KCC Won by 1 wkt
They 169/10 in 37.4 overs (Saxena 40, Amir Khan 36, Sumit Aggarwal 33, Sen 3/15, Chaturvedi 3/51)
We 172/9 in 39.2 overs (Sen 59*, T.Khan 20, Sikka 3/33, Ramachandra 3/36)
A superb game, which was played in great spirits, had more twists than a corkscrew and culminated in a nail-biting finish. LBS, having won the toss and elected to bat, got off to a flying start and at 100/1 in 14 overs, thoughts turned to whether we would be chasing 280 or 320. Sid Chaturvedi (3/51) and Sen (3/15) finally managed to apply the brakes in the middle overs. Two great catches in the outfield (Chaturvedi taking a blinder at square leg and Adi Nayar holding on to a swirling chance at the long-on boundary) shocked and delighted one and all, and precipitated a KCC-esque collapse as the dangerous LBS middle order slid to 116/8 in 24 overs. Parth Patel and Sumir Agarwal (33*) then put up some stubborn resistance at the end, but Tabrez chipped in with a tidy spell to restrict LBS to 169.
Any thoughts of an easy KCC win were quickly dispelled as LBS, led by skipper Deepak Ramachandra (3/36) and Patel (2/15), produced an impressive opening spell to get rid of Ghosh and Keleher early, and reduce KCC to 31/3 in 11 overs. Shahzeb departed (playing the memorably named but otherwise forgettable “vertical six”) after a promising start, butAtul SetiaandAmit Shankersteadied the chase and absorbed some tricky LBS bowling (Sikka 3/33) with no further damage done for the next 10-odd overs.
Still, at 74/7 after 25 overs, things were looking bleak for KCC. A nervous debutant skipperSaurav Senwalked out to join Tabrez with the aim of playing out the remaining overs and mentally rehearsing a face-saving post-match speech. But, aided by some friendly bowling and excellent support from the tail, KCC were able to pull off a stunning last-over, 1-wicket victory as last man Akhilesh finished things off in style with a 6 over mid-on, leaving a much-relieved Sen (59*) and indeed KCC with a distinct sense of a bullet dodged.