Living up to the excitement generated in its very first day this season, the Amar Ujala Agency and Media Cricket League (AMCL) tournament was thrilling, with an ample dose of gritty competition for both its patrons and spectators alike.
Dainik Jagran versus Leo Burnett
Starting the series of matches on Day 3 of the third season, creative agency Leo Burnett was facing media entity Dainik Jagran. On winning the toss, the former decided to bat first and looked ahead for setting a mighty run target.
Starting the innings for Leo, the opening pair of Amit Wadhwa and Ashish Doddar looked determined and confident. But, at an impressive delivery by Jagran's Rohit, caught by Wasim, Wadhwa, the first of the opening pair, was seen heading back to the stands after scoring a paltry 13 runs (off seven balls, 1X4, 1X6). Ashish, the other opening batsman followed next, contributing 38 runs (off 20 balls, 7X4). Leo's Sree Kumar proved critical for his side as he scored a decent 36 runs (off 16 deliveries, 6X4), and clinched three wickets.
For Dainik Jagran, celebrations began from the very first ball onwards. Opening batsman Manoj, to everyone's delight, sent the first ball flying. But, soon he was caught by Ashish, on a ball by Gaurav. Pankaj, the next player in line, looked composed as he added 33 runs (off 14 balls, 2X4, 4X6) to the team's kitty. But, the partnership to look for was the one between Jagran's Kunal Jerath and Rohit Kukreti. The duo added 63 runs (off 22 deliveries) and played a pivotal role in their team's victory. Dainik Jagran won the match by four wickets. Rohit Kukreti was declared the Man of the Match, for his unbeatable 32 runs (off 8 balls, 3X4, 3X6) and two wickets.
Aegis Media versus Amar Ujala Compact
This match will surely go down as one of the most easy-looking, yet exciting matches of the tournament. Amar Ujala Compact won the toss and decided to field first. Setting a huge target of 193 runs for their opponents, Aegis Media had the last laugh. Rohit Sharma, scoring the highest total of the tournament with 143 runs (off 40 balls, 13X4, 14X6) made the match look rather one-sided. With fours and sixes raining across the field, many spectators were heard saying that he was determined to not let any one from his team bat after him. The inning proved to be a delightful experience for Aegis, while an excruciating one for the opponents. Though Amar Ujala Compact tried its best to fight against all the odds, victory remained elusive. Though, measured bowling by Krishna from Team Aegis gave the opponents a tough time, players from Amar Ujala Compact enjoyed their game throughout. Aegis Media won the match comfortably by 82 runs. Rohit Sharma, deservingly, won the Man of the Match title for his unbeaten volley of 143 runs.
Madison versus STAR News
The third match of the day was between the television news broadcaster STAR News and Madison. The creative agency won the toss and elected to bat first. Setting a decent target of 145 runs in 10 overs, Team Madison played a mature innings. The highest scorer of the team was Deepak, with 52 runs (off 24 balls, 5X4, 2X6). While it was out-an-out a team effort towards victory, Shariq stood out with his seasoned bowling attack. The youngster clinched two crucial wickets.
STAR News started its batting confidently, but it showed that relying too much on the opening pair can do irreversible damage. Though Harmeet and Anand (the pair that led the batting line-up) stood unshakeable well in to the match, as soon as they returned to the pavilion, the team's restlessness was evident. The opponents took advantage of the situation and tightened their attack, thereby returning home happy and victorious. Madison won the match by 20 runs. Shariq from Team Madison was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Contract Advertising versus Studio Thorn
Ending the day on an exciting note was the match between Studio Thorn and Contract. Studio Thorn won the toss and decided to bat first. When Zia-ul-Haque scored a boundary on the leg side, he made his intent clear. But, a timely yorker from Contract's Prashant sent Zial-ul-Haque packing. Usheer Mohan, the next in line, scored 17 runs (off 9 deliveries, 3X4). Usheer came across as an agile wicket keeper and a good morale booster for his teammates. Setting a humble target of 152 runs with a loss of six wickets, Team Studio Thorn was ready for an exciting duel.
Young Prannoy Khurana gave Team Studio Thorn reasons to rejoice from his first delivery itself. He sent back Prashant Gopal, without granting a single run. The wicket keeper, Usheer Mohan, caught Prashant behind the wickets. In the last two overs, Contract needed more than 80 runs to win. While the batting team had visibly lost all hope and drive, the bowlers were still relentless in their attack. Team Studio Thorn displayed a healthy collective effort and the thirst to win. The team won the match by 76 runs, ending the day on a high note. Bharat from Studio Thorn won the Man of the Match title for taking two wickets and scoring an unbeaten 43 runs (off 19 balls, 5X4, 2X6).
For the complete scorecard, click here.
Amar Ujala AMCL-2011 is powered by Images Bazaar and is supported by associate sponsors UTV Action and All Sports magazine. The radio partner for the cricket tournament is Fever FM and the outdoor partner is Katha. The cricket partner for the season is SG, while Cricket Today is the magazine partner. Indigo Nation is the gift partner for the initiative.