Premier League Championship Game RBCC vs LCC; LCC are Champions
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2012 Premier League Champions - Littleton Cricket Club(LCC)
LCC @ RBCC: Premier Championship Final, October 14, 2012 - Reported by Raj Chitikila (LCC)
The 2012 premier league championship game played between Royal Bengal Cricket Club and Littleton Cricket Club at Lincoln Junior High in Fort Collins turned out to be an intense low-scoring battle for the ages. The two teams punched and counter-punched all day like heavyweights, leaving the outcome very much in doubt until the final wicket fell. In the end, LCC walked off the field as the 2012 Premier League Champions, but only after willing themselves to win with a rabid intensity.
On a gloriously sunny day, the two teams arrived at Lincoln to find a wet ground thanks to overnight rains. However, the sun appeared to be drying things off quickly and so the umpires delayed the start by 45 minutes. In the interest of keeping it a lively contest, both teams agreed to not reduce the overs and instead poach some of the time allotted for breaks. LCC's Captain, Raj called correctly and was suddenly uncertain about what to choose after winning the toss. His RBCC counterpart, Misbah smiled and remarked that it was a good toss to lose. Concerned that the damp field would cause a treacherous footing for the LCC fast bowlers, Raj chose to bat first. The choice backfired.
RBCC's opening bowlers, Altaf and Ishan, attacked with a vengeance. Both bowlers appeared unfazed by the slick conditions and swung the ball at will in both directions with excellent variation in length. LCC's star opener, Dhiren "Dhiru" Patel was uncharacteristically silent, setting a personal record of sorts by allowing 14 dot balls to go by before getting off the mark. Ishan soon trapped Dhiren lbw and Altaf trapped Raj in the next over, leaving LCC reeling at 14/2 after 7 overs. Ramesh and Sundeep dug their heels in and carefully navigated the RBCC bowling. However, the batsmen got little help from the bowlers in the way of extras and were forced to painstakingly manufacture every run. Eventually, with the score at a paltry 50/2 after 20 overs, Ramesh (28) attempted to accelerate but only skied out off Tahir's bowling. Sundeep (10) soon followed him to the pavilion when he momentarily lost concentration and was brilliantly stumped by Faiq.
The remaining batsmen could do little to stem the flow of wickets, except for the brief hope offered by Raja Prasad's pyrotechnics. Raja scored a quickfire 27 in 18 balls thanks to 3 huge sixes, but LCC folded for a dismal 89 in 32 overs--their second-lowest output of the 2012 season in any format. RBCC's Tahir was the hero of the moment with 4 wickets, followed by Ishan's 3 and Misbah's 2. Drumeel bowled lights out and was extremely unlucky to end up wicket-less.
Defending the miniscule score, LCC knew they had only one choice...to attack as hard as they could. Bodhayan in particular bowled with his best pace of the year, but the ball that castled Faiq was a gem of a slower ball. He quickly bowled Joseph as well and RBCC was on its heels at 21/2. Then Misbah counterattacked spectacularly, hitting Bodha for two massive sixes. Seeing RBCC at 43/2 and with a ton of overs left, LCC brought on Dhiren to bowl his left arm orthodox. Dhiren promptly dismissed Salman by somehow hanging on to a bullet of a drive, and bowled Ben after the batsman swung wildly at a good length ball.
Now LCC had begun inching itself back in the game. The accomplished Ishan Rao walked in to join Misbah with RBCC at 54/4. Raj brought himself on to bowl his gentle medium pace swing and for a while Misbah and Ishan were content to look for the odd single. Eleven runs later, Raj produced a ball that flummoxed everyone including himself. Misbah (31) shouldered arms to an innocuous looking ball that promised to swing away, except that it didn't and went on to take off stump with it. With that prize wicket in hand, LCC's players began smelling the possibility of an unlikely victory for the first time and ratcheted up the intensity.
Raj soon trapped Ishan lbw with a near duplicate of the ball that got Misbah. At 66/6, RBCC was still in the driver's seat, needing just 24 runs in around 15 overs, but the visitors knew the momentum had swung in their favor. Bodhayan insisted on bowling the next over and sent down some fearsome pace bowling. Jay Shah and Altaf Ahmad walked in and out in the same over by Bodha, the former losing his middle stump and the latter trapped lbw. Ishan Pardeshi was looking immovable on one end, but Drumeel took off for a nonexistent single off Raj's bowling and Ramesh easily fielded the ball and lobbed it back to Raj for a simple run out.
Now at 81/9, RBCC needed 9 runs in 9 overs, but LCC had used up the 8-over quotas of Bodhayan, Jay, and Dhiren, and Raj came on to bowl his final over. Bowling to last man Tahir, Raj threw caution to the winds and sent down a yorker on first ball that would have hit off stump. However, Tahir had shuffled clear across the stumps and impact took place outside off. Appeal declined! Encouraged, Raj followed up with another yorker, this time at middle stump, and after a long, heart attack-inducing deliberation, the umpire granted the appeal! LCC won by 8 runs. Bodha had 4 wickets, Raj 3, and Dhiren 2.
LCC had somehow managed to defeat RBCC for the prize of the Premier League Championship, finally overcoming the one team that had had their number in recent years. With the win, LCC won the Premier League Championship outright for the first time in club history. LCC also accomplished the rare double feat of winning both T20 and Premier Championships in the same year.
Men of the Match: Tahir Rana and Bodhayan Chakraborty were declared joint MoM for their 4 wicket hauls.
See RBCC vs LCC Scorecard
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