After a remarkable chase in the previous game, Oakville found themselves in a similar scenario, chasing 204 against Force One, but this time, a late collapse left Oakville a few runs short of winning again.
Oakville went in to field first, and were taken to the cleaners right away by Amit Sharma, who hit the ball all over the park. The breakthrough finally came with a beautiful delivery from Kamran Habib and an outstanding running catch by Farhan Iqtidar, and Amit Sharma had to leave after making a quick 33. A few wickets fell at one end, but the opener Abhijeet Karkhanis anchored the innings really well, and was finally out after scoring 71 runs. The lower order fought hard, and scored runs quickly, and soon took the total over 200. Oakville bowlers did a great job, but one pacer was missing from the lineup which put a big dent in the bowling attack. The spinners however, did a great job, Umair got 2 wickets, Mohsin did really well with the ball and got one wicket, Aizaz bowled beautifully but had no wickets to show for, and the pick of the bowlers was once again Kamran Habib with 4 wickets. The bowlers and fielders worked hard, but now the batsmen had to work harder to get the required 204 for an all important win against the defending champions.
Aizaz Paracha and Saad Zafar opened the innings in great fashion. Aizaz stole the quick singles and Saad hit some good boundaries. They took the score to 25 before Saad was run out to a direct hit from point. Farhan lost his wicket with 42 runs on the board. In came Mohsin Iqbal, the star of the last game, knowing that he had to top his performance if Oakville had to win this game. Aizaz was also well settled at the other end, batting like a champion, stealing singles through fielders’ hands and scoring the occasional boundary. He put a 32 run partnership with Mohsin but edged a ball to the keeper. He scored 30 runs with 2 boundaries. Nasrullah Syed and Mohsin then started rebuilding the innings, and had a 52 run partnership before Nasru lost his wicket. Kamran joined Mohsin and they both started scoring some quick runs. Their 50 run partnership ended when Mohsin was caught at point after scoring a much needed 74 in only 75 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes. He scored his second 70+ in back to back games and walked out with 28 runs to win off 28 balls with 5 wickets in hand. Unfortunately for Oakville, the next 5 wickets fell for just 13 runs – thanks to some careless cricket. Oakville had shockingly lost the game by 14 runs, a loss that was unforeseen. After fighting hard for 75 overs, in just a matter of a few balls, Oakville threw everything away. Mohsin top scored with 74, Aizaz had 30 and Kamran 20. Force One bowled really well, Vishal Sharma got 3 wickets including the game changing over in which 3 wickets fell.
204 was not an easy total to chase, but Oakville had chased a big total before and knew that with sensible batting and risk free cricket – it could be done. Mohsin stood up to the call again, and was well supported in the middle order. Oakville will take the positives away from this game, and will work on the mistakes they made, and are positive that there can only be improvement from this point forward. They are going to take on Hamilton next Saturday before they go away on the mid-season break.