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Dominant Anantapur advance to the semifinal of the ACA U14 Inter-District Tournament

Defending Champions Anantapur during their group game against East Godavari The stage was set, they had it very well in their favor, they just nee ...

Defending Champions Anantapur during their group game against East Godavari

The stage was set, they had it very well in their favor, they just needed to make the right moves and deliver, and they did just that. The Anantapur district U14 boys have qualified for the semifinals of the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) Under 14 Inter District Tournament 2015, on their home soil at RDT’s Anantapur Sports Village, on course to defending their title from last year.

The AD\CA has always been more than happy to count on Rural Development Trust (RDT) to assist them with a world class facility at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) to host such an eventful tournament, with the best possible facilities to athletes as well as officials, both on and off the field. With three fields available to play on at any point during the tournament, including a main ground with a seating capacity of 5,000, along with a clubhouse and a media centre, the ASV is well equipped to match-up to any metro city with regards to the cricketing infrastructure. 

The tournament is played in a league cum knockout format, wherein the group stages are played in a league format and the semifinal and finals are decided in a knockout format. All matches part of the tournament are 2-day games. This year’s Elite Championship hosted seven teams from the districts of Kurnool, Krishna, East Godawari, Prakasam, Vishakapatnam and the hosts Anantapur. Each team played every other team once in the group stages, wherein the top two points scorers moved on to the semifinals, which are to be held on the 9th July.

The Anantapur district team featured three of RDT’s Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) trained athletes from its current batch, namely Datta Reddy, G. Shreyas and Guru Raghavendra. Speaking to ASA’s coach A. Yugandhar Reddy, he was of the opinion that “these boys have been training hard and been playing well lately, and their contributions were important in Anantapur’s success in the championships”.

The tournament started off on the 8th of June and Anantapur began its campaign facing Krishna in its first game. Anantapur, being sent into bat, dominated day one scoring a whopping 409/9 with Yogananda scoring 123 off 161 and Mahindra Reddy with a quickfire 105 off 78. Day 2 of the game saw Anantapur continue its dominance by dismissing Krishna for 77 and having them follow on to finish the day at 62/6, with bowlers Pawan and Jaffer doing most of the damage.

(Clockwise from top left) B. Yogananda, Pawan Kumar, N. Harinath and Guru Raghavendra

Their second game was against Kurnool, where the bowlers turned up to dismiss Kurnool for 94 in the first innings. Their batsmen then scored a quick 218/6 overnight, going on to declare at 277/9 in their first inning on the following morning. They then sent Kurnool to chase the deficit and finished them off for a cheap 64 all out to take 6 points for a win with a whopping innings and 119 runs.

The third game was a neck to neck battle between Anantapur and Vishakapatnam, with both teams having to settle for a draw in the end. Anantapur’s fourth game against Prakasam was by far the slowest game in the competition, where they began proceedings with a 1st inning total of 257 all out in 74.2 overs. 

Prakasam utilized the second day to survive to score 163/8 off the entire 75 overs. Anantapur’s last game against East Godavari saw a similar slow game with Anantapur scoring 216/4 in 75 overs on Day 1 and East Godavari hanging on at 138/8 in 75 overs on Day 2.

The tournament saw Anantapur’s B. Yogananda bat exceptionally scoring tons in almost all the games. ASA athlete, Guru Raghavendra played a strong supporting role coming in at number 4 or 5 in the order. Yogananda may have batted well but the bowling department consisting of Pawan Kumar and N. Harinath showed consistent bowling performances in all the games.

Anantapur looked to play with a specific strategy of scoring big in just one inning and then pressurizing their opponents and looking to defeat them by an innings. Anantapur’s performances in the league stages have been excellent, and if they continue the same form into the knockout stages, they are bound to give their opponents a tough fight towards retaining the championship.

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