Head constable Manjeet’s blitzkrieg takes Goat XI to win

- May 25, 2023
| By : Khurram Habib |

Delhi Police staffer picked cricket at the age of 31 and has been making waves since. On Thursday, his 23-ball 66 took his team to a crushing victory over AIMIL

Manjeet scored a 23-ball 66

Manjeet, a 33-year-old head constable with Delhi Police, who powered Goat XI to a 97-run win over AIMIL in the 48th Goswami Ganesh Dutt Memorial Cricket Tournament on Thursday, started playing cricket only two years ago at an age when people start thinking of quitting cricket.

“I have always been passionate about cricket. Back in 2013, Delhi Police Cricket Club had held trials to select their team for the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) league. For some reason, I couldn’t get selected. I waited for years before I cleared the trials two years ago to represent the team. Since then, I have tried to make the best use of the opportunities I get,” said the all-rounder who has been employed with Delhi Police since 2010.

In fact, he barely played any decent level of cricket between 2010 and two years ago when he finally made cut for his team. The only cricket he played previously was in 2007-08 when he represented the Swami Shraddhanand College team. He has never even attended any nets in his life.

On Thursday, the right-handed batsman hammered a 23-ball 66 to take Goat XI to 298/7 in 40 overs. His knock was studded with seven sixes and four fours.

Walking in to bat in the 35th over with the team at 212/6, the No. 8 batsman had little time to get his eye in.

“My main target was to get the team to 250-260 but the ball came in my range, and I kept hitting in that – between mid-off and mid-on,” said Manjeet after the match.

All seven of his sixes came between mid-on and mid-off. He looked in total control, barring on one delivery when an inside-edge shot went to fine-leg boundary.

“Due to my job, it is hard to take time off for cricket but I try to make use of whatever opportunity I get,” he revealed.

Manjeet has been among runs in DDCA league too.

In eight 40-over matches he has hit 384 runs, including a double ton – 224 — vs Mohan Meakins. Even in DDCA T20 league, he has clicked, aggregating 360 runs in six matches with a century.

The 299-run target to win wasn’t that challenging for AIMIL.

Vikas Singh, the right-handed batsman, who made a 57-ball 82 for the losers, AIMIL, said they had done well to restrict a good team like Goat XI below 300 despite Manjeet’s knock.

Thanks to Deepesh Balyan’s 46-ball 75 and Vikas’s knock, AIMIL were well in the game halfway through the match.

But the fall of the fifth wicket in the 23rd over triggered a collapse and the team folded for just 201 in just 29.2 overs.

“The pitch was supportive to batting. But we couldn’t build any partnership and kept throwing away wickets. That is why we couldn’t chase,” said the 25-year-old Vikas.

“We had done very well to restrict them even though we conceded a lot of runs — around 90 in seven overs – towards the end. We felt it was still within our reach. But we lost too many wickets and hence lost the match.”