Delhi received light showers early in the morning on Monday which slowed down the outfield at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium,which was supposed to host a league match of the Hot weather tournament. As the match began,the batsmen of the Delhi Audit team found it difficult to pierce the infield even though they stroked the ball from the middle of their willows. Their score of 173 in 30 overs looked competitive,taking the wet outfield in consideration. But by the time Kishanganj Gymkhana’s innings began,the bright sunshine had dried the outfield,and Gymkhana made a mockery of Delhi Audit’s score and chased it down in 22 overs.
For Gymkhana,opener Pramod Chandila – no relation of Ajit Chandila – was the protagonist,scoring a century in just 70 balls to inflict an eight wicket victory over the auditors. “For them,it was really tough to score as the ball stopped just outside the 30-yard circle. What could have been fours were just turning out to be twos or threes. But I was patient and started slowly. When the outfield dried completely,173 started looking a small total,” says Chandila,who despite having no relation with the tainted cricketer has shared Faridabad dressing room during the Patuadi Trophy.
The 20-year-old batsman owes his current form to a club tournament in Nainital recently,where he scored a match-winning 155 and followed it up with two half centuries. The numbers were even better in the subsequent Gold Cup tournament at Dehradun. Chandila scored two centuries this time and as many half centuries to take his run count to 360 in four matches. His team,unsurprisingly,won the tournament. The match on Monday was his second of the Hot Weather tournament and he is among the top run-getters already. “I scored a 45 in the first match and today scored a hundred. We are playing Sonnet on Tuesday and I am focussed to add a few more,” he says.
Until a few years back,his inconsistency has been a roadblock for his growth,especially for he wants to make it to the Haryana squad. “I want to make a habit of scoring every time I bat. I haven’t make it to the Haryana squad yet because I’ve lacked consistency. Playing here,I want to consistently score runs and that is my aim,” Chandila says. In the last edition of the tournament,he had a century and a half century as well.
On the topic of his namesake,Chandila says the only time he’d seen Ajit Chandila was when they played for Faridabad. “Its just that he used to come to Vijay Yadav Sir’s academy that I started to know him. Moreover,when he came to know that I hailed from his neighbour village,he started noticing me and helped me as a senior. In fact he helped me fit into the Kishanganj Gymkhana last year. But as juniors we feel bad after he was caught in the fixing scandal,” Chandila says.