CRICKET: Mangoase Hydro limits Pace of Pupuni; Twinkle Stars shines at the expense of Fire batters in Asuogyaman Boys U-19 T20 league

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It got really exciting in the ongoing Eastern Region organized Asuogyaman Boys U-19 T20 community league on Saturday, August 5, 2023 at the Akwamuman SHS Park, with week 3 encounters.

Tortibo Twinkle Stars started the day with a 6 wickets victory over Senchi Fire Batters. Fire Batters wanted to test their strength against the defending champions and so elected to bat first after winning toss.

Fire Batters’ fire was not blazing, as the Twinkle Stars shone brighter in the first innings, with the former scoring 70 runs, all out in 15.5 overs. Isaac Gadri, who came on as the 5th batter stayed for 1 hour and 3 minutes and could have fan the fire to blaze, but Rudolf Akunor’s delivery gave him out for a Catch, as he scored 16 runs, off 22 balls, being the last wicket to wrap up the first innings.

Rudolf Akunor took 4 wickets, gave away 10 runs in 3.5 overs and was adjudged the player of the match. Wisdom Konotey also took 3 wickets, gave away 10 runs in 3 overs.

It took the Twinkle Stars 46 minutes and 8.5 overs, to score 74 runs, for 4 wickets to win the game. Rudolf spent 6 minutes and scored a boundary 4 that wrapped up the game, facing 2 balls. Opening batter, Isaac Tetteh scored 17 runs, off 18 balls after Johnson Bediako’s ball got him caught on the 7.4 over.

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Coach of Fire Batters, James Awui says, they are still picking up, admitting it was difficult against the defending champions.

“You know, playing against Tortibo, who happens to be defending champions is not an easy task for us, even though we trained. I think we have to work on our batting and bowling all. The batting, most were doing petty mistakes, which we should look at. Then in terms of fielding, some easy catches, they drop them. Most are also new players and today is first game for some and do not really know how to communicate and run in between the wickets. So, as we keep on training, we will work on all that.”

Winning coach, Raphael Padi Tetteh believes they could have finished the game in 6 overs, as they have been persistent in training.

“Persistent training and giving your players the morale support, motivating them to give out their best. They love the game, so once you encourage them, they put in much effort. We wanted to finish the game after 6 overs, so I knew we would win it very early, but one of the batters was over excited and was targeting boundaries, so he went out early. I told my boys, no matter who wins toss, it is a game, and anything can happen, so I encouraged them to do their best.”

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Having lost their first match against champions, Twinkle Stars on week 2, Mangoase Hydro were determined to clinch their first victory to avoid the bottom place. They however had a bad first innings against Pupuni Pacesetters, who won toss and chose to field.

Mangoase scored 70 runs, for 10 wickets in 13.3 overs, while Pupuni set the pace of the game, enjoying the fall of wickets, with Joshua Kudonu taking his first on the second ball of the innings and a total of 4, giving away 22 runs in 3 overs. Abubakari Iddrisu and Kingsley Afeletey took 3 and 2 wickets each, gave away 12 and 5 runs in 2.3 and 1 over(s) respectively.

John Kwao was exceptional in the bowling figures as well. He took 1 wicket, gave away 1 run in 3 overs, with a maiden and a maiden wicket over.

Pupuni threw in their best; Kingsley Afeletey (4-4) and Paul Tetteh (14-20) to finish off the game in the second innings and after 3 overs, were 6 runs better (20) than the power lads. Things however turned around for Hydro and they mellowed the pace of Pupuni after 10 overs, keeping the latter at 47 runs for 6 wickets; 10 less than they had and a wicket less too.

Pupuni were at 62 runs when they lost their 9th wicket in the 12.4 over. With 9 runs to win and more overs to go, Mangoase Hydro knew they needed sharp bowling to wrap up the game but dropped a crucial catch when Godwin Atsu clashed Prince Asare, from Mawufemor Nusenu’s delivery.

The wicket finally came for Mangoase who jubilated in style, taking Pupuni Pacesetters all out for 67 runs in 14.4 overs and won the game by 3 runs.

Nusenu was the hero of the day and the player of the match, as he took 3 wickets, gave away 5 runs in 2.4 overs.

Belinda Asante is the coach of Pupuni Pacesetters and she attributed their loss to over excitement of her players, knowing they are close to winning.

“Most of my players are in JHS 3 and are preparing for BECE on Monday, so we are not able to train. So, we are hoping our next game, after which they are done with the BECE, we will train and come and perform. My players were over excited, realizing they were almost done with the game, with few runs to win. So, the overexcitement caused that. Next time, I will talk to them to calm down, till they finish the game.”

However, Coach of Mangoase Hydro, Immanuel Narh was surprised about their win, believing it was luck mixed with commitment.

“One of the things that worked for us is luck and the other is commitment from the players, because they worked really hard. It has not been easy because they are new, except only 1 player from last year. Even though I was expecting a win, I had about 20% of it and the rest was about they improving. What makes this victory top notch for me is the performance of Nusenu, who took 3 wickets, his first time and I am impressed. This victory will boost their morale.”

Abuakwa Super Kings are currently top with 4 points and +3.15 NRR, followed by Tortibo Twinkle Stars, also with 4 points and +2.05 NRR. Mangoase Hydro and Senchi Royal Batters lie 3rd and 4th with 2 points each, whereas Pupuni Pacesetters and Senchi Fire Batters occupy the bottom 2 accordingly.  

The excitement continues on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at the Akwamuman SHS Park.

By: Davis Nii Attuquaye Clottey  

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