The Taipei Cricket Association (TCA) and Taipei’s Pakistan Cricket Club (PCCT) head the table after the first day of Taiwan’s 12th annual Cricket Tournament.
In a surprising day for the hosts, the Daredevils lost both their matches.
In the first they failed to chase 116 against a disciplined TCA bowling effort. The Taipei side has put some effort into their practice and have done what most teams have failed to do in recent times by setting back the Daredevils.
Opening bowler Krishna Reddy picked up 2-16, while Mohit Sharma snaffled a couple of key catches at point. New recruit Laurence Fell enjoyed his start with the club, picking up two wickets and a diving catch at fine-leg.
The TCA batting lineup might not have shone, apart from Apoorav Srivastava’s 40 against the Daredevils, but their bowling more than made up for it.
The Formosa Cricket Club found out all about TCA’s bowling after being hussled out for only 53. They made something of an impact with the ball themselves, knocking over the first four TCA batsmen for 20 runs with Ric McGrail bowling consecutive maidens, but the total was never defensible and the FCC suffered their second loss.
Earlier they went down to the Badshaws in a closer match. The FCC batters started nervously and it took a sharp blitz from captain Heinrich Nothnagel (43), who pummeled the mid-wicket boundary with a series of swipes against the slower paced bowlers, to raise the target to 115.
It was not without mishap that the Badshaw batsmen attained their target, with Dhananjay Magar and Harish Verugopal taking a couple of sharp catches, but reach it they did with a few overs to spare.
The best team yesterday were the PCCT side, who batted comfortably and always challenged the batsmen with the ball. Opener Shezhad Khan hit 50 not out to chase down the Daredevils’ 127 and was at his miserly best with the ball in hand as well.
Their best performance came in the final match of the evening against the Badshaws. After Touseef Ashraf (31), Kashif Mansoor (42 not out) and Khuram Mohammad (42) had set 150 to win, Khan (37 not out) and Amjad Zafar (36 not out) hit straight and true to make it two wins from two.
Their win was not without discomfort as the Badshaw bowlers created catching chances early. However, Ashraf went from hero to villain as he hit PCCT captain Mujahid Muhammad with a beamer and sent down plenty of no balls to gift victory away.
Taiwan Cricket is training its first local scorekeeper as part of the weekend. Jim Chen had a long day writing runs and wickets, and is keen to return for more.
There are other opportunities for young people willing to learn the sport and meet cricketers from all over the world.
Today’s matches get started with the key matchup, TCA versus PCCT at 9am, at the Xinmin Road baseball grounds next to Minsheng Elementary School in Chiayi City. Call Grant at 0939004653 for details.
The points table is: PCCT 6, TCA 6, Badshaws 4, Daredevils 2, FCC 2.