After two losses, ACS(I) beat RI in final

ACS(I) batsman Sai Harsha playing a shot in the A Division final yesterday at Ceylon Sports Club. The team won by 10 runs. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
ACS(I) batsman Sai Harsha playing a shot in the A Division final yesterday at Ceylon Sports Club. The team won by 10 runs. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Gune Atharva Rahul's name may have been spelt wrongly on the back of his jersey, but he did everything right in the Schools National A Division cricket final yesterday.

The 16-year-old Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student took three wickets in one over during the final moments to hold off a comeback from champions Raffles Institution at Ceylon Sports Club.

ACS(I), who won the toss and elected to bat, scored 140-5 in 20 overs before restricting RI to 130-9.

Atharva, described by some fans as the "man of the match", said: "It's a very proud moment to be able to get my best performance out of myself on this stage, at this final.

"I was still looking for the fourth (wicket) and also trying to keep it simple. I just took it ball by ball.

"I wouldn't say (I was nervous), I made a plan for the main batsmen who were scoring against us. Before every ball, I just think about what I'm going to bowl and tell myself that I'm going to stick to that."

ACS(I) captain Ishaan Paul Sawney described Atharva as one of the team's best bowlers and hailed his "fantastic effort".

Ishaan, 17, added: "Raffles put up a really good fight and it got really close, but the boys really pulled through. Before the game, I told them not to worry about the result and to just focus on giving everything and leaving no regrets."

ACS(I) had twice lost to RI during the preliminary phase, but he did not feel that affected their morale for the final.

"They are a good side, but we also just kept faith in ourselves," added the Year Six student. "We know we're a good team and, on our day, we're good enough to beat them, so we just kept a positive mindset."

A disappointed RI captain Hriday Mistry said: "We beat this team by (big margins) twice, so to lose to them narrowly hurts because we should have got the job done.

"We dropped a couple of catches. It was our game to win, but we made crucial mistakes and let the game slip out of our hands. Those mistakes cost us today."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2019, with the headline 'After two losses, ACS(I) beat RI in final'. Print Edition | Subscribe