Bolts strike first in friendly with Thunders

AUSSIE Bolts won the game but expect to see more of the same when Dubbo's sub-continental cricketers go up against a local side in 2013.

On Sunday at No.2 Oval, the Tropical Thunders took on the Aussie Bolts in a Twenty20 clash and while some thought it would be an international 'friendly', Bolts captain Wayne Cole said the competition was keen right from the first ball.

"The game was all about cementing relations between the guys from other countries, mainly from India, and our Aussie lads," Cole said.

"The idea came about through the RSL-Colts Cricket Club and it went ahead from there.

"Brad Murahari is a club player with us and he set about getting a team together from his end and I did the same.

"You may have thought it would be a friendly game of cricket, but that didn't detract from the contest which was played right out until the final ball.

"There was plenty of banter from the bowlers and in the field and it was full on throughout the afternoon."

Cole said the success of the game and the social curry dinner on Saturday night has now sown the seeds for an expansion of the game next year.

"It was a great success first up and everyone enjoyed themselves. The feeling is that we could play three games next season and I'd like to think that maybe we could play those games at night," Cole said.

"As far as the social night went, it was great. We had 60 people and the food and company was just great. I can also see that turning into something bigger with more people involved.

"The star of the show was Ryan Davies who sculled a glass of curry to win the event by a long way."

While Yogesh Chawla won the toss for Thunders, he invited Bolts to bat first and they finished with a competitive 129 after Mick Davis got 33 and Pat Cuskelly top scored with 40. Jono Davies' 19 not out was handy at the end.

The Thunders bowling was aggressive with opener Dharmendra Mepani bowling a good line and length to clean up the tail and finish with the enviable figures of 4-21, while nothing could be taken away from Vinay Kepali's 3-22 and a wicket each from Brad Murahari and Yogish Chawla helped.

The big test for the Bolts bowlers was to try and contain run machine Jaspal Bansal, who has been in great form in club cricket this season with a century and three scores of 97 in first grade - the last on Saturday, as well as a half century Friday night in a Twenty20 game.

He was quickly into stride with some good placements but came undone when a ball from Sam Campbell kept low and he was bowled for 17.

Although they had wickets in hand, the Thunders batting needed someone to lift the tempo in the final overs and the captain was the man to do it.

Chawla threw the bat at anything bowled at him and even with 17 needed off Wayne Cole's last over there was a hint that a surprise result could happen.

Six from the first ball heightened that expection but the best he and Ravi Katkuri could do was get 13 which meant they fell six short of victory.

Brad Murahari said his bowlers were pleased to have kept the Bolts to 129 and despite the best efforts of their batsmen, they just couldn't get them home.

"Our bowlers were very good and it was an intense game, which I think everyone enjoyed," he said.

"There was some confidence that we could get the runs but I was disappointed that I personally couldn't offer more than one (run) and was out in the second over.

"Jaspal looked very good as did Kapila and Mepani but they got out after getting good starts.

"Then to have Chawla come out blazing really put the game back on equal terms.

"He and Kavooru gave it their best shot but we just missed out."

And a few words of warning for Cole and his Bolts: "Maybe the result will be different next time."

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