After Round 1 of JCA, Tigers have 3 centurions. And highest ever partnership for tigers. A mammoth 279 run partnership!
A ruthless demolition of Wombats in Div 1 and a painful annihilation of the Sharks in Div 2!
I know, one swallow does not a summer make, but what an emphatic start Tigers have made this season..Ominous signs for all the teams out there!!
A highly satisfying and thrilling thing is that a couple of wonderfully skillful players, after an ordinary season last year have begun this season with a gorgeous 100 each, Rahul in Div 1 and Jonty in Div 2. I couldn’t see Rahul’s 100 live, but today I was to witness one of the classiest 100s ones will ever see.
After losing the toss, Tigers were put into bat and the opening over itself had drama. Clements, a tall and gangling young fast bowler, who’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in future’ rocked Tigers with 2 jolts. Clean bowling Neeraj with a fast yorker and forcing Bharat to pop up a catch to the short mid wicket of the next ball. 2 down for nothing, Tigers were in some pressure. The rebuilding process began with Jonty on one side and a debutant Kushal on the other end.
Kushal a well built tall guy, who already had a high reputation about him, set about proving why it was.
His innings could be split into 3 stages. First, a responsible consolidation period, to stage the initial recovery for Tigers, then after crossing his fifty, a loose period of play, where he tried to accelerate and provided a couple of chances, and the 3rd stage from around 80 to his final score of 124 where he was at his authoritative best. One shot stood out. Maybe the shot of the day for me. When Clements came in for a second spell and bowling fast, to a short of a good length ball outside the off, Kushal stood tall and played a short arm jab through extra covers with such power and timing, nobody in the field moved. Not even the fielder at the boundary. The ball crossing the fence like lightning. And his effortless pickup shots to the leg side boundaries also were wonderful.
At the other end, Jonty played a high-quality inning.
An innings which had class written all over it. Silky cover drives, classy cut shots adorned his innings. Even against some very slow spinners, the timing and the power of his wrists produced strokes of such velocity and elegance it was indeed a sight to behold.
And above all, this was a chanceless inning! Well, over no 29.5, he was beaten once going for a square cut, that’s the only time I remember him even getting beaten!! Being nicknamed for his electric fielding, he just showed what a skillful and classy batsman he is. And so these two came at 3/2 and after a 279 partnership, Kushal left caught off a tired shot.
The rest were formalities, duly completed by all the bowlers after a typical rusty start, picked up their pieces and dealt a heavy defeat for the Sharks.
And the icing on the cake was, we all were to witness the catch of the JCL 2019 already!! Yes, the always endearing lovable Puneet, providing that magical moment.
A stunning caught and bowled, after the momentum of his bowling follow through taking him to the leg-side, he had to stop, change direction and literally fly to his right, with his body in the air parallel to the ground, and holding a one-handed return catch!! Wow, that was a goosebump moment!!