KUWAIT: Kenil Kuriakose, President of AECK presenting Man of the Match trophy to Mahesh (AECK). KUWAIT: Kenil Kuriakose, President of AECK presenting Man of the Match trophy to Mahesh (AECK).

KUWAIT: The 19th Prof Ramachandran Memorial Cricket Tournament (RMC) conducted by College of Engineering Trivandrum Alumini Association (CETAA) and sponsored by GTE Olayan Co continued on 18th November with the second round of league matches. In the day’s 1st match, winning the toss and batting first, NIT were soon in trouble loosing wickets at regular intervals against MACE. But Ajay (10) and Soj with a fighting 6th wicket partnership of 28 runs helped NIT to finish on a respectable 47 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in their 12 overs. Giju (2 wickets) and Roy, Jayesh, Sandeep, Tinu with a wicket each bowled steadily to keep NIT within manageable proportions. In reply the top order of MACE rose to the occasion with Jayesh (15 no - man of the match), George (13) and Aju (11) ensuring an easy 8 wickets victory with more than 5 overs to spare. Ajay and Tarun (1 each) were the wicket takers for NIT.

Hosts CET batting 1st in the 2nd match could not make much headway against the persistent attack of TKM and were reduced to 32 for 6 by the 10th over with only Prashanth (11) showing some resilience. But Zakir (15 no) in a late order flourish enabled CET to finish on a fighting 54 for 6 in their 12 overs. Anfar (2), Mukesh, Rahul and Javed with a wicket each had things under control for the majority of the innings. In reply, Shabeer (23) with 3 boundaries took charge early on and with Anfar at his explosive best (15 no - 3x4) took TKM to a commanding 9 wicket victory in the 8th over and put TKM firmly on course for a semi-final spot. Daniel had the consolation of taking the only wicket to fall in TKM’s innings.

In the third match, batting first against TEC, AECK had a good start with the openers putting on 24 runs by the 5th over. But it was the 2nd wicket partnership of 32 runs between Mahesh (35 - 1x6, 2x4, man of the match) and Nimish (23 - 4x4) which took the match away from TEC enabling AECK to put up a dominant score of 92 for the loss of 7 wickets in their 12 overs. Sreekumar (3 wickets) bowled spiritedly with good support by Gireesh and Sandeep (1 wicket each) but could not quite contain the classy AECK line up. In reply, injury hit TEC seemed disheartened as none of their established batsmen could reach double figures and AECK won comprehensively by 55 runs. For AECK, Abulais, Nimish, Remon (2 wickets each), Munaz and Shameer (1 wicket each) once again showed their all round bowling strength. In the final match of the day, NSS batting first lost their top order quickly and were precariously placed at 18 for 4 wickets at the half way stage.

Aneesh (20) with good support from Shyfuddhin helped NSS to reach a fighting 50 runs being all out in the last over. For KEA, Nasif (5 for 10 including a hat-trick) did most of the damage with good support from Sibin (2 for 15). In reply, KEA openers Nitin (29 no - 3x4) and Govind (14 no) put up a brilliant display with fluent drives and pulls to all parts of the ground. KEA won by 10 wickets in the 7th over showing they are a real force to reckon with and strong contenders for the title.