1st XI finish with a flourish

A good crowd gathered at RBCC for the final match of the season. This was a crucial game against ICCB, had results not gone our way then we could have been facing relegation.

There was a fair amount of tension in the air as the match started; this was only exacerbated when our captain, Muneeb, fell to the first ball of the second over and Sudhanshu went with the score on 15. Mishi and Jawad steadied the ship, putting on 150 for the third wicket before Jawad was given out LBW on 48. Mishi went on to score 126 off only 124 deliveries, a fantastic effort made all the more special because he was using Sairab’s bat, the one given to him by our late coach Farrukh. The big man must have sent us his blessing!

The other innings of note was a brisk 31 scored by young Afzal. Agonisingly he was the last man out with only 2 deliveries remaining; this meant that we had missed the opportunity to score valuable batting bonus points and meant that our score, 274 off 49.4 overs, might not be enough to keep us up. The pressure was now on our bowling attack…

Our lads went hard at the opposition and wickets fell regularly. Muneeb rotated his bowlers and was rewarded as 7 different players took wickets, the skipper leading the way by taking 2 for 13 off his 6 overs.

ICCB realised that they were unlikely to match Royal’s score but knew that a batting bonus point would keep them above us in the table; however, if we could bowl them out within 40 overs then the situation would be reversed. In a tense finish, Afzal took a catch off Sudhanshu that saw us dismiss ICCB for 162 with only 3 balls of the 40th over to come. This was a fantastic victory and the joy on the players’ faces was great to see. This was a hard-fought victory and needs to be the template for all our teams next season. As Muneeb said afterwards ‘A perfect example of our team spirit is that last inning when we all fielded together. We played as one team and for each other. That is how I want us to play going forward!

A special mention for Afzal who, following the disappointment of getting out in the last over, took 3 smart catches and pulled off a stunning piece of fielding that will live long in the memory. He caught a certain 6 in mid-air and before his feet touched the floor threw the ball back in to play so that Mishi could take the catch. Well played!

Congratulations also to Dom, making his first team debut, big thanks to Channi as 12th man and also to Chris & Max for scoring.

And the crowd went wild…

It has been an eventful season; we have won trophies, suffered relegation and organised a successful tour. Through it all the players and supporters have stuck together in true RBCC fashion. See you all at the Club Dinner in a couple of weeks!

Match Scorecard