Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) scored a memorable 32-run victory over the fancied Chennai-based Chemplast in the final of the BCCI Corporate tournament and lift the Rajsingh Dungarpur Trophy at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Once canny seamer Imtiaz Ahmed uprooted tail-ender P. Parameswaran’s off stump, the overjoyed CAG reserve players and support staff rushed from their dug out and dressing room to the centre plot of the stadium to join their eleven teammates for a cheerful celebration. Imtiaz turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief with a lion-hearted effort of 5 for 21 in 8. 3 overs, as CAG subdued Chemplast for 178 chasing a modest target of 211.
The final - that made the winner rich by Rs. 1 crore and the runner-up by Rs. 50 lakh - was a story dominated by seam bowlers. They showed their bag of tricks on a surface that offered hope right through the match, by way of extra bounce in particular.
First, Chemplast’s Sandeep Sharma caused the downfall of five CAG batsmen for 26 runs in 10. 4 overs. He was well supported by R. Suthesh as CAG, put into bat, declined to 56 for 4 by the 18th over and 150 for 7 by the 39th over before its lower middle-order showed some spirit and hit out to post a fighting 210.
The Chemplast chase followed a similar pattern with its top four - K. H. Gopinath, M. Vijay, Mayank Agarwal and Napolean Einstein - falling to Imtiaz and Rituraj Singh for 30 runs by the 12th over. Robin Bist and skipper Hemant Kumar put their head down to make 52 for the fifth-wicket. Bist was unlucky, forced to play a delivery that lifted awkwardly and went into the direction of Biplab Samantry in the cordon of a thick edge.
Thereafter Hemant Kumar, R. Satish and Piyush Chawla showed pluck to stay in the fray, but in the end Imtiaz had the last laugh mopping up the tail in an emphatic manner. The game perhaps drifted in CAG’s favour when Hemant Kumar, after a persevering 85-ball 49, lobbed a catch to off-spinner Jalaj Saxena in the 43rd over.
The BCCI and MCA vice-president Ravi Savant gave away the trophy to the winning team. The tournament also carried a man of the match prize of Rs. 25,000 for each of the 27 league and knock-out matches.
The scores: CAG 210 in 46. 4 overs (Rameez Khan 41, Arpit Vasavada 24, Avi Barot 35, Biplab Samantray 24, Sandeep Sharma 5 for 26, R. Suthesh 2 for 45) bt Chemplast 178 in 46.3 overs (Robin Bist 25, Hemant Kumar 49, R. Satish 34, Piyush Chawla 24, Rituraj Singh 3 for 32, Imtiaz Ahmed 5 for 21).