Ajit’s Thunderbolts – Champions of Gurgaon, 2014
Girish Mehlawat’s excellent spell of left arm spin bowling helped Ajit’s Thunderbolts defeat Wazirabad Challengers to clinch the 2nd edition of Wazirabad Premier League. There was not much to choose from between Ajit’s Thunderbolts and Wazirabad Challengers as the favourites in the finals. Both teams had one victory each from the 2 matches they played in the league stages.
Ajit’s Thunderbolts won the toss and captain Vinay Yadav had no hesitation in batting first. With both their openers in fine form scoring more than 1300 runs in the league, they wanted to make full use of the wicket and put the runs on the board. Narender and Sunder Yadav, though did really well to keep the scoring in check, as they didn’t allow Sandeep Mehlawat and Raja Rajput to cut lose. They gave away just 40 runs in first 6 overs. With run rate less than 7, Sandeep tried to up the ante but perished to Rahul in his first over. Thunderbolts then pushed Praveen to number 3 to improve the scoring rate and the decision proved just right as he scored 46 of just 21 deliveries. Raja rotated the strike well to allow Praveen to take majority of the strike. The team crossed 100 in the 11th over with the loss of just one wicket.
They both threatened to take the game away from Wazirabad Challengers. Understanding the needed captain Narender Yadav brought himself to bowling and got both the danger men in the space of three balls. Himanshu who was batting at four today played a cameo of 26 runs from 9 deliveries. But could not carry on for long and holed out to long off in trying to play one shot too many. After the fall of his wicket, Thunderbolts batsmen failed to make use of the excellent platform laid down by the top order. Kunal bowled a brilliant spell in the death overs and bagged 4 wickets by giving away just 29 runs. Thunderbolts managed to score just 40 runs from the last 5 overs and lost 5 wickets.
Wazirabad Challengers required 181 for win and they needed to make full use of the fielding restrictions in the first six overs. Naresh Yadav started-off in style with a four of the first ball, but Thunderbolts opening bowlers Raman and Aashish bowled excellent line and length and conceded just 39 runs in first 6 overs. The also managed to get rid of the openers in the process. After the initial burst of fast bowlers, Thunderbolts cast a web of spin against Challengers batsmen. Both the left-arm spinners Shiva and Girish bowled with great control and bagged 4 wickets between themselves in 8 overs giving away 41 runs. Once Bhavinder and Kunal were out the challengers seemed to have run out of gas to overhaul the target. At once, it seemed that the Challengers will bowl out for less than 100 but Nitesh managed to get them past the three figures mark with an unbeaten 30. In the end, Wazirabad Challengers fall well short of the target and could manage only 119.
Ajit’s Thunderbolts, who got knocked out in the Semi Finals of the first edition through super over against winners Nathu’s Challengers completed a comfortable 61 runs victory. The team had tough times in the Super Eight stages after losing to Kanhai XI in the first game. In the next 3 out 4 matches, the team came back from behind to win. In the semi-finals they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when Sarhaul Shinners needed 53 of 5 with 8 wickets in hand.
Girish Mehalawat bagged the Man of the Match award for his excellent spell of bowling.
Man of the Series
Anil – Wazirabad ACC, 396 runs, 20 wickets and 11 catches
Sandeep Mehlawat – Ajit’s Thunderbolts, 707 runs, 18 innings
Davinder Yadav – Wazirabad Challengers, 22 wickets
Lalit Chaudhary – Mohammadpur XI, 15 dismissals
Best Wicket Keeper
Mohit – Ajit’s Thunderbolts, 25 dismissals
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