ended !!!
Mallick’s 50 helps Ayyannars clinch the title
BSL-IV came to a close last weekend with the Ravee Kumar led Assault Ayyannars (AA) prevailing over Nishanth AJ led Ravana Sena (RS), thereby preventing Nishanth from becoming the first captain to lift two successive trophies. There were many opportunities for RS to win the match, but Assault Ayyannars were able to hold their nerve and prevent that from being the case.
Here’s a full review of the final weekend of this exciting 6-week tournament:
Entertainer of the week: While most have struggled to time the ball on this slow wicket, there is one man who has hit the middle every single time and that is Tarun, VV’s stylish wicket-keeper and opening batsman. Tarun’s audacious assault on the hapless Thundering Typhoons bowling on Saturday paved the way for a VV triumph. His 46 off 29 balls powered VV to a very good score of 134 for 7. In all, he struck 4 fours and 1 six in his innings. His 152 runs in the tournament have come at a staggering strike rate of 138 and is not bettered by any batsman who has scored more than 50 runs.
Innings of the week: Yes, of course, this belonged to Saleem Mallick, who scored a run a ball 50 in the final against RS. Mallick came into bat when AA were 13/2 after 4.1 overs and stayed right till the end to see his team home. He remained calm despite the pressure of a run chase in a final and delivered AA the title. Mallick’s innings was gutsy, purposeful and he played the role of chief anchor quite ably.
Spell of the week: This belonged to Ikpreet whose second spell of 2-1-3-3 almost turned the match in favour of Centaurs in the first semi-final. When Ikpreet started his spell, AA were 80 for 3 after 14 overs, needing only 7 runs from 42 balls. The match looked done and dusted. But Ikpreet turned it around picking up Karthick S, Kishore DK and Shabarish and inspired TC to stage some sort of a fightback.
Catch of the week: The winner is Mr Sandeep Sathyanarayana. The catch in mention came during the first semi-final, and snapped an opening stand of 32 for AA just before the end of the Powerplay. Chetan G top edged a full-length delivery from Sandeep, and Sandeep sprinted as soon as he finished his delivery stride and took a low catch. It was dying on Sandeep, but he plucked it inches off the ground.
Comeback of the week: The winner for this is Karthik G. His first over saw him be carted for 2 boundaries and concede 9 runs. However, he proved his arm was still golden when he came back for his second spell, bowled 3 overs, conceded only 4 runs and got 3 wickets. His spell eventually helped skittle out Centaurs for a low score from a position of relative strength.
Runout of the week: Chasing a tough target of 135 in a crucial eliminator clash, TT started off in the worst manner losing Rishab Krishna to a scandalous runout. Rishab hit a cracking straight drive off Uday Bhaskar and it looked four the moment it left his bat. Unfortunately, the early morning dew conspired against him and the ball stopped inches away from the boundary. Meanwhile, Ravin had ambled his way to the striking end and thinking it was four, he turned his back to Rishab and started mock practicing his shots. When Rishab realized the ball had stopped short of the boundary he came screaming back for a second run. Unfortunately, Ravin, by then, was lost to his thoughts. By the time Rishab realized Ravin was not planning on running, it was too late. A shot that deserved four, eventually, resulted in only one run and yielded a wicket. Just the luck you need in a knock-out match, eh Vampires?
Shot of the week: There’s no rocket science about what you need to do when your team needs 19 off 6 balls – clear the fence. And that’s exactly what Uday Bhaskar of VV did in the second semi-final. First ball off his innings, Uday cleared his front leg and plonked Amith Kumar for a massive six over cover to give his team a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately, the very next ball, he was runout by the excellent Johnson Joseph and VV’s hopes all but disappeared with it.
Tragedy of the week: 4 finals. 4 losses. That’s the unwanted stat that Amith Kumar will have to live with from now on. Amith must definitely be wondering what he needs to do to ensure that his voodoo in the final ends. We feel you Amith, we feel you. Reaching the finals every single time is a credible achievement though and you deserve our respect for it Amith.