LCC @ FCCC Premier Final, Boltz, Saturday, Sept 27, 2014 (by Raj Chitikila - posted on CCL website)
On a fine September morning, Littleton CC traveled to Fort Collins to play the Premier League final against the top-ranked FCCC. The two teams had split their regular season match ups in rather one-sided affairs, with FCCC winning the first by 164 runs, and LCC the second by 98 runs. Each time the team batting first put up a huge total and essentially decided the game by the first session of the 2nd innings.
It was a bit of a surprise, therefore, to the visitors when FCCC won the toss and elected to field. LCC began on a disastrous note when Ramesh was dismissed in the 4th over, caught at slip off Omar's bowling. Soon after Dhiren (19) had to retire hurt with a bum toe. Then ensued a very cautious 29 run stand between Jay and Karthik, with the pair electing to avoid temptation and see off FCCC's leading strike bowler, Dipal. Bodhayan came in at the fall of Karthik's wicket in the 15th over and wasted no time accelerating the run rate. Jay (16) perished in the 21st over trying to bash one over mid on where he was caught by Dipal off Ravi's bowling. By this time Dhiren had recovered sufficiently to resume his innings, perhaps thinking that in the company of Bodha he could do most of his damage with big hits instead of running between the wickets. With the score at a modest 73/2 and 19 overs left, that is precisely what the two of them proceeded to do. Relishing the rare opportunity to bat together, the pair plundered the bowling at will, scoring 147 runs over the next 14 overs. Monstrous hits routinely landed near or beyond the fences with all bowlers suffering alike. One of Bodha's shots in particular landed on the road beyond the fence and bounced off the roof of the house across the street. However, Bodha (95 off 74, 3 fours and 8 sixes) narrowly missed out on his 3rd century of the year, well caught in the deep by Tejas off Mike's bowling. The score stood at 220/4 after 35 overs, but LCC did not let up. Raja came in and added a quick 23* off 15, while Dhiren roared to his first century of the year, ending up at 124 not out off just 66 balls, thanks to a staggering 6 boundaries and 12 sixes. By the time the carnage stopped, LCC had posted a massive 277/4 in their 40 overs.
Only a newcomer to the league would have assumed the game was over at lunch, for FCCC is well known as the deepest and most explosive batting team in the league with a lot of experience to draw upon. Their chase began with few surprises. Ravi Sajjan was brilliantly caught by Shailesh at short cover when he skied a mishit pull off Jay. But, Faiq took a special liking to Dhiren's bowling, blasting 40 off 29 with some amazing clean hits, one of which also landed on the road beyond the fence and into the same yard that Bodha had previously hit one into, bewildering the poor homeowner who probably did not anticipate cricket balls raining on his house on a quiet Saturday. Unfortunately for the home team, this furious chase was short-lived. Faiq left in the 8th over, thanks to an amazing diving catch at deep midwicket by Dhiren off Raj's bowling. Omar blasted a drive off Sundeep's bowling straight to Raj at short midwicket in the 11th over, and the rout was on. Only Naveen (24) put up some resistance. After he and Dipal left, all hopes rested on Rajesh, but he was stumped by Ramesh off Bhavya's bowling in the 24th over. Only some wayward bowling and fine hits by Tejas (18) at the end pushed FCCC to a respectable 153 all out in the 32nd over.
LCC won by 124 runs, coincidentally the precise score blasted by Dhiren Patel who was rightly adjudged man of the match. With the win, Littleton Cricket Club retained the Premier League championship, winning it three consecutive years and joining only the erstwhile BVCC in accomplishing this feat.
See LCC Vs FCCC CCL Scorecard