Sano International Cricket Ground was all set to host the 2 high-intensity Division 1 semifinals. One of them was AQCC vs MAX XI on Ground 1 Turf wicket that was greeted with Clear skies, beautiful weather. The wicket was damp and with it toss became crucial. AQCC captain Rohit has no hesitation to ask MAX to Bat first. The contest we all were waiting for was about to begin.
In this season, MAX has experimented a lot with the opening batting combination. Today again it was a new pair of Hanif and Taniyama who opened the inning. AQCC Nandhakumar and Gurman Singh led the opening spell and with accurate lines to keep asking questions. Gurman Singh having conditions in his favour was back to his best form to get out-swing going. His 3rd ball, Hanif failed miserably to cover full out swinging yorker that uprooted Off stump out on the ground. There was already silence at SICG but it only deepened in MAX tent with a massive blow at the start of the Inning. 2-1 (2.3).
The very next over, Taniyama played all over to a straight one from Nandhakumar that kept low. Coming at number 3, Ali Raza could not control check drive and lofted straight to Nikhil at mid-off. There were no demons in the pitch but batsman shot selection was questionable. Yash Wagh showcased his true value of left-arm spinner. Vinay, Nikhil, Karthik kept consistent pressure on the batsman and picked up wickets regularly. Batsman had no relief. Supun tried to steady the inning but was left alone and was the last man out on 49. MAX bowled out for partly 78 runs.
A low run chase could be trickly especially considering that wicket was still fresh. 79 runs were needed in 40 over and MAX knew that only way to win is by taking 10 wickets. ew;zxcvbnTakuro bowled with real intensity to create chances but it was no his way. Karthik and Vinay have been the go-to openers this season who have consistently given 50+runs partnership. Both complement each other well in singles and positive approach toward batting. Slowly and steadily yet again they did not let opposition give any chances. Vinay offered the chance to Shubham but he could not hold on it. However, the game was done by then. AQCC chased down the target in 16.1 overs.