August 22, 2000

Of tosses and run quotients

A persistent drizzle ruined the calculations of many a fancied team on the final day of the current round of matches in the MRF-Buchi Babu invitation tournament in Chennai today. Not a ball was bowled in four of the five matches while the fifth saw a modest 24 overs of play. Three of the games were decided by the caprices of the toss, with sponsors MRF amongst the victims, while run quotient was called into play to arrive at the remaining two winners.

According to the rules of the tournament, if the first innings of both teams is not completed and if the second has played at least half the number of overs as the first, then the team having the superior run quotient (runs scored divided by wickets lost) is the winner. On the other hand, if the team batting second has not played even 50% of the overs faced by the team batting first, then the spin of the coin will decide the result.

At the MA Chidambaram Stadium, All India Associate Banks put it across an MRF side that was in the box seat after having declared at 490/9 the previous evening and reduced their opponents to 84/3. Indeed WV Raman, who devised the rules for the tournament, suggested that next year the organisers may consider a bowl out to decide the winners of a rain ruined game. MAC-TNCA XI were also shown the door by Indian Airlines after making 459 for seven declared to which their opponents had replied with 23 for one at the CPT-IP ground yesterday. Tamil Nadu President's XI were the third team to go out on the spin of the coin to ONGC, which were 95 for two in the face of a total of 383.

In the only match which saw some play, Jolly Rovers sneaked past Kerala on run quotient. Resuming at 95/2, Rovers proceeded to 165/3 in the two hours play possible to get the better of their opponents who had scored 299. The quarter final line up now reads: National Cricket Academy v Karnataka, All India Associate Banks v ONGC and Indian Airlines v Jolly Rovers. The remaining quarter final game was decided today when New Zealand Cricket Academy (208 for four) sailed past Hyderabad (392) on account of their superior run quotient at the Guru Nanak College ground and will now await the winner of the All India Associate Banks - ONGC match in the semifinal.