|Manan Patel (64* runs & 2 wkts) and Manu Singh (51 runs) engineered a successful chase against Villa Park in the season opener|
It was a season opener for Villa Park on cool Saturday morning against Streamwood. Villa Park won the toss and elected to bat first, Zeyad Imtiaz (36) and Fawad Agha (41) gave VPCC the dream start they needed. Both batsmen played excellent shot and kept on rotating the strike. Streamwood was struggling against these two openers until they brought Sunny Sharma (2) to attack, who got rid of both openers quickly. This brought experienced Haris Imtiaz (13) and the skipper Uzair Ali (7) to the crease, but Uzair Ali lost his nerves against the unorthodox bowling of Akber Khan (2). Little master Hassan Bhakhshi (0) replaced the skipper but fell short of his ground while taking a run (during the dive he dislocated his shoulder and had to sit out the whole game) Haris Imtiaz was soon to follow. Arif Hockla (25) along with Mujtaba Baqir (2) started to build the innings when Mujtaba Baqir was caught by Dhruv Patel, now with 6 wickets down Arsalan Ali (28*) came to save VPCC once again. Both batsmen played some sensible shots and hit couple of boundaries to take score to respectable 178.
Streamwood knew that against Villa Park’s bowling this won’t be an easy chase. Streamwood stared their innings with Dhruv Patel (8) and Samir Chaudhari (28), and Haris Imtiaz (0) and Ahmad Bakhshi (2) started the attack for VPCC. Ahmad Bakhshi struck timber in his first over when he got rid of Dhruv Patel, this brought the dangerous Manu Singh (51) to the crease who started to milk VPCC's bowlers all over the ground. After using couple of bowler skipper Uzair Ali called Mr. Dependable (Fawad Agha (0)) to attack. Fawad Agha bowled with excellent line and length and didn’t gave any room to the batsmen to hit boundaries, from the other end Furqan Qureshi (2) was given the ball to provide a much needed break through to VPCC. Furqan Qureshi delivered what was ordered when he got rid of Manu Singh and Samir Chaudhari and two consecutive overs. Now with two new batsmen on crease Manan Patel (64*) and Sunny Sharma (15) Villa Park stared to put more pressure on Streamwood. But that didn’t stop Manan Patel who played a match winning innings. The turning point of the game came when Streamwood took the batting power play; Furqan Qureshi got hit for 2 sixes which brought Streamwood closer to the victory. Streamwood chased the score in 28 overs, Manan Patel was announced man of the match for his match winning innings.
It was the first game curse which game back to haunt Villa Park again. Villa Park will be facing mighty Cougars next week.