Thursday, Mar 16, 2023 08:45 [IST]
Last Update: Thursday, Mar 16, 2023 03:12 [IST]
GANGTOK, :A maiden five-wicket haul by part-time bowler AshishThapa on Wednesday set Alpine Sporting Club up for a nine-wicket victory in SICA ‘A’ Division tournament at Mining. The win pushed Alpine to top spot in Group-B.
Sent in to bat at the Sikkim Cricket Ground, the bottom-placed HRCC Namchi were bowled out in 20.2 overs for 43. That total never looked troubling for Alpine’s strong batting unit, which accelerated to 47-1 with 194 balls to spare.
In-form ArunChettri (29 not out) batted with freedom in pursuit of a low target after his opening partner AfzalHussain departed for 10.
Bowlingat this level only for the second time, Ashish was the best Alpine bowler on show on day as he ended with a career-best five for 12.
In the absence of an additional seamer in the team, Ashish was thrust into the role of being Alpine’s new ball bowler.
Ashish has the experience of bowling spin in the past but it was his bat which did most of the talking in his career.
Very few know about the bowling expertise of one of the best Sikkim batters who has been keeping wickets for senior men’s Sikkim team and Alpine since 2018.
The five-wicket haul with his right-arm slow-medium saw the opponents dismissed for 43, meaning Alpine had to chase a low target to qualify for the play-offs from Group-A.
“This was unexpected (taking fifer), but it’s okay (chuckles). I was told beforehand that I have to bowl in the match and I was mentally prepared. I practiced in the nets, and the team gave me the confidence,” Ashish told this correspondent.
In only eight overs he has bowled across two matches, Ashish has taken seven wickets at an astonishing average of 3.71.
But, he is not tempted by the bowling success. Wicket-keeping will always be his first priority, said Ashish,the Sikkim’s first choice wicketkeeper. He is also the most capped Sikkim cricketer.
KinaraRai and Ingsho Limboo comprised the two-seamer attack this year after MdRohnak switched teams. Injury to Ingsho and absence of key figure in Alpine’s bowling plans, Sumit Singh, who’s on paternity leave, has left the former champions short of resources, especially in the seam-bowling department.