Sunday, October 19, 2014; Cornerstone Park
The days leading up to the 2014 Colorado Twenty20 League Final were filled with frenetic negotiations between Littleton CC and Front Range CC. The point of contention: the start time for the championship game. One club wanted to begin early; the other late. Both clubs had various player availability constraints and everything from playing a reduced over game to batting from only one side was bandied about. Of course, negotiations in cricket are not a new phenomenon, but in the end sanity prevailed and the contenders managed to agree on a suitable time without any unusual playing restrictions.
So, it came to pass that the Final kicked off at the non-traditional time of 11:20 a.m. on Sunday. The sun was out, the wind quiet, and the Cornerstone outfield played quick and true. FRCC won the toss and elected to bat. Jay began brilliantly with a maiden over against Murali. The other opener, Vivek, chafing at his partner's inability to lay bat on ball, started the second over with a bang, blasting Dhiren's first ball for a beautiful inside-out six over extra cover. That, however, ended up being his lone highlight for the day when Jay bowled him in the 3rd over. Murali soon followed two overs later, undone by a fullish quick ball from Raja. The bowlers kept the visitors quiet over the next several overs as Bhavya foxed Shashank and Jigar, while Shailesh claimed Pratik's wicket. After 15 overs, FRCC stood at a modest 72/5 and promptly lost hard-hitting Rohit when he mistimed a dreadful long hop by Raj straight into deep midwicket's hands.
That set the stage for an entertaining final few overs. Manju and Kaustabh carted the bowlers all over the place with a mixture of slices, big shots, and great running between the wickets. In the final over alone, the pair blasted 21 runs off Prateek, capped by a monstrous six by Kaustabh over midwicket. Manju's 30* off 19 and Kaustabh's 20* off 7 led FRCC to a respectable 128/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
The home team's chase began auspiciously. Dhiren began with his trademark first ball six, plundering 18 off the first over by Jigar. Describing each of his shots would take too long because he dispatched all bowlers alike and frequently. The fifty came up in just the 4th over with Dhiren accounting for 42 of thos