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The Napa Valley Cricket Club recently hosted a new social cricket team from San Francisco dubbed the Kabootars, a team of players who all work at Twitter, at the Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga. For a team that doesn’t play regularly, the Kabootars certainly showed their potential as they defeated NVCC by 58 runs, having posted 202 in their 35 overs.

Napa Valley’s captain for the day, club president Phil Bourke, won the all-important toss on a hot day and decided to insert the Kabootars – Hindi for pigeons – in to bat. Bourke was rewarded for this decision with two wickets inside three overs – both for off-spinner Kiranpreet Singh, who found plenty of turn on the Calistoga pitch.

Singh was ably supported by fellow opener Tony Parrish, the New Zealander whose medium-fast pace had the Kabootars batsmen pushed back in their crease and unable to get his consistent line and length balls past a tight inner cordon of fielders.

Gus Cleland added to the Kabootars woes with a third wicket for NVCC in the 10th over to leave them on 28 runs and relying on their middle order to salvage the game. The Kabootars middle order did just that with three consecutively strong partnerships – fourth Wicket 67 runs, fifth Wicket 48, sixth Wicket 58.

The anchor for all three of these partnerships was young batsman Kailash, whose score of 98 included seven 4s and five 6s. NVCC’s Bourke mixed up his bowling through this period but found no success despite using a total of eight bowlers. The only bright spot for NVCC in the field was the return of Singh in the “death overs.” He took three wickets in the final over, including that of Kailash, to notch up his first “5 for” – five wickets in one inning – and the NVCC’s second such milestone this season.

With lunch from Calmart for both the NVCC and Kabootars team and their guests, NVCC set out to chase down the gettable target of 203 to win. However, as seen in previous games, NVCC failed to build any partnerships through its innings and no one batsman stood out as making a substantial contribution to the chase. Australian Tim Irwin (31 runs off 24 balls) top scored for NVCC. But with only four other batsmen – Pete Carson (17 off 34), Kiranpreet Singh (16 off 24), Hardeep Takhar (15 off 25) and Abhijit Adhye (11 off 20) – getting into double figures, the hosts ran out of batsmen in the 32nd over with their score at 144 runs.

After the match, Bourke presented the Clos du Val “Man of the Match” award to Twitter’s Kailash for his contribution to the game with the bat.

“It was a great game for our first here in the Napa Valley,” said the Twitter Kabootars captain Saurabh Verma, “and we look forward to coming here and playing again. The Napa Valley club has been incredibly hospitable, not just to our team but to the many family and friends who came too and we are very appreciative of that. We played well with both bat and ball today.”

Added NVCC vice present Andrew Healy, who handles game scheduling , “Today’s game was an example of the reach of cricket with a team from one of the top social media companies coming to the Napa Valley to play a game that we all love. Our schedule for 2015 has brought, and will bring in, teams from San Francisco, the South Bay, Marin and Sacramento, and a touring team from Philadelphia in October. It doesn’t get much better for cricket lovers than playing the game they love in the Napa Valley.”

Napa Valley’s next game will be at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in Calistoga against the Marin Socials.

The club thanks sponsors Clos du Val, Silverado Resort and Spa, Compadres Rio Grille, Tonnellerie Saint Martin, Penfolds, St. Helena Optometry, First Priority Financial, Anchor Steam, Amcor, Ciatti, Joseph Cellars, Biagi Bros., Rebel Dog Hot Dogs, Stone Universe, Lyve Systems Inc., TricorBraun WinePak, 3 rock marketing, Calistoga Roastery, Napa Gourmet Foods, and Napa Valley Body Connect.

Visit napacricket.com for more information.

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