Empty thoughts and mutterings

Monday, June 27, 2005

A weekend of winning

Just how you'd want your weekend to be in the perfect cricket world ! A critical midwest tournament game for UK against EKU. An ISA tape ball tournament saturday and sunday. Some of us guys had been wanting to play in the tape ball tournament together, because, although we had known each other for a while, we never played together as a team. So this was our chance ! But 4 of us had to play the UK game, which meant that the rest of the guys had to play without us for a game. We fought with ISA as much as we could to get both our games scheduled on sunday, so that we could come back and play both games without fear of losing one game and leaving us one must-win game to enter the semis. Not to be. And ofcourse the rest of our guys were like "we don't want to play without you guys, so let's withdraw" and so our ISA tournament was in jeopardy. And so, I was angry with almost everybody that day..with the ISA for not being a little more accomodative with our requests, with our guys for being so adamant about not playing, with the opponent for not returning the huge favor we did to them. And all this confusion left us so unprepared for the EKU game.


Funny how mornings provide wonderful solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems from the previous night. Prabhu and gang agreed to play the one game without us and we were all set for the game against EKU. We sent EKU to bat first, and got all their high profile batsmen out early and got them reeling at 49 for 6. A decent 7 th wicket partnership got them to 97. At one point, they were threatening to get to a decent score of 140-150, which would have put us in a little bit of a bother, especially with the sweltering heat and no shade. EKU started with a bang and got 2 wickets for the first 5 runs. And their best bowlers were in operation. Once me and ashok played out the first 7-8 overs, runs started flowing. The rest of the game went on smoothly and we got there with plenty of overs to spare and lots of wickets in hand. I was personally satisfied, because, all I wanted to do was to stay there till it was over, and I could do so with some amount of effort.
Some highlights: Ashok's terrific straight drive and Laka's pull six that nearly landed in the nearby lake.

Just as soon as we got our kits packed, we called prabhu and heard loud, happy voices in the background...they had won without us in a nail biter. Got us real pumped up. Dharma and kay with big contributions had done the job for us. In the morning, we were all pumped up and made short work of our opponents (and mind you they were no push overs as we would learn the hard way later on) gettting them out for 64 and prabhu and myself got us more than half the way in 4 overs. It was easy for us the rest of the way. The semis was a bigger challenge than we thought because we were asked to bat first. I got vijay and prabhu out to run outs with some over aggressive running. But I managed to avoid their anger by playing a decent knock and we got to a 108. Our bowling was the highlight and they managed a weak 75. The finals was the most thrilling of them all. Inies and Vishy with some late innings heroics, took their score to 139 from what looked like a 95-100 max after ashok's dismissal. 140 in 15 overs was going to take a monstrous effort. I was very determined and wanted to play out the 15 overs and give it a real good shot. We had the batting to do it, but to get to 140 was going to take some luck as well. When Vijay and myself were starting to get a decent run started, I twisted my ankle and fell and was run out. A horrible way to get out in an important game ! Vijay and laka followed short after. Our hopes started waning, but our unsung hero (to that point) Vasu had to have his day yesterday. He started connecting, and it was six-shower the rest of the way. Our moods were changing with every six. After the first couple of sixes, we thought, atleast we had a couple of big ones in response to their 7-8. After the next couple, we started thinking "okay,they scored 140, we'd have around 110, so we don't have to be embarassed when people ask". After the next couple of sixes, it was "wait wait wait, guys we need 46 from 5 overs, we actually have a chance". 2 more sixes and the opponent's heads drooped and we knew the game was ours...was an improbable but highly deserving victory to a TEAM that played its guts out the whole weekend.

Some highlights:

1. Dharma's terrific story narration during our 3 hour break that we later agreed was our source of inspiration for the game. All this when the opponents were busy working out strategies to get us out.

2. Kay's spinach and my sambhar that made sure we were all as "mandham" as possible when we got on the field :)

3. Dharma and kay's every ball routine of the same dialogue and dharma's leg shaking exercise(to keep the runs flowing).

4. Baby K's expert sledges that were working wonders ! And viswesh's irritated response to it "Avan vaayila saaniya potttu adainga da" was extremely funny !

All in all, it was a weekend filled with action and winning ! Here's captain's take on it.


Cheers !
Dinesh

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