Match Report: Düsseldorf Blackcaps RL vs Blackcaps BL
A week after back to back friendlies, it was time for the Blackcaps Regional Liga team to lock horns with their Bundesliga counterparts. The Bundesliga team, perhaps the more decorated bunch, put up a clinical display and ended up defeating the Regional Liga outfit by 52 runs in the 40 overs game.
Bundesliga team captain Venkat, along with Rahul, got off to a steady start after winning the toss and electing to bat first. However, an unfortunate mix-up resulted in Rahul getting run-out with Sanil delivering a pin-point accurate throw. Despite losing a few wickets regularly, the Bundesliga team maintained a brisk scoring rate, aided by lack of discipline in the bowling department by the Regional Liga team who gave away 35 extras. Venkat scored a 60 ball 63 before holing out to mid-off in pursuit trying to accelerate the scoring. Sajid played a handy knock too, scoring a run-a-ball 21. The Bundesliga team eventually were all out inside 33 overs for 194 with Sanil, Hitesh, Harman and Vignesh picking 2 wickets each and Jamal picked up one. Special mention for the fielding effort by the Regional Liga players – while Abdul latched on to a sharp chance to send Tarun back, Dhairya pulled off a stunner to dismiss Hameed.
Regional Liga team opened with Dhairya and Niraj and were committed to see off the opening spell. The first wicket, though, fell in the 7th over and that opened the floodgates with the Regional Liga team reducing to 30 for 3 in 10 overs. Sudipro and Simon stitched together a 34-run partnership before Kashif, the pick of the bowlers for the Bundesliga team, broke through. Eventually, the Regional Liga lost 9 wickets for 107 before Sanil and Hitesh put up a spirited display and played out all 40 overs to finish at 142. Sanil was the highest scorer with a 41 balls 35* and Hitesh scored 26 balls 24*. Apart from Kashif (4/19), Abdul claimed 2 wickets while Arun, Nilay and Tarun chipped in with one each.
Despite being a rather one-sided game, there were quite a few positives for both teams; as were several points to improve upon.