SPCC VS CCCC – 2016 Div 1 FINALS It was a perfect day for cricket, clear sunny skies, nicely manicured outfield and to everyone's surprise, not a single bit of dew on a crisp fall morning. SPCC won the toss and elected to field first. Ankit Kumar gave SPCC the best ever start possible by removing Sai Gautam off the second ball. Sai Gautam has been in ominous form coming fresh of a quickfire fifty to knock PACC out in the semi-finals. Nitish and Prashant Shinde began to consolidate with Prashant Shinde getting a few boundaries. Mohan Nallapareddy though got Prashant's wicket and SPCC began to put the choke hold, although without their choke hold master Harsha Reddy. Steve and Nitish resurrected the C4 innings and got a good partnership going, although the runrate was well below what they would have liked. Nitish got out playing a loose shot and soon after Raja was out thanks to a brillian direct hit by Sunil Patel. Vikas walked in and stitched together a good partnership but Steve was caught in the covers. Karthik and Vikas then started to play with freedom as the slog overs approached and upped the run rate. the stage was set for Vikas and he played the innings of the finals for 4C hitting sixes at will, big ones too. 4C set a good total of 218 which looked achievable looking at the ground conditions. SPCC changed a few things to start with Shirshant Sharma getting promoted with Sunil Patel to open the innings and try to up the ante. They were looking good when Shirshant was caught at midwicket trying to pull a skiddy ball from Nitish. Nitish and Kartik bowled a good opening spell. Sunil cracked a few fours before getting caught behind. Mayank Patel and Karthick Ej then came to the crease and were settling in nicely. Mayank got a reprieve when a dolly of a catch was dropped in the covers. Karthick on the other end was looking composed carrying on from where he left off in the semi-finals against HPCC. Mayank though was bowled and the SPCC innings started to shake a little bit. Ankit Kumar went in next and got a small partnership with Karthick going before Karthick was caught. Varun and Nitish bowled in great rhythm but the other bowlers kept leaking runs. Rupesh Raut was the next to go in but was caught behind to a fast rising delivery. Karunya Isukapalli went in next and played an absolute gem with Ankit to get SPCC within striking distance. But as has been the case with the innings, SPCC lost Vishnu against the run of play which brought Neeraj Singh to the crease. Jeetu though got another couple of wickets getting Ankit and Mohan in quick succession which pegged SPCC back. Things looked grim with 70 odd to get and only two wickets in hand. Senthil Rajaguru gave Neeraj good company but was bowled with 60 odd still to get. In walked Subashis Halder. The old war horse, with Neeraj on the other hand. SPCC was down and out. And then started the best passage of play of the game. C4 needed 1 wicket to win and SPCC had a long ways to go. Dada kept negotiating the bowlers with the grit we all know he has. He played with such determination and big heart which he is known for. Neeraj from the other end started his calculated assault and in 5 overs time they had almost a 50 run partnership and SPCC needed 10 odd. But I guess the fairy tale was not meant to be and Neeraj was castled by Vikas to give C4 their first ever piece of silverware in CCL 35 over format. Apart from a few heat of the moment incidences, the game was played in great spirits which it should be with experienced players and friends playing on either side, but the young blood always has a higher temperature and adds spice to every contest. C4 won a well deserved game but if at all their was a trophy of hearts to be won, SPCC would surely have got that with Subashis Halder and Neeraj Singh sharing the Man of the Match award for a Lion-Hearted effort at the end of the innings. Great job by the umpires, for their patience and calmness in handling situations and appeals, Anish Raghavan, Rajesh Katial, Pavan Singaraju, Hiren Kapadia and Venkat Nimmagadda led the hospitality arrangements and were top notch with food and other arrangements. Glad that Chetan could make his way for the presentation ceremony. And last but not the least, a big cheers to the family members on both sides who made themselves available and supported the teams. Until next season starts, keep it real you all. Enjoy the trophy C4, Well played and well deserved!