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Vivek's 5 wicket haul and a thumping win for ACC4

- by Vinodh Madras


It was a historic win for ACC4 after they thumped their opponents Hilversum2 by a massive 141 runs. Chasing 226, Hilversum2 could only manage a paltry 84 before being skittled out in the 27th over of the chase.

The chief architect of the win was Vivek Tiwari, who registered his return from injury with figures of 5/14 and ran roughshod with the opponents through his incisive bowling. Hilversum2 was restrained from the start of the chase due to tight bowling and sharp fielding by ACC4. The top
order couldn’t break free and fell prey to risky aerial shots at the beginning.
Once Vivek came in to the attack, he pretty much killed the chase by picking up
5 wickets in this first spell and conceding only 9 runs in the process.
Probably the best moment of the day was when he outfoxed Hilversum2 captain Partha with a ball
that swung a long way back in to completely flatten out the off and middle
stumps. He was well complemented by other quicks viz., Shankar, Sushant and
Girish, who kept the pressure from the other end. The destruction was completed
by the spinners, who cleaned up the tail and returned with a combined figures
of 3/14.

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Earlier in the day, Hilversum2 won the toss on a cloudy dayand decided to field first. Rather a strange decision, since many long time watchers of the club would agree that their template has always been to bat first, accumulate runs and defend it later with a volley of slow medium bowlers
bowling stump to stump lines. ACC4 were off to a solid start thanks to Vijay
and the ever dependable Ankush, who continued his purple patch this season.
They put together a 65 run opening stand with Ankush taking the lead role and
Vijay playing second fiddle. Once the first wicket fell, Vijay took the lead
and punished the bowlers with a series of boundaries and notched up his first
half century of the season and striking form just at the right time for his
team. Just when it looked like ACC4 were running away with the game, Hilversum
2 staged a comeback by picking 3 wickets in 3 overs and putting ACC4 in a spot
of bother. The innings was evenly poised at this moment, but Raviraj made his
intention very clear right from the word go by punching Hasnain Ali for a
boundary in his very first ball. He followed that up with a six and four in
Hasnain’s next over and milked 18 runs of that over and clearly shifting the
momentum of the innings. While Ravi showed his class, Arsalan at the other end
demonstrated his experience with some masterful strokes and together they
stitched up a partnership of 58 runs in 38 balls and set the stage for a grand
finish. At that time, it looked like ACC4 was well poised to post a score in
excess of 250. But a flurry of wickets towards the end meant that they were all
out for 225 in the penultimate ball of the innings.

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The result in the end made sure that these 2 teams swapped their places in the points table with ACC4 now placed at 3rd position and Hilversum2 being pushed to the 4th position. With the return fixture between these 2 teams scheduled for this weekend, the positions in the points table can
change once again. It all depends on whether ACC4 can continue their 4 match
winning streak or Hilversum2 make a remarkable comeback in their home turf.
With the KNCB rules for this year allowing top 4 teams from each pool to play
in the promotion playoffs, a win this weekend for ACC4 will consolidate their
position at number 3 and help them in their push for a top 2 finish by the end
of the season. Do remember that, the teams finishing in the top 2 spots of their
pools get 2 qualifiers matches (read 2 chances) to progress to grand finale and
the teams placed at 3 and 4 playing an eliminator and a qualifier each to
progress to grand finale. So there is still plenty to watch out for this