Article - WEEK 4 MCA BEAT REPORT: Another close game despite rain playing spoilsport
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WEEK 4 MCA BEAT REPORT: Another close game despite rain playing spoilsport

Nishit Patel (npatel)

WEEK 4 MCA BEAT REPORT: Another close game despite rain playing spoilsport

The intervention of rainy weather meant that only 2 games were possible during Match Week 4 (one of which was shortened) - there was still plenty of game time to throw up another nail-biter...

Golden Sports vs Markham Lynx

The first game of the weekend was reduced to 20 overs a side as the outfield was damp from the heavy rains on the Saturday. The Lynx vindicated their decision to bowl first by removing the Golden Sports Captain (Ajanth Nadarajah) and team top scorer Eric Prathap within the first 6 overs. Some middle order consolidation by Murali Balasundaram (33) was followed by a lower order collapse as Golden Sports could only get to 105/9 in the first innings.

As the short season so far has shown, chasing a low score is no guarantee of a win. The Golden Sports attack went about their business in clinical fashion, with Gary Anthonipillai starting their defense off with a double-wicket maiden. The Lynx never really recovered, despite a valiant knock by Syed Ali Zaidi (26), who was the ninth wicket to fall in their unsuccessful chase - the innings completed at 75 all out in the 18th over. Man of the Match was Godwin Alfred for his 3/15 with the ball. A convincing performance by the Golden Sports to notch their third straight win, taking them to the top of the standings.

KCC vs Panthers

Another week and another low-scoring thriller - the defending champions Panthers were chasing their first win of the season, and put KCC in to bat after claiming the toss.

The opening Panthers bowlers kept things tight and got their just rewards as they rattled the KCC top order and reduced them to 28/4 in the 9th over. Sujeetheran Thiyagarajah was the star with a brilliant spell of 7-1-17-3, bowling out his 7 overs in one stretch. A brief steadying period followed for KCC as they tried to recover, but kept losing wickets at regular intervals to stumble to 74/7 by the 20th over. A brilliant innings by Azhar Iqbal (44) ensured that KCC at least got to a respectable total (123/10), despite not batting out their quota of 35 overs.

124 seemed like a tough but gettable target, with Panthers knowing they would have to be at their best to get on top of the KCC bowling attack. At 22/3, that plan was in some dissaray, but with Krishen Samuel (34) looking good at the crease, they knew that they just had to remain patient and build some strong partnerships to take the pressure off. He found an able partner in Mathialagan Eswaralingam (28) to take the game away from KCC, as they didn't allow the pressure to build - this ended up getting to the KCC fielders, who had an uncharacteristically sloppy fielding performance.

KCC kept fighting away regardless, and with the top scorers gone at 96/6, perhaps the game was not as done and dusted as previously thought. The game was finely balanced with 11 overs to go. Panthers needed 28 runs. KCC needed those last 4 wickets.

Both teams played their cards one after the other - Panthers scoring some runs and KCC taking some wickets. The game ebbed and flowed in this fashion until the penultimate wicket fell with the score at 113/9. Parth Raval and Zuhair Ansari had chipped in with 3 wickets each for KCC, but were almost done with their spells. Panthers needed 11 runs to win but had to play things carefully with their last batting pair (Panthers stalwarts Satheesh and Leonard) at the crease. At least they had 8 overs to get those runs long as they remained patient.

The Panthers' experienced heads ensured that the final runs were knocked off without any further hiccups, notching their first win of the season in close fashion.

With most matches rained out, the 2 that were played provided some respite and much needed entertainment along the way. Here's to hoping for a rain-free weekend for Match Week 5!

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