After the league matches, it was time for the elimination phase of the Dainik Bhaskar Agency and Media Cricket League (AMCL) 2010, and it did start with quite a bang.
The quarterfinals were played at the Venkateswara Cricket Grounds on Saturday, January 30.
The first match was between MPG and Dentsu. MPG won the toss and decided to bat first, under good batting conditions.
Openers Anuj Sharma and Harish gave a rollicking start to their team, putting 50 on the board by the fourth over. The duo played strokes all round the wicket; and it took a brilliant catch in the deep to get rid of Harish (34 off 22 balls, 5x4). However, Anuj stayed till the very end, compiling an unbeaten 46 (31 balls, 6x4) to take his team's score to an imposing 118 in 10 overs.
In the second quarterfinal, Advert Communications took on Mercantile. It was a face-off between last year's finalists for the Delhi region, in which Mercantile had beaten Advert.
Mercantile batted first on winning the toss. But Advert Communications were eying revenge and their captain played his part by taking 3 wickets cheaply. The Mercantile innings really couldn't take off, as they put up a rather modest 85 runs on the board in 10 overs.
The target was not too big, but Advert still needed to put the runs on the board. And their openers only furthered the team's cause. Rishabh Sharma was particularly severe, as he scored an unbeaten 53 off just 18 balls, with 7 fours and 3 sixes. He was ably supported by Ashish Ranjan, who was unbeaten on 23 off 13 balls, as Advert raced to an easy win in just six overs.
The third quarterfinal of the day was played between NewsX and Studio Thorn. NewsX batted first, and depended heavily on their in-form openers, Kashif Iqbal and skipper Manoj Kumar.
The experienced openers began well and put up 35 by the fourth over. However, in the next over, Studio Thorn skipper Prannoy struck twice, removing first Manoj and then Rohit, to deal a telling blow to the opposition.
The team depended heavily on Kashif to gather a fighting total, but he, too, was suffering from cramps. Kashif put up a lone fight with 40 runs off 26 balls, with 3 fours and 2 sixes, but that was not enough. NewsX finished its quota of 10 overs with 83 runs on the board.
Once again, the target was small, but it required patience and application from Studio Thorn to achieve it. Zia ul Haq with 42 runs (23 balls, 4x4, 2x6) and Amit (22 runs, 13 balls) guided their team to an emphatic win. It was a disciplined effort and Studio Thorn had turned out to be quite the dark horse of the championship.
The fourth and the final match of the day was between Lintas and Outlook. Lintas batted first and with the help of a fine 65 from Rohit put up a good batting display. Rohit hit 5 sixes and 5 fours in his knock, picking up his commendable score off just 21 balls. A polished 31 from Damodar helped Lintas score 134 runs in the stipulated 10 overs.
This was a high scoring chase and Outlook looked bogged down by the enormity of the task.
Wickets fell regularly -- Sidhartha picked 3 while Damodar helped himself to 2. As a result, Outlook was bundled out for 73, securing Lintas' place in the semifinals.
For score details, click here.
Dainik Bhaskar AMCL-2010 is being supported by associate sponsors including Open Media, STAR News and All Sports Magazine. Radio partner for the cricket tournament is Red FM and outdoor partner is Bright Outdoor Media. Online support to the AMCL-2010 has been extended by Cricketnirvana.com.