Looking back at last year: Two heartbreaks and a job well done for Cavaliers ICE
The 2017 Schedule was soft launched this week. You can check out the schedule here.
As Cavaliers' two cricket teams, FIRE & ICE, gear up for the challenges ahead, this week, we take a look back at three of the most memorable games for Cavaliers ICE's 2016 season.
ICE vs. STALLIONS
The Background: Stallions is one of the most successful teams in the SCA League history in both formats. They have also had the better of ICE on most occasions. With a mix of old heads and young cricketers, they are also the best fielding side in the league. Last time the two met in 2015, ICE comfortable beat Stallions.
The Expectation: ICE had a newish roster with a host of changed from 2015. In only their 2nd game of the season, under a new captain and some first choice players not available, things looked less than rosy for ICE. Boasting some new and exciting but untested talent - it was swim or sink for ICE.
How it all happened: Contrary to expectations, ICE was all over the Stallions on the back of some good bowling by ICE and poor shot selection by Stallions pegging them to 98 runs in the 30th over.
The rustiness and fatigue then kicked in for ICE as Stallions skipper Surya played a magnificent innings of 96 to set Ice a below par 204 to win.
ICE would have been quietly confident when they started the run chase, but they went one up on Stallion when it came to playing poor shots as Stallions reduced ICE to 70/6 with Aman Bharadwaj doing the bulk of the damage. Harshal had other ideas as he batted in a trance, single handedly guiding the chase with a magnificent 121.
Bharadwaj however wasn't quite finished as he snapped Harshal and the game shifted once again with 35 still needed to win and 7 wickets down. No. 11 for ICE wasn't able to manufacture the 1 hit that ICE needed to get past the line as Stallions won by 2 runs.
Scorecard: Stallions beat Cavaliers ICE by 2 runs
ICE vs. STARS
The Background: Ice and Stars geared up to play the Division 1 Semi Final at Douglas Park. ICE was just coming off the disappointment of being knocked out of the T20 Playoffs after an underwhelming performance the previous day. Stars suffered a similar fate losing to Saskatoon Warriors.
The Expectation: ICE played STARS a week ago in the final league game. While ICE was stretched deep into their batting reserves on that occasion, the ICE's superior bowling blew through Stars on the back of a magnificent all round game for Masud. Both teams boasted a well rounded bowling attack at the top of their game, with questions remaining on the top order for both. ICE would have gone in looking for a repeat of the result of the league game.
How it All Happened: A re-jigged top order got ICE on its way, but disciplined bowling by the Star's seamers and the relentless accuracy of Mustafa ensured ICE could only muster a paltry 133. With the game all but out of their hand, ICE came to the field like a team possessed. There was no magic from anyone in particular, but disciplined bowling, smart captaincy and relentless pressure from the fielders ensured Stars never got ahead in the run chase. Star's leading batsmen Iftekhar got the team within 30 runs of the win but a lapse in judgment allowed ICE back into the game. Many twists later, the game reached the last over with Stars needing 2 runs and ICE needing a wicket. A wicket opportunity was created, a catch was dropped, No. 9 & 11 scampered through for the single and the curse of the Semi Final continued for ICE.
Scorecard: Stars ODP beat Cavaliers ICE by 1 run
ICE vs. RSK
The Background: RSK and ICE are extremely good friends off the pitch. But on the pitch they play as hard as anyone. The last time the two teams clashed in a one day game, Vijaypreet's brilliance trumped ICE's inspired run to the Semifinals. RSK had just got one across ICE in the T20 game recently as well. So it was payback time for ICE.
The Expectation: It was looking like a contest between ICE's batsman and RSK's bowlers. With the batting friendly Douglas and its small boundaries, it looked like ICE might just nullify the bowling might of RSK. When it's these two, nothing can be taken for granted though!
How it all happened: ICE was without its top form player - Harshal. RSK entered without the quickest bowler in the league - Faisal. RSK took full toll of some poor bowling and catching by ICE upfront till Dhaval and Darshak pulled things back in the final overs to restrict RSK to a competitive 255. Ice got off to a good start led by skipper Viru, before losing wickets in a clump. Needing 70 odd in the last 10, and ICE's not having the strongest lower order, Dhaval played the innings of his life as ICE cantered to a victory with 7 balls to spare to get one across their biggest rivals!
Scorecard: Cavaliers ICE beat RSK ODP by 2 runs