New Delhi: Jamia Millia University bowlers craftily defended 139 for five wickets en route to a 12-run win against Madras University in a Group B match of the Toyota University Cricket Championship in New Delhi on Wednesday night. This was Jamia's second win in as many games and that puts them right on top of their pool.
The Southern Sharks from Chennai made a hash of a modest target and failed to pace their innings on a wicket that became increasingly slow and low as the evening wore on. The Kent RO Northern Stars (Jamia) bowlers did not disappoint their fans and medium pacer and Bowler of the Match Atif Ahmad (2/19) forked the heart out of the Madras batting with two wickets in his third over. Ganga Sridhar's 53 off 59 balls went in vain for the visitors.
From 53 for 2 in the 10th over, Madras crashed to 86 for five in the 15th after their batsmen played rash strokes because the asking rate was mounting. Rohit Ramamlingam played a 16-ball 24, but that was not enough for Madras. All credit to the Jamia bowlers who maintained a steady line and let the Madras batsmen make all the mistakes. The inability of the Madras batsmen to put a decent partnership in the middle proved to be their undoing.
Left-arm spinner Deepak Sharma was outstanding with figures of 4-0-15-1 and bowled dangerman Sivaramakrishnan Subramanium for 20 with a ball that skidded off the pitch. Sharma was ably supported by fellow left-arm spinner Mayank Vashisht, who got rid of the dangerous Madras captain Avaikkarasan Sekar, who scored a run-a-ball 14.
Earlier in the evening, put into bat by Madras, opener Amit Verma struck a 51-ball 74 to help Jamia Millia Islamia post a modest 139 for five wickets in their 20 overs. This was Man of the Match Verma's second half-century of the Toyota University Cricket Championship.
Jamia could have scored at a brisker pace but could not force the pace on a dry and low wicket where the ball did not come onto the bat. Skipper Parveen Yadav scored a run-a-ball 26, but Madras spinners did well to keep the Jamia innings under check.
Jamia did well to lay a decent foundation and when Shivendra Pal (17) was first out in the ninth over, the home team had 46 on the board. But Jamia could not accelerate when it was required and after Rahul Dravid-fan Verma was out caught at deep mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Vasantha Kumar, the momentum flagged. A fine last over by medium-pacer Kiran Kashyap and two wickets off six balls pegged Jamia further back.
But as it turned out, 139 was a good enough score for the home team.