Gemini’s four keeps HCA in the hunt

- May 30, 2023
| By : Khurram Habib |

Left-arm spinner and skipper Hitesh Gemini helps Haryana Cricket Academy beat Players Academy to stay in contention for a place in semis of Raghubir Cricket

Hitesh Gemini

Haryana Cricket Academy (HCA) skipper Hitesh Gemini spun a web around Players Cricket Academy with a four-wicket haul to help his team stay in the hunt for a place in semi-finals of the 46th Lala Raghubir Singh Hot Weather Cricket Tournament.

HCA, located on the Delhi-Haryana border, had bowled out Players Academy for 176 in 37.2 overs, an impressive feat on a purely batting surface. They then chased the total in 26.2 overs, losing just five wickets.

“Our plan was to win the toss and elect to field to exploit early moisture. Fortunately, we won the toss,” said Gemini, who hails from Daryapur village in Haryana and is the only cricketer in his hamlet.

After two early wickets, Players Academy had settled down and progressed to 56/2 in eight overs.

“Some runs were scored early on. But when I came on to bowl along with fellow left-arm spinner Sahil Dhull, we built pressure from each end (Players couldn’t get even 60 in the 16 overs after powerplay),” said Gemini, who has taken over 300 wickets in club cricket.

Gemini took two wickets in his first over to leave Players Academy on the backfoot.

“Though this is a small and batting-friendly ground, there is still margin for the bowlers. Sahil and I tried to bowl to the field. I have been playing this tournament for 4-5 years and I know where to bowl,” added the 25-year-old, who represents Subhania in DDCA League and played for Haryana under-25 when he was 21.

The first wicket he got was out bowled. He then had his second through a leg-before decision. He then bowled the third one and his fourth came off a catch at mid-wicket as the batsman fell to a sweep. Gemini finished with 4/26 in eight overs. Dhull returned with 1/20 in seven.

With just 177 as the target, HCA could take it easy. There was some worry when the side was reduced to 106/4 in 14 overs. However, Jasmeet Nain saw them through with unbeaten 42 off 39 balls.

HCA now play Carpediem India to fight for the semi-final spot.