...after quite a while, in the form of a title. The official BCA side
maintained an unbeaten record and won the JP Atray tournament in Chandigarh
last week, against some pretty decent sides.
[ all others can ignore this post if they wish, BTW - it deals with the
Atray tournament, but primarily with Bombay's performance only :-) ]
Bombay played a pretty depleted side, because quite a few Bombay office
teams were in the tourney and they had first priority on their players.
Air India, BPCL and Roofit were the other Bombay-based teams participating,
as well as MPCA, Punjab CA, Punjab Colts, Bishnoi, ONGC etc.
Air India had players like Dighe, Amre, Neeraj Patel, Harvinder Singh Sodhi,
Satish Samant etc.
BPCL is a new team that will play in the Times Shield this season, but
they are already good - they have Sanjay Raul, Robin Morris, Sairaj
Bahutule, Abhijit Kale etc, building a solid team from scratch.
Roofit is a well-known solid outfit already - they did decently in the Times
Shield last year, and got to the final of the KSCA Tournament in Bangalore
just a month ago. They had Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Anand Yalvigi (Kar),
Altaf Merchant (Guj), Jatin Paranjpe, Rakesh Patel (Baroda), Kiran
Powar, Ramesh Powar, Avinash Aware (Goa) etc.
The MPCA XI was basically the Madhya Pradesh Ranji side.
The PCA XI had several Punjab Ranji players, including Ravneet Ricky,
Munish Sharma, Dinesh Mongia, Vineet Kumar etc.
Bishnoi Club had J.Arun Kumar (Kar), Nikhil Chopra, Rashmi Ranjan Parida,
Kulamani Parida, Sanjay Bangar, Debashish Mohanty, Murali Karthik,
Tejinder Singh (Railways), Munish Arora (Punjab) etc.
ONGC had Gagan Khoda, Sandeep Sharma (Punjab), Mohammad Kaif, Mithun
Minhas (Delhi), Amit Bhandari, Sharandeep Singh, Rahul Sanghvi,
Mohd Saif, Gautam Vadhera, Manoj Mudgal, Ravi Sehgal (Delhi).
Bombay Cricket Association's team for the final (they rested some players
in the occasional league game) was: Jaffer, Mane, Milind Tamhane, Kambli,
Kunal More, Sushant Manjrekar, Abhijit Shetye(wk). And an attack of
Avishkar Salvi, Rupam Malviya, Vishal Tawde and Nilesh Kulkarni.
Bombay CA beat Air India by 25 runs in their first game, ONGC by 3 wickets
(with 9 overs to spare) in their second. They beat PCA Colts by 33 runs
in their third game. They then rested Jaffer, Kambli etc having already
qualified, and beat MPCA by 10 runs in their final league game. These were
all one-day games, 50-over contests.
The semis and finals were played over 2-days. In the semis, Bombay played
a loaded Bishnoi Cricket Club, and were dismissed for 229 late on the
first day. But they came back with 2 wickets at the end of the day (including
Bangar for a duck), and bowled Bishnoi out for 165 on the next day to win
by 64 runs, with Avishkar Salvi claiming 7-50.
In the finals, Bombay faced a loaded ONGC side. ONGC batted first, and
Bombay had them down to 95-6 by lunch, and 101-8, before they finally
ended up 143 allout before tea (ONGC had Khoda, Sandeep Sharma, Kaif,
Minhas, Sehgal, Mudgal, Vadhera, Saif etc, so this was a pretty good
performance). Salvi had 3-33, Vishal Tawde 2-48, and Nilesh Kulkarni
1-23. And the most effective bowler on the day was Rupam Malviya who
had barely played a game the entire tournament - he ended up with 4-32!
Chasing 143, Bombay was already 175-3 by the end of the first day itself
(and this was only a 2-day final), in 45 overs. An opening stand of 60,
and then Mane batted well to be 75* at the end of the day.
The next morning Mane fell for 85, and nobody else contributed greatly
to Bombay - all getting a few runs. Bombay were allout for 305, a lead
of 162, with only half a day's cricket left. ONGC ended the game at
132-5, with Tamhane and More claiming 2 wickets each.
Anyway. A good result for Bombay - some good news after a long time, amid
all the desolation and despair :-) Rupam Malaviya got Man of the Match for
the finals, but the real find was probably Avishkar Salvi, who played pretty
much all the games and ended up with the Man of the Series award. Salvi
was pretty much the spearhead of a very new attack, and IMHO has probably
clearly moved to the top of the list for backup Bombay bowlers this season
in the Ranjis.
It looks like its going to be a very difficult but interesting year for
Bombay. The entire depth has been decimated by migration - what would have
been the entire "A team" for Bombay is going to be playing elsewhere this
season (and also some probable first-eleven members, of course). The pace
attack in particular looks completely decimated - if Agarkar is called
to national duty, Bombay will be left with an aging Paras Mhambrey, and
nobody else. Salvi will probably have to be #2 seamer in his debut
season, and others like Swapil Hazare will have to make a big step forward
after a few steps back lately (Hazare would be making his debut as well,
if he plays). The couple of years worth of investement in Santosh Saxena
will, I think, bear fruit this year - but it will bear fruit for Railways,
not Bombay (as already happened with Pangis) !
Railways, in particular, look like a terrific team this season - the latest
news from there is that Jacob Martin will be joining them from Baroda for
this season! If that happens (it looks like a done-deal, from what one
hears), then Railways will be *really* loaded this year
Sadiq [ who cant wait for the domestics to begin ] Yusuf