Jamia Milia Islamia opener hits 74 off 51 balls as Northern Stars down Southern Sharks.
When he advanced down the track to meet the pitch of the ball and then loft it back over the bowler’s head,Amit Verma of Northern Stars brought up his half century. Leg-spinner Avaikkarasan Sekar of Southern Sharks was the bowler who suffered as Verma found the boundary that brought up the mini-milestone.
The capacity crowd at the Jamia Milia Islamia ground rose in unison to cheer local-boy Verma. The batsman kept his calm and simply raised his hand to acknowledge the applause.
With a knock of 62 in the previous match against Bombay University,Verma’s 74 of 51 balls was a testimony to his ability and consistency in the Toyota University Cricket Championship.
“I did not want to get carried away by celebrating. I think if I keep performing it will help my cricket career progress,” Verma said after he was adjudged the batsman and the man of the match.
Verma’s knock was vital in the Stars recording a 12-run win over Sharks.
The 21-year-old from Noida was part of the Delhi U-22 squad during the last edition of the CK Nayudu Trophy. Verma batted at No.8 in the only game he played. He still regrets the fact that he was made to bat with the tail.
“Being an opener,I really don’t know why they did this. But you don’t know when you become part of the management politics,” he added.
On Wednesday,Verma had to be patient while batting in the middle. Stars were asked to bat on a track that had true bounce but lacked pace and hence shot making wasn’t easy.
After six overs,Stars were 39 for no loss. Once he got his eye in Verma shifted gears. He started off by playing with a straight bat but even without taking too much of a risk,he managed to keep the run rate at six an over.
In the thirteenth over,he stepped out twice to hit consecutive boundaries off B Amayappan and also hit a six over mid wicket off the same bowler.
“I had a simple plan. I take my time to settle down and then when I sense that I am on top of my game I attack,” Verma said.
For Verma playing under lights was always a dream. “I can’t believe I am playing under flood lights and in front of such a big crowd. I love the fact that people come and give us respect. I feel like a hero. This tournament is a great platform to showcase my talent and hopefully get back into the Delhi team.”
Three years ago,Verma was pursuing a degree in engineering but he eventually decided to devote all his time to cricket. “I knew I would be happy playing cricket. It seems I took the right decision,” Verma said.
Brief score:JMI 139/5 in 20 overs (A Verma 74,P Yadav 26,A Sridhar 1/24,A Sekar 1/18) beat Madras University 127/6 (G Sridhar 56,A Ahmed 2/19,D Sharma 1/15)