It was a one-man show at the Katariya high school ground on Friday. And the centre of attraction was cheered by the spectators as Beta, the nickname of Ojas Betawadkar, whose all-round performance set up the clash for Ranjane Cricket Academy (RCA) against Aryans Cricket Academy.

Betawadkar’s three wickets and 62 runs saw RCA earn a place in the finals of Captain Shivrampant Vishnu Damle trophy under-16 inter-club cricket tournament.

Needing six runs in six balls, Betawadkar got run out on the first ball and match went down to the wire.

“After Betawadkar’s run out, Rutvik Jadhav hit a boundary on the second delivery, taking the equation to two runs in four balls. Rutvik got out in the next ball and now it was two runs needed in three balls. The fourth ball was a dot ball and a single was taken in the next delivery and we also a run because of overthrow. So, we won the match with a ball to spare,” said Mitrajeet Naik-Nimbalkar, captain of RCA.

Naik-Nimbalkar shared a 43-run opening partnership with Betawadkar.

“The way Betawadkar was playing with the bat, we thought the match will be in our favour in 15 overs. The final over was crucial, but I am happy that the boys pull out the victory,” Naik-Nimbalkar said.

Batting first after winning the toss, Aryans Cricket Academy didn’t have a good start as they kept losing wickets on regular intervals.

A notable performance came from captain Sahil Kad, 26 runs in 22 balls, and Rohan Gawade who scored an unbeaten 53 runs in 45 balls which helped Aryans set up a target of 124 runs in 20 overs.

Betawadkar gave 20 runs in his four overs, taking three wickets.

“Actually we wanted to bat first. We changed our strategy and focussed to bowl them out under 100, but misfields and extras cost us runs. The pitch had nothing for fast bowlers. The wickets I got today was because of batsmen’s mistakes. Pitch is a bit on the slower side,” said Betawadkar.

Later, Betawadkar and Naik-Nimbalkar gave a good start before a couple of wickets fell in tandem for RCA. Yash Tunge’s 24 runs in 13 balls made things easier for RCA.

Betwadkar continued rotating the strike and held one end firmly which kept their team in the hunt till the end.

“I was just following my captain’s advice. I had a good partnership with him which helped us to build a good start. Even when I got out in the end, I was confident that our team will win,” said Betawadkar.

In the second semi-final, PYC Hindu Gymkhana scored a 11-run victory over Deccan Gymkhana.

Brief Scores:

Semi final 1: Aryans Cricket Academy 124 for 6 in 20 overs (Rohan Gawade 53 (45b), Sahil Kad 26 (22b), Ojas Betawadkar 3-20) lost to Ranjane Cricket Academy 125 for 5 in 19.5 overs (Ojas Betawadkar 62 (62b), Yash Tunge 24 (13b), Anay Rathore 1-17)

Semi final 2: PYC Hindu Gymkhana 141 for 7 in 20 Overs (Soham Shinde 44 (28b), Mihir Deshmukh 43 (36b), Atharva Wani 3-31) bt Deccan Gymkhana 130 for 9 in 20 overs (Yash Boramani 40 (25b), Sarvesh Surve 29 (33b), Mihir Deshmukh 3-2)

Man of the match

Ojas Betawadkar, Man of the match

The pitch had nothing for the fast bowlers. Whatever wickets I got today was because of batsmen mistakes. Pitch is a bit on the slower side

Match to watch out:

Ranjane Cricket Academy vs PYC Hindu Gymkhana (2:30 pm)

First Published:
May 18, 2019 14:57 IST

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