The Red Hot Chili Peppers psyching them up, the FCC B landed up at the
Taichung ground for the game which would make or break their weekend, and what a game it turned out to be !
Score card :
KCCC : 66/5
Tom 1 / 8 , Sunil 1/10
FCC B : 70/2
John 1/13 and Andrew 0/7
Sunil won the first toss of the tournament and chose to field allowing
the KCCC to set up the challenge. The KCCC got off to a good start with Tony taking a liking to the bowling, and slowly the
foundation of the innings was being set. Cruising along, the opening partnership of Tony and Mat knocked one out to cover,
where Tom ( FCC Fielder of the Tournament) pounced on it and was instrumental in causing the run out of Mat. Just the right
sort of thing to get the FCC spirits higher. In walked John, and he looked menacing and ready for a breakfast of batting champs,
the opposition bowling ! With Tony going well at the other end, and John slowly beginning to open up with a 6 and a 4, things
were looking cosy for the KCCC boys. Until, in came Tom , and with his cleverly disguised bowling, induced John into a big
hit straight down to long on where Sunil never looked like he was going to drop it. Big wicket for the team !! But Tony was
going well at the other end and Andy Carrick joined him at the crease to put on a quick fire 10. However, then the come back
began, with the run out of Tony, and of Teacher Pete, with Sunil knocking back the stumps of Joe to close out the KCCC innings
Target 67 !
In walked Ettienne and Sunil to lead the FCC come back. A combination
of delicate touch batting and hard running between the wickets saw the opening partnership assert itself on the game. The
momentum slowly built up through the overs , with 9 from the 1st by Teacher Pete, 12 from the next from Tony and
21 from the 3rd over by Mat. After an opening partnership of 57, Sunil characteristically ran himself out ( the
only dismissal in the tournament) and with 10 to make and 7 balls to go, the game was poised delicately. In came Vishwa. Andrew
, bowling very tight giving away only 7 runs in his over set up a classic final over with the target still at 10 required
from it. Johns first delivery knocked back Ettiennes stumps and he walked back to the bench after a gutsy innings of 16. But
in walked Tom, and with Vishwa for able support, they equaled the scores at 66 to bring the match to the point of 1 BALL 1
RUN needed for the FCC to win.
Final ball, John to Vishwa, who drives sweetly into the offside for 4
to set up a great win and a memorable start to the weekend !!
The KCCC never let go, and it was a last ball decider, nail biting stuff
which the supporters just lapped up.
On to Game 2 then with
the boys wanting badly to win the game so they could make the top group for the games on Sunday.
FCC B : 100 / 0
Sunil 30 ( retd) , Ettienne 12, Vishwa 12
Six or Sticks : 27 / 5
Mark 0/8, Ettienne 2/3 , Vishwa 2/0, Tom 1/3..and after this bowling
Sunil 0/13 !!!
Sunil lost the toss and the FCCB was asked to bat first. Right on ! Lets
go out there and set a target. Ettienne and Sunil walked out resolutely to start the innings. It was a delightful opening
partnership again with Sunils wristy shots to point and late cuts to the third man boundary and Ettiennes lusty blows down
the field. When Sunil retired, Vishwa came into the act and made a quick fire 12 with pulls and strong drives. Aided by the
generosity of the opposition bowlers (extras of 46) , the total came upto 100 / 0 at the end of 5, the only 3 digit score
by any team throughout the competition.
Out came the Six or Sticks with Keith and Gus opening their innings.
Having tackled Marks opening over, they ran into Ettienne, who after 4 good balls came up with the goods on 5 and 6 to take
two quick wickets, those of Keith and Peter, to be on a hat-trick for his next over in the competition. Vishwa came in and
ripped his Yorkers through a couple of hapless defenses and took the wickets of Gus and Jason in his over. Tom carried on
the good bowling to go through the defense of Chris.. and with the Six or Sticks at 14/5, in came Sunil, and bowled a magnificent
over conceding 13 runs and effectively doubling the opposition score...well done mate ! Match over, a great margin of victory,
but three cheers to the boys from Taichung for their camaraderie and spirit which is what makes these weekends special.
The FCC B is through to the top round robin league for Sunday.
That set the stage of the now familiar team meetings at the hotel, and
with all of us on the same floor, it was a meeting of fun, analysis, and general joie de vivre of being a Formosan.
Ready for Sunday ? After a night of hectic partying, the games were about
to begin, and these were the big ones ! There was silverware at stake. The team which made it through to the top league were
Mixed Up ( from Taichung) with an upset over the TCA, FCC B and FCC A. At this stage of the competition, FCCB was top ranked
on run rate with all teams being equal on points. However, this position was temporary as events on the field through the
FCC B vs Mixed Up
Losing the toss ( again !) the FCC B were asked to bat first. The games
of the first day had shown the Mixed Up team to be a competent bowling side , and a pretty good batting side.
Score Card :
FCC B : 93/1
Sunil 23 n.o., Vishwa 21 n.o.
Marco 1/ 19
Mixed Up : 94/0
Attie 32 (retd), Jacques 20 n.o.
Oh for a straight ball, a straight ball ! That seemed to be the refrain
of both the captains, with extras being top scorers for either side. Must have been the beers from the previous night which
were the culprits !
This time, the FCC opening partnership was short lived with Marco taking
Ettiennes wicket ( the only wicket to fall in the match). However, Sunil and Vishwa built a solid partnership, as was now
becoming habitual. Solid bowling by Jacques was the highlight of the Mixed Up bowling attack ( giving away only 11 runs).
Nothing seemed to go FCCBs way with their bowling with everyone struggling
through their overs, and conceding extras by the kegful. The stage was set when a no ball call came through and a 4 was scored
on the extra ball to put the stage at 6 balls 6 runs when Sunil came onto bowl the last over to the left handed Jacques.
1, 1, wide ( oh no ! not again), dot ball, dot ball, 2 ! With 1 ball
to go , Mixed up scampered through. Another nailbiting finish for an FCCB game.
Shoulders were drooping, and heads were down when the team dispersed before their last game with the FCCA.
What shall we do ? Having learnt that FCCA had played the Mixed Up team and won by scoring 63 or 64 odd runs, if the B team
beat the A team by scoring more than that score, they had a chance for some silver. That lifted the team, who won the toss
( for a nice change !) and chose to bat.
FCC B : 49/4
Mark 9, Sunil 10 n.o.
Charl 1/6, Dwight 1/9
FCC A : 52/1
Dwight 27, Shardul 14
Wanting to surprise the FCCA bowlers, FCCB opened with Mark and Manish.
The highlight of this partnership was Marks cover drive off Charl and Manishs pull off Darren, before Manish got himself run
out. Ettienne walked in to play a magnificent straight drive, which went back to Charl who took an even better catch on his
follow through to send him back. Mark lasted till the last over, when Dwight got the better of him ( but there was Marks revenge
to follow later !).
The FCC A innings started with Dwight and Shardul going along smoothly
to put on a partnership of 42. The FCCB bowling attack was changed around with Manish bowling the first over, followed by
Vishwa bowling tighter and straighter.
Dwight went down the wicket to pull Sunils 3rd delivery for
six in the 3rd over of the game.Off the next ball, he attempted the same, but this time, it was going straight for Mark, or
was it going straight for him ? Rushing in, Mark was well positioned to take the catch except he slipped and fell. That would
have made most fielders give up, but not Mark ! Keeping his eye on the ball still, he said a quick prayer and stuck his right
hand out. Lo and behold ! The catch was held !
What was that !?! That Ladies and Gentlemen, was the effort which got
the FCCB player in question the Player of the Tournament award !!
Consistent batting, Ettienne and Sunils partnerships followed by Vishwa and
Allround great fielding effort with Tom winning the team award deservedly for
the FCC Fielder of the Tournament Award, and Mark winning the Player of the Tournament for his superhuman catch ( that was
the only time Dwight got out in the tournament ) .
- Great team spirit shown by the team
Manishs wicketkeeping which was a revelation
- Team finished 3rd out of 9 !!!
But the bowling needs some work , especially on the extras.
All in all a great weekend, and good first outing for the 2 FCC teams
bringing back the silverware, the undisputed champs of Taiwan !
Thanks to Andy Carrick, for organizing an excellent tournament, and for
all the teams for making it a memorable event as it has been. The last Taichung tournament had 3 teams and approx 35 players,
while this one had 9 teams and in excess of 54 cricketers. Despite the increased numbers, the camaraderie between the teams
is something which makes these outings cherised. A big thanks also to our supporters, Lauren, Jackie, Lindie, Sharon, you
guys are magnificent !