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Barak Premier League Final: "A night to remember," Dr. Himabrata Das

The big final of the third edition of the Barak Premier League organised by Silchar Veteran Cricketers’ Club was indeed a spectacle to behold.Kings’ XI Karimganj captain Dipankar Aditya won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked like a batting paradise at the SM Dev Cricket Stadium. Joy Mahabir Legends captain Tushar Saha spoke about being comfortable chasing anything around 160 with their strong batting line-up. Both the openers Dipankar and Roshan were circumspect against the pace of Monishankar Mura Singh and Kunal Chakraborty in the first 4 overs.

The Legends drew first blood in the 5th over with the left-arm spinner Chandradip Das going through the defences of Roshan Madhav.Out walked the former India U-19 Mayank Rawat and he looked good right from the get-go.The Kings’XI were 32/1 after the end of the first powerplay.Their innings got some much needed momentum with an expensive 8th over from Amar Kalita that went for 17. Mayank was looking in ominous touch as he tore into opposition captain Tushar Saha and deposited the left-arm spinner way past the midwicket boundary. The Kings’ XI had raced on to 72/1 at the halfway stage after a conservative start.

Legspinner Ikramul Ali picked up the wicket of captain Dipankar courtesy a sharp stumping by Mosarob behind the stumps. The legends came back into the contest with the wicket of Sandeep Saini who perished after a terrible mix-up with Mayank.The stylist Himachal boy smashed Ikramul in his next over hitting him for 2 boundaries and a massive six over square leg.The 100 came up in the 14th over and the boys from Karimganj were 103/3 after 14 overs.The most crucial over of the innings was bowled by Chandradip who bowled Mayank Rawat with a quicker delivery off the first ball of his final over. Rawat went back to the dugout to a warm applause from the spectators after scoring 58 off 36 balls (7 fours and 2 sixes). The hard-hitting Lokender Kumar smashed Chandradip for a four and a huge six over long off. But the wily Chandmari boy had the last laugh and bowled Lokender off the last ball of his spell, finishing with figures of 3 for 28.The vastly experienced Abdus Salam came out to bat at number 7 and stitched together a valuable partnership with Vinay Rohilla at the other end.The pair took to the leg spin of Ikramul Ali picking up 3 boundaries in his 3rd over.

The game was delicately placed as the scoreboard read 136/5 after 17 overs.Mura Singh got rid of Vinay Rohilla at the start of the 18th over who went caught behind by Mosarob.The wicketkeeper conceded 4 byes helpless against the searing pace of the Tripura Express.The new man Pawan Kumar launched an assault on Kunal Chakraborty who went for 18 in his final over.

Pawan flicked one past square leg following the boundary with a crunching maximum over midwicket.There would be no respite for Kunal who travelled to the fineleg boundary off the last delivery of his spell with 161/6 on the board with an over to play. Abdus Salam proved to the world why he is so venerated in the Karimganj circuit with two crucial boundaries off Mura Singh in the final over.

The final over had started well for the Legends with the danger man Pawan Kumar being runout off the first ball after he had scored 17 from 8 balls faced.The icon for the Kings’ XI Salam hit Mura Singh wide of third man on a lightning quick outfield and followed it up with a thunderous pull shot to pick up consecutive boundaries.13 runs came off the final over and the Kings’ XI Karimganj went back to the dugout after having put up an imposing first innings total of 174 for 8.

Joy Mahavir Legends got off to the most perfect start to the run chase with a fantastic straight six that came off the blade of Mosarob-a jolting welcome to the crease for the pacer Lokender.The leading runscorer in the tournament Raju Das joined the party 4 balls later with a blazing cut shot to the left of point.Raju looked menacing against Mohit Badesra,hitting the left-arm spinner for a four and then a crunching six,both the shots targeting the midwicket boundary.There was no respite for the Kings’ XI as the third over from Amitava went for 17.Raju delighted with his backfoot game as he hit the medium pacer for a huge six over square leg. Mosarob was matching Raju with equal panache with a piercing straight drive that sped away to the longoff boundary.Back to back boundaries off Lokender’s next over announced the arrival of the Prince of Silchar Raju Das who hit the pacer on either side of the wicket.

The Legends were cruising at 57/0 at the end of the 4th over.Mayank Rawat came into the attack and was greeted by Mosarob with a fierce pull shot that went to the boundary in no time.The Kings’ XI were looking clueless under lights.The openers were running away with the final and it was all happening at a harrowing pace for the visitors. Mohit broke the threatening partnership at the start of the 6th over trapping Mosarob in front of the stumps after the opener had played a most entertaining knock of 26 off 18 balls faced.Despite the breakthrough,the powerplay had well and truly belonged to the Legends as they were comfortably placed at 69/1 after 6 overs.Raju Das started to bat sensibly looking very assured at the crease.The left handed Abhijit Singha Roy who came in at number 3 got out cheaply looking to clear the long-on boundary,the left arm spinner Akash Mourya picking up his first wicket. 84 for 2 at the halfway stage meant the Legends were favourites as the players had drinks. As is the case in many a T20 game, much drama awaited in the 11th over.

The medium pacer Sandeep Saini came into the attack and “Mankaded” the new batsman Ikramul Ali who was out of the crease even as the bowler was in his delivery stride.That dismissal brought the Kings’ into the contest and out walked the experienced Raihan Jamil.He fell cheaply to a soft dismissal getting a top edge while attempting a sweep,Vinay Rohilla at fineleg holding on to a simple catch.Suddenly the Legends were 93 for 4 and out walked the superstar from Tripura Monishankar Mura Singh at the back of a dream Ranji season to join Raju Das.Mura Singh started off in fine style cutting Mayank Rawat to the backward point region.But the turning point in the innings came 2 balls later when Raju Das looked to clear the long on boundary but holed out to Lokender Kumar who held on to the crucial catch.Raju departed after scoring 53 off 38 balls faced,his crafty innings being studded with 6 fours and 2 sixes.Kunal Chakraborty joined MuraSingh as the Legends found themselves 103/5 after 13 overs.Mura Singh hit Akash Mourya for two consecutive sixes-the first over midwicket and the second over long-on to keep the Legends in the hunt at the end of the 14th over. Amitava went for 14 in his second over being at the receiving end of Mura Singh’s wrath but picked up Kunal Chakraborty leg before off the last ball of his over.Mura Singh attacked Lokender in the 16th over hitting him for a boundary through deep midwicket and then a magnificent straight six over long-on.

144/6 after 16 overs meant the balance was tilted in favour of the Legends with Mura Singh firing all cylinders.And then the most unbelievable turnaround took place right in front of our eyes.Abdus Salam picked up the big wicket of Monishankar Mura Singh,a fine catch under pressure by Sandeep Saini on the deep midwicket.Captain Tushar Saha hit a boundary off his first ball but perished the next ball being adjudged leg before.Abdus Salam had picked up two wickets in the over and the Kings’ XI were favourites at this stage with two new batsmen out in the middle-Amar Kalita nd Chandradip Das. 36 to win from 18 balls as Mohit Badesra came into the attack.After a quiet start to the over, Amar Kalita hit one of the shots of the night smashing the left-arm spinner back over his head,the ball striking the sightscreen at the Cachar College.But Amar played a callous shot the very next ball and had his stumps in an attempt to go for glory.

16 to win off 12 balls with Amitava with ball in hand.The over started off with Amitava conceding 4 legbyes at which point the crowd erupted. Chandradip batted very sensibly and picked up a single off the last ball to retain strike at the start of the last over

10 to win off the last over with 1 wicket in hand.Chandradip on strike for the first ball that was missed by the wicketkeeper,the batsmen scampering through for a bye.No 11 Sanjeev Laskar played a dot ball and then pinched a single to get Chandradip back on strike.

8 to win from 3 balls.And Chandradip hit a brilliant lofted shot over extracover that went to the boundary like a tracer bullet.The crowd went berserk.Could Chandradip be the hero for the Legends 4 from 2 balls and Mohit fired one wide outside the reach of the batsman. WIDE signalled by the umpire and Mohit was under pressure.3 to win and Chandradip managed to pick up a quick single on the offside

2 to get from the last ball with Sanjeev Laskar to face Mohit Badesra.After 5 days of gruelling battles between 11 top teams,this was the photofinish that fate had in store for us.Sanjeev advanced down the ground to put pressure on the bowler.Mohit held his nerve and fired it wide of the bowler.A wonderful gather by Abdus Salam,the wicketkeeper,who whipped off the bails in a flash.

Kings’XI Karimganj defeating Joy Mahavir Legends by 1 run to lift the Barak Premier League 3rd edition at the end of one of the most thrilling games you would have ever witnessed.

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