A win against this team would have ensured a semi final berth and we were aware of that. In fact we wanted to play ISB, the new team, in their first match so we can catch them unaware before they adjust to the format. But full credit to the youngsters that they pulled off a creditable win.
We started off with two changes - Sumanth and Sreenivas were not available for the match. So I stepped in, and Subbu was pulled in to bolster the batting (though I would have preferred to have Ramesh playing this match). We lost the toss and were asked to bat. Pawan opened with Subbu and they put on 15 for the first wicket with 4 dismissals. Gajanand and Ramesh played next and they added 14 with a couple of dismissals. Things were not looking too good at 29 in 8 overs when Sanjay and Shilpi walked in and added 49 runs for the third pair. We ended up with 78 at the end of 12 overs. Suri and I batted for the last pair and could manage only 9 runs with 6 dismissals. That set us back a bit and we ended with a fighting total of 87.
ISB began by losing a wicket off the very first ball. But they batted hard and confidently despite playing for the first time. They added 29 for the first wicket. The second wicket added 10 runs. The third pair added 17 runs. AT 56 in 12 overs we looked like we had a good chance especially since Shilpi and I finished our two overs and gave only 10 runs. But Sanjay's over on the 15th cost us about 15 runs and they were suddenly at 81 requiring only 7 to win. ISB batted sensibly to secure a win off the last ball and ended up with 88!
It was a close match. Now we are back to waiting for ISB to lose two matches in which case we play a faceoff. If they win three, we are out of the competition.