Wombats Dubai Super League 2016 – 17 Cricket
19th November 2016
Darjeeling asked a wombats yellow player ‘how it feels to represent the 2nd side of Wombats”. It was a question worth pondering upon, as the sledges were a plenty in this match.
A beautiful Friday morning started with the usual Whatsapp alarms predicting the performer of the day in a much anticipated game for Wombats Yellows against Darjeeling (DSL champs of the previous season).
Darjeeling won the toss and made the obvious decision of batting first on what looked like a true track. Darjeeling chose to start watchfully as their usually dependent opening pair ticked and scored leaving the Wombats attack without any success till the 10th over with the score at 69. Maybe the champions were finding their gear. Naqi Shah caught a sharp one of his bowling and made the first inroad. In walked a batsman who perhaps Darjeeling brought in case a fight breaks out. He swung, he missed and he returned, clean bowled by Naqi. Wombats were pretty happy with things at 103/2 in 15 overs. As the boundaries dried up, Darjeeling held the wickets and let the run rate drop with the occasional spikes. The boundaries started to flow and Wombats turned to their wildcard Munad Akbari who bowled with pace and heart creating three chances dropped off his bowling. However the drops didn’t proved costly as a mindless rush of blood saw Darjeeling lose 4 wickets in the last 2 overs and hence lose out on some valuable runs towards to the end.
183 to chase, small ground, no demons in the wicket, Game on Wombats!
Darjeeling started off with an attack that had a combined speed of 30 mph, a snail would be proud. Wombats snatched the advantage and took 31 off the first 4 overs. The lack of pace however had Yasir pop one back straight to the bowler, and Sherry got out LBW. Masam and Azaad kept the score ticking and Wombats stood at 69/2 in 10. The 12th over cast a spell on the batting side with Masam holing out while Azaad skied it high but only to cover. Wombats again lost both set batsmen. In walked the ever volatile, ever electrifying, ever mercurial Munad Akbari who reminded us why Shahid Afridi should never have retired and played on till eternity. It was pure entertainment. He banged the spinner for 4, 6, 6 and Wombats were again back in the game. A fast bowler leaped and galloped from the 30 yard circle, got 2 lucky wickets in the 17th over and the score read 131/6. These were nervous times for Wombats and Darjeeling sensed a kill. However these tricky moments were seen off by the “pocket dynamo” Munazzar and “the cool and calm” Abid through singles and some timely boundaries. While the fielders around them remained chirpy, Abid and Munazzar kept ticking off the runs bringing the target to 14 required off 18 balls.It took only 2 legal balls to finish the kill.
With a game of great ebbs and flows, Darjeeling asked a yellow player ‘how it feels to represent the 2nd side of Wombats”. I guess it was answered together with a message that Wombats are one.
The question now is if Darjeeling is capable of turning their fortunes around or will the last year winning prove to be a fluke. Only TIME will tell…
Both sides of WOMBATS continue to march on…