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Quick III – Forgotten but fighting on

Gepubliceerd op 11 mei 2016 door Krijn Vrolijk

Quick III verloor afgelopen zondag van VRA III. Hieronder verslag van Harshan Athureliya.

The reward for an outstanding and inspirational season for Quick III, was promotion to a higher division for 2016. The punishment for that same outstanding season was to be left forgotten, our players “poached” to play in the IPL (well to play for the “all-stars” that are Quick I and Quick II). The cricketing hierarchy had claimed its first victim, ignoring the well known adage that a team which sticks together, wins together. The camaraderie and solidity which brought so much success last year had evaporated, given the successful attempts to “take the team out of the team”, we were left begging for players. At the outset, credit must be given to the four players from other teams who stepped up to the plate to help us out for the first game. Ton who keenly took on the role of gloveman and to Jordan, Tycho and Bob who bolstered our depleted ranks from the Under 16s. Without them, we would have been forced to inauspiciously forfeit the very first game of the season.

Sunday, started on this very shaky foundation, and with a player calling in sick at the last minute, we started with 9 players for a daunting trip to play VRA in Amsterdam! Here was the equation, compared to last year. Four of our top five batsmen (including our two openers), our regular keeper, our opening bowlers and first change bowler, all reported missing in action. The odds are stacked heavily against us, but we are keen to enjoy the beautiful summer day, the turf wicket we got to play on, the shared love of cricket and the team spirit which has always flowed through Quick III.

Having lost the toss we field first. We set two targets, to compete for ourselves and make the opposition work hard. We achieve both objectives with ease. The bowling and fielding was disciplined against a batting line up which seemed technically sound and formidable. We stuck to the basics of line and length, rotated the bowling and backed each other up in the field. Given the circumstances, it was a day for everyone to try their hand at the bowling crease, we used each of the eight fielders to bowl at least two overs each. I was particularly impressed with young Tycho who showed great flight and control with his left arm orthodox spinners. He had the batsmen guessing and claimed the first wicket of the day. Bob and Jordan were particularly impressive with their disciplined medium pacers, with Bob picking up a classic dismissal dismissing their number 3 for a duck, caught behind. At the half-way mark, VRA had shown the bowlers great respect, but had kept wickets in hand for the final push. The team as a whole held on bravely, despite a few balls disappearing into the canal, we restricted them to a score 251 on a hot day and big boundaries.

We were left scratching our heads about who could open the batting. Coen put up his hand and went in to bat with Tycho. The instruction was clear, forget the scoreboard and try to bat through the first few overs. While there weren’t many runs scored, the openers managed to navigate past the challenges of the first five or six overs, before they both fell in quick succession with the score at 2 for 13. This brought Oliver and Harshan to the crease. Knowing we had only a few batsmen left in the shed, we set our sights on surviving and scoring runs with as few risks as possible. The score ticked over, with quick singles, doubles and the occasional boundary. 250 seemed a distant, distant prospect, but we knew that if we batted out the overs this would be a moral victory for the team and with a bit of luck we could get close to the target.

The opposition was clearly getting a little frustrated, expecting us to give in and fold the innings, with a shortened batting line up and the required run rate climbing. But the partnership grew from 10 to 20, to 50, to 75 and then 100, 150, and Quick felt like we had an outside chance of pulling off the most unlikely win. With both Harshan and Oliver passing their half centuries the much needed acceleration came. With 10 overs left and 117 runs to win, we went into the drinks break believing we could do it, and VRA for the first time was feeling a little nervous. Unfortunately 117 was a bridge too far, and as the rate climbed and bigger shots were called for, Oliver was dismissed for 72 and then Harshan for 85, the steam ran out of the engine. It was a truly memorable partnership of 172 runs! We scrambled to 208 for 7, losing the game, but by no means defeated. Very proud of the effort by the boys against all the odds. Well done all round!

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