Shivam’s all-round show upstages Karim’s five-wicket haul

- May 29, 2023
| By : Khurram Habib |

The Rajnigandha Achievers skipper makes 45 on a testing surface and picks two wickets to help team beat Vidya Jain Academy that lost fight after Saba Karim’s fifer

Mohammad Saba Karim (Left) picked five wickets, while Shivam Singh (Right) performed with bat and ball

In a match that was more of academic interest and lacked competitiveness as both the teams had already crashed out of the tournament, Rajnigandha Achievers, a team made of professional players, made easy work of Vidya Jain Academy, winning by 135 runs in the Lala Raghubir Singh Hot Weather Cricket at the Modern School grounds.

The overcast conditions had made the surface a bit bowling-friendly, according to Rajnigandha skipper Shivam Singh.

“There was rain in the morning, the pitch was under cover which leads to moisture. Which is why there was help in the pitch,” said the opening batsman who represented Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League.

Shivam and wicketkeeper-batsman Deepanshu Phore, who was promoted up the order, batted watchfully, taking the score to 60. Shivam had made 45 off those runs in 32 balls to give his side a good start.

“We played here just like we do in normal red ball cricket, where there is some help and we have to be careful. I went with a mindset of guarding my wicket. The fact is that it was looking like a 240-250-run wicket, so we were happy that we went on to score 273/8 in 40 overs,” Shivam explained.

Phore made 64 and the platform was set for a big score.

However, Mohammad Saba Karim, a 19-year-old left-arm spinner, who failed to get past the Delhi under-19 trials last season, took five straight wickets to leave Rajnigandha struggling. From 136/1 in just over 18 overs, they were reduced to 175/6 in 28.4 overs – all thanks to Karim’s bowling.

“The wicket was helpful, especially for the way I was bowling. I targeted an area and got wickets. I didn’t forget my basics. My skipper Shivam Sharma asked me to focus on the length. Initially, I was putting it up but then I held it back on Shivam’s advice and got the wickets,” said Karim, a resident of Sultanpuri, whose father is a hakim and backs his cricketing career.

“My brother was a cricketer too. I used to accompany him to cricket. But now he is getting a degree in herbal medicine (Bachelors in Ayurveda) and following my dad’s footsteps. But I have stuck to cricket since it is my passion and will be trying for Delhi under-23 trials next season,” added the player.

After he was done with his spell of eight overs (5/41), Rajnigandha Achievers got back to scoring thanks to four scores of 20-odd runs to end at 273/8.

In response, Vidya Jain Cricket Academy folded for just 138 in 23/1 overs.

Shivam Singh, who also took two wickets for 27, got the man of the match award.