Knights stage a coup over the Royals
Oct 10, 2008
Match Report: Knights Vs Royals - 10/4/2008 - Warinanco Park - 2 pm
The second match in Warinanco Park on Oct 4th, 2008 featured the NJ Royals, led by former Ranji player Aditya Mishra and the NY Knights - a team filled with young all-rounders. The Royals with their experienced line-up were expected to win over the talented but inexperienced Knights.
Knights vs Royals action
The Knights won the toss and inserted Royals to bat on a pitch that seemed two-paced from the earlier game. The weather had warmed up by now and the afternoon sun had removed the dampness that had engulfed the outfield during the morning match. Aditya Mishra and Naved Gul opened the batting for the Royals to face the Knight’s bowling attack of Kirk Higgins and Fahad Mughal. The Royals suffered the first blow when Aditya Mishra was dismissed in the very first over, bowled by Higgins after scoring 2 runs.
Young Knights electrifying the NJ T20 with some sharp fielding
In a complimentary manner, Mughal got rid of the other opener Naved Gul in the second over. To add insult to injury, Higgins and Mughal combined to take the wickets of Rajiv Nigam and Muhammad Nisar in the next couple of overs and Aditya’s team was looking anything but royal at this stage. Asghar Kazim and Mushtaq Ahangar managed to put up some resistance for a short while before Asghar was caught at deep backward square leg trying to hit his way out of trouble. While the procession of the Royals batsmen continued, the Knights kept up the attack and did not give any of the Royals batsmen any breathing room to settle down and play a long innings. It was left to Mushtaq to play the lone resistance and he soon ran out of partners and the Royals ended with 72 runs in 18.2 overs. For the Knights, Keon Lake was the most successful bowler with 3 wickets and conceding 15 runs in his allocated 4 overs. Fahad Mughal and Kirk Higgins shared the other spoils with 2 wickets each.
For the Royals to defend this small total, they needed to put the Knights batting line-up under pressure and the opening pair of Vikas Kapoor and Srikrishna Vedanarayan exactly did that with incisive bowling. Knights opener Evans was the first to depart on 2 - bowled by Vikas and Srikrishna applied pressure on the other end and he was rewarded with the wickets of R. Sukhdeo and Kalimotoo - both out to lbw decisions. Kalimotoo’s departure brought Knights captain Nicholas Stanford to the crease and the pressure was on him to deliver for his team. However, Srikrishna delivered an ace when he had Nicholas Stanford bowled for duck. The Royals were clearly loving the turn of events and the pressure pendulum had swung the other way at this stage. Standford’s departure brought hard-hitting Romero Dean and he right away eased the tension by carting a ball to the boundary. Off the next over, Dean launched Muhammad Nisar over long-on for a six of a backfooted flick. As the fielders and spectators stood mesmerized by the improbability of that shot, Dean did an encore almost as if to prove that it was no fluke. Karan Ganesh provided an effective foil to Dean’s heroics and the Knights soon overcame the target in 11.5 overs.
Romero Dean was awarded the man of the match for his batting heroics and the Royals paid the price for underestimating the young Knights team. Based on the performance in this game, Coach Fraser's words about the potential of the Knights team in the pre-tournament interview rung true and this team could upset a few more teams if they continued this manner of play.