It was a nail biting semi-final between two good sides namely ICICI & MET Sports club at the New Hind Cricket Ground, Matunga, Mumbai. ICICI who have been performing well in this tournament elected to bowl first after winning the toss and restrict them to a low total and put them under pressure.
Their decision to bowl first went in their favor as both the openers of MET succumbed for just 6 & 10 runs respectively. No.3 Batsman Prathamesh acted as the savior for their side as he scored a rock solid 76 runs off 97 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes). The rest of the players could not score much and eventually the whole innings was restricted to a total of 209 in 42.2 overs. It was also some good bowling by the ICICI bowlers which made the damage to their batting. Off-spinner Ajay Shinde bowled fantastic with bowling figures of 4/43 supported nicely by Kiran Bobade who also chipped in with 3/39 to trouble the opposition. The spin duo together scalped 7 wickets giving away only 82 runs & that played a major role in MET’s low total.
Chasing 210, ICICI did their job in style as they chased the score in just 42 overs and won the match by 4 wickets. But it wasn’t easy as it sounds because at one stage ICICI was struggling at 83 for 6 before Kiran Bobade & Harshad stitched the partnership of the tournament. Left-handed Kiran & Right handed Harshad stitched a 135+ partnership to take their team to the finals. While Harhad appeared as if he was on a mission to finish the game as he scored his 63* off just 31 balls which included 4big sixes while Kiran at the other side played the anchors role scoring a 66 ball 67 (7 fours, 3 sixes) to help their team qualify for the all important finals for the first time.
ICICI who has participated for the 1st time in this tournament has already qualified for the finals which is quite commendable. The team’s hard work and practice at Sports Promotion Group (SPG) under the guidance of their main coach Sangam lad sir & Karan Nandey (Ex-Maharashtra ranji player)has reaped rewards for sure. Their finals will be against the powerful DTDC team & Cricketgraph wishes all the luck to all the players to go on & win the tournament.