Batting first, after winning the toss, Patong Whites got off to a solid start, with opening batsman Ike Bekker forcing his less athletic batting partner, Anthony Van Blerk, back and forth between the batting creases as they looked to rotate the strike.
As the total ticked along, both batsmen grew in confidence and began to score more freely, with several superb sixes and fours being struck.
With the score on 60, a breakthrough was finally made by star Goa bowler Sarvesh Kandolkar, who cleaned bowled Bekker (30) with a superb delivery, and in his very next over claimed the scalp of new batsman Paddy Ledeboer (7), who was all at sea with another in-swinger that once again devastated the stumps.
Next to the crease and to join Van Blerk was Shivam Bhattacharya. The pair kept the scoreboard moving along nicely with Van Blerk (56) notching up a very well deserved half-century before he was eventually clean bowled by Arun Chawla.
That would, however, be the last wicket of the day for Goa, with new batsman, Seemant Raju (37 not out) and Bhattacharya (23 not out) steering the Patong ship to a very respectable final total of 166 for 3 in their 20 overs.
In their chase of the 167 needed to win, Goa would find early runs hard to come by. With an opening spell by the Patong bowlers that was later described as “mesmerising” by the officiating umpire, John King.
With pressure building, the first wicket would not be far away as Prakash Jha had opener Aliston Pinto (1) caught by Bhattacharya.
The new Panther’s batting pair of Mayur Deuskar and Ravi Naik were more resolute in their batting approach, and once they saw off the opening bowler’s, runs were more free-flowing. Naik played many excellent pull shots to the boundary in a period of play filled with intent and tenacity by Goa.
Deuskar (17) and Naik (21) would eventually succumb in quick succession to a pair of unplayable swinging yorkers, by Ledeboer, which then again reignited a quickfire partnership between new batsmen Arun and Chawla – moving the score ever closer to the 100-run mark – before Patong, with a beautiful closing spell by Raju, Bhattacharya and Jha that saw the last four wickets fall for 10 runs and handed Patong victory by 59 runs.
However, even with a second loss in the campaign, Goa should take great motivation from this week’s performance and will certainly look to capitalise on this notable improvement when they take on Kashmiri C.C. on May 20.
Man of the Match for his 56 runs and a stumping was Anthony Van Blerk.
This Sunday (May 13), sees a double-header with Kashmiri C.C. taking on Patong Blues at 10am and then Patong Whites taking on Easy Living C.C. at 2pm. (See fixtures list in photos above.)
– Jason Robertson
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