MTSSC continued their fine start to the season with victory over Old Actonians CC by two wickets on Saturday afternoon.
MTSSC won the toss and elected to bowl for the first time this season hoping to restrict the home side to a low total.
Kavi Kannathasan, who claimed nine wickets, in the past two games opened the bowling with Thashrif Gaffoor who wasted no time exhibiting his skills with the ball when his brilliant in-swinger claimed his first wicket after his fourth delivery.
Thashrif Gaffoor continued his fine start when he claimed another wicket in his second over, although it came at a cost as Hammad Bukhari, who had been a consistent wicket-taker for the club, walked off with a fractured finger when he took the catch. MTSSC were left to play the rest of the match with 10 men, but didn’t let that deter them as they continued to work hard and make it tough for the home team.
Kavi Kannathasan and Ashok Andrew then did further damage to the Old Actonians batting line up by claiming a wicket each to leave the home team at 83 -4. However, the Old Actonians captain batted sensibly to guide his team to a formidiable total.
MTSSC’s uncharacteristic fielding gifted the two batsmen extra lives as they were dropped five times in total and the batsmen took full advantage of the opportunity at hand to add an 83 run partnership. The partnership was broken when Kannathasan, who tried his luck with left-
arm off spin, claimed the wicket of T Conwell. Old Actonians seemed to be on course to reaching a big total as they had plenty of overs to bat, with the fall of just five wickets.
Kanathasan and Thashrif Gaffoor had other ideas though, as the pair claimed the final five wickets for just 27 runs. At the end of the inning, Old Actonians CC scored 196 in 50.3 overs, Kannathasan’s versatile bowling display had earned him figures of 5-57 while Thashrif Gaffoor claimed 4-26.
MTSSC who were chasing a target of 197 started in disastrous fashion when Kishore Sathasivam was run out off just the first delivery of the match. Niro Sritharan was joined by the number three for the day, Yogi Raithatha, and the pair complemented each other perfectly as both batsmen refused to give the Old Actonians’ bowlers any opportunity.
The aggressive batting nature of Niro Sritharan looked to unsettle to home team bowlers whilst the patient and disciplined Yogi Raithatha frustrated them with equal conviction. Sritharan showed no fear as he took on everything the Old Actonians bowling line up threw at him and found the boundary routinely.
Raithatha on the other hand was playing the anchor role displaying the type of temperament and discipline players with much more experience would have been proud of as he batted patiently to score his 38. The excellent partnership of 134 was broken when Raithatha was bowled out.
MTSSC had 61 runs to get with seven wickets in hand when last week’s centurion Jenson Singarajah walked in, however victory seemed less assured when his and Ashok Andrew’s wickets were taken in consecutive overs.
Sritharan however, didn’t let the fall of wickets affect his batting rhythm as he continued punishing the Old Actonians bowling line up regularly. The opener had lost his wicket in the 90s six times before, never scoring a hundred for the club, but did not look nervous at all as he
effortlessly flicked a ball for six when on 93. His century came in just 94 deliveries as he celebrated by punching the air in joy, he had not only scored his maiden century for the club he had also carried the burden of a weakened batting line up.
The away side seemed like they were going to make it a tensed evening when a number of wickets started stumbling just after with victory in sight. They had to get 18 runs with four wickets in hand due to the injury to Hammad Bukhari and went on to lose three of those wickets for 15 runs.
The final pair of Rajeevan and Prasanna Sathasivam had three runs to get as both teams looked for heroes to win the game for their respective sides. Rajeevan became that hero as he thrashed the ball to the fence over mid off to give MTSSC their fourth successive win.
MTSSC continue their start to the season away at Wycombe House next Saturday.