SONNET OPENER Aakash Chopra slammed an unbeaten 79 off just 50 balls to guide his team to a big win over Hargopal Cricket Academy in the Lala Raghubir Singh hot weather tournament at the Modern School ground on Saturday.
The temperature wasn't quite soaring, what with the rain clouds hovering over the city, but Chopra's dashing batting ignited the grounds. Batting first, HCA put up a modest 106 in the allotted 20 overs. In reply, Sonnet chalked up the required runs for the loss of one wicket.
Chopra said after the match that he wanted to utilise opportunities like these to become a better T20 player. "I could not score much when it actually mattered — in the Indian Premier League (for Kolkata Knight Riders). That was my first T20 tournament, barring a few I played in England. I am looking at these games as an opportunity to change my mindset for the shortest version of the game," said Chopra.
When asked how challenging it was to adapt to T20, Chopra said: "It's demanding. In Tests, your aim is to build the inning, but here in T20, you have to accept the fact that you will get out. You don't want to lift the ball in the air but you have to. Some people are naturally comfortable with this form of game but for someone like me, it's a learning curve," he added.
In another match, Air India's Vijay Dahiya continued his batting assault to beat Gush Cricket Academy by five wickets. Dahiya scored 54 off 43 balls.
HCA 106 (Milind 21, R. Pant 20; A. Malhotra 2-17, R. Rathore 2-10) lost to Sonnet 110 for 1 (A. Chopra 79 n.o., R. Dhiwan 21).
GCC 163 for 9 (M. Sharma 45, A. Malhotra 39; V. Jain 4-35, I. Ganda 2-20) lost to AI 164 for 5 (V. Dahiya 54, M. Bisla 38, N. Sharma 38; S. Prasad 2-32).
LBS 159 for 5 (V. Tihara 44, T. Dilip 40; Sumit Singh 2-19) beat TC 98 for 9 (R. Prasad 19; Darshan 3-36, R Bisht 2-17).
GCC 168 for 7 (A. Malhotra 68, U. Mohan 2-34) beat DG 129 for 5 (S. John 31, M. Chandela 25 n.o.; R Gautam 3-8, A Chauhan 2-24).