Indus and Falcons were undefeated teams in the pool A. “This is one game that could get max TRP rating next week if aired on TV” – EP pool
As per the original schedule, we played against Indus last Saturday and the match was stopped due to the mother nature. We won the toss and decided to bat. I and Babu went for the opening. I scored 2 runs in each of my pull shots and five singles before I chased a wide ball and got out. I either get run outs nor chase wide balls. Babu got out after 2 overs by pulling the ball with out distance and gave an easy catch at mid on. Sai and Matta both belted the balls all over. Sai, when he is in form, he hit the ball like tennis ball. He did that with sixes and boundaries and Falcons were around 50 runs in 9 overs with loss of openers. The rain was unstoppable and you could tell how passionate those 22 players were to figure some way to play the game. It showed how much both the teams love the game. There were lots of options on the table how and when to play the game.
Passionate 22 cricket lovers decided to play on Thursday (July 3rd), a day before American Independence day. The game was after work and one of the player from Indus was coming from Chicago to play this game (after his traveling job, I guess!!). Our lucky captain won the toss again and we decided to bat. We had Upendra and Barath in the eleven and we missed Piyush (what a great addition to Falcons, He displayed a tremendous falcon’s attitude in last match and one abandoned match) and my opener partner Babu (he went to San Fransico and he is our kindler. Sometimes, tough to face though, but that is alright, we all know him). Barath is playing his first regular season game.
Keshav and I went for opening. Keshav is another text book shot guy in our team. Our game plan was not to lose wickets in 5 overs and score minimum 25 runs. Their opening bowlers are best in the league. We both were close on first part of the target and second had 10 runs variance at the end of the 4th over. Keshav’s perfect cover drive, might be an inch or 2 above the ground was passing by the short extra cover fielder and he took a beauty to grab it so great. It was an excellent catch and my partner departed.
Sai hit his second ball he faced to deep mid wicket and the fielder adjusted really very well to take it as an easy catch. Matta, the danger man of the league, joined me. We took some fast singles and he called me for a risky single. I know it was not safe and statistically and probabilistically he is better player than me and I did not mind a bit to get run out. I went to the danger end and ended by innings (totally 4th run outs in this season for me)
We were really struggling in the middle to tickle the score board. We lost periodic wickets and the score was around 50 runs in 14 overs. It was a 20/20 match not 25/25. Sudhir (new) played really well in this situation. He scored three huge sixes and timely singles & doubles. Hari provided a great support. Hari’s cover drive was a excellent piece of work. It was a classic shot. You could only see it in the TV. People who were watching the game enjoyed that shot for free. Final score was 83/6 in 20 overs. That score was possible only because of some of those 2 runs Hari run tirelessly and exemplary display by Sudhir with massive hits . Indus fielding over all was so excellent. So far in this year, it is the best fielding team we have had played. How ever they dropped few catches (one easy chance for me)but they took some excellent catches, made great run outs and made few great stops. Great job.
We started our bowling with Upendara and Srikanth. Both bowled good but not to their best and couldn’t grab wickets in their first spell. One or two wides though. Keshav and Sudhir bowled awesome. They contained very well. There were exemplary piece of fielding from Sai. He is priceless and if there is best fielder trophy in the league, committee members, stop your search and there is no thinking required to pick the best Sai. His great catches and run outs played a significant role in the result of the match. Raj bowled great spell along with Matta. Raj’s caught and bowled wicket and Matta’s air swing ball wicket played pivotal role in this game. Hari made few great stops.
There were 3 catching opportunities and 1 stumping changes for me in this match. The first one was an easy catch and for some reason the umpire was not convinced. I was so surprised how he could not hear/see the connection to the ball and batsman hand/gloves. Very strange. He did not give him out. The second one, the ball was going almost 4 foot above my head. I jumped so hard and touched the ball but could not catch it. At one point, the opponent batsmen were taking 2 or 3 steps to take all the good length balls as a full toss or over pitch and scoring boundaries. To scare them, I stood up to the stumps to our fast bowlers. It slowed the batsmen not to over step the crease and take good length balls as a full toss or over pitch. It really helped to slow down the run rate (in my opinion) and during that time there was raising ball from our captain Srikanth and it was above my shoulder and could not react fast enough. Had I stood down, I would have taken it as an easy catch but if I did, had the batsman played the same shot!! any way, that was my third lost catching opportunity.
You can tell from out side too that umpire was not fully attentive to the game nor fully focused. There was a clean bowled and he decided it was bouncing from my thigh (I stood up to the fast bowlers). Bad decision by umpire again and the next ball, the batsman was going for huge hit and missed the ball. I was soooooooooo excited to get him stumped. I was so excited before completing the job (Here is an example of don’t think about the future and do the job at hand). Did not collect the ball cleanly and fumbled the stumping. It was an easy stumping and I missed it. No excuses, I did a bad job.
There was an excellent catch by Raj in the deep mid wicket and it was the last minute turning point. Indus was in the game till the last over. Run out fiasco was an another example how much umpires were involved in the game. It was run out and ended up Falcons gave 2 runs when they need 16 runs in 6 balls.
Finally every thing ended in favorable to Falcons. This is the first game we won with out the bonus point. We won the game by 6 runs. We won this game because we were Falcons with Falcon’s attitude.
I play with other teams (in office and guest player in other team in different tournaments) and had this situation occurred to those teams, I’m sure they would not have got the same results. Generally the teams lose hope when their likelihood of winning is low. We faced that situation lots of times in the game and we pulled it off as a team.
This win was absolutely due to the Falcon’s attitude and the killer instinct we displayed in the game. It was a great game we played so far in this season. Great game and Indus was a great team to play with and has lots of talent in the team. (May be we will play again in the semi or finals)
Good test for Falcons and they passed.