Brownstown is a small town, south of Detroit in Michigan and a cricket team from this area called Brownstown has been playing in all the cricket leagues in Detroit area. The team comprise of players from Pakistan. Sports and games are meant to improve the personal,inter personal, national, international relationship between players and fans across villages, towns, counties, states, countries and continents. If anyone does not understand the core purpose of the sports and games and in contrary fight on and off the ground, in my opinion, they should not be playing any sports nor games. Sports and games are meant to be improve and nurture healthy relationship.
Until recently, I never worked nor interacted with people from Pakistan. Few years ago, game of Cricket provided me an opportunity to know them better. I came to know from Pakistan cricket players who played with me in the office league, they wanted to come to India to visit their grand fathers home towns in India. In my opinion, the playing games like Cricket, not only helps to improve the relationship but, it also provides a foundation to improve the leadership, team building, team dynamics,coaching, mentoring, talent identification, talent analysis skills which helps to perform the professional job better. I personally learned a lot by playing cricket.
Brownstown team is popular among other teams in the league for their maturity, integrity,passion and their talent. Any given day, they are not an easy team to defeat and they are not going to give up at any circumstance. That shows their maturity since the game of Cricket is full of uncertainty and that is why the Cricket game is very interesting to play or watch. As it was rightly pointed out by the father of Cricket, W.G Grace, you can not take your eye off the game for a second.
For the first time, Falcons had a written down game plan prior to the game and it was communicated to all the team members before the game. Kudos to Babu to draft the game plan. Few new strategies were applied in the game plan and it was timely communicated to the members with various scenario. Good job Babu.
It was a beautiful Michigan summermorning and you can not get better Saturday than this in Michigan. The weather was perfect for Cricket and was like English weather. We did not have our Falcons Pillar, Hari, for this game since he has been visiting India on his vacation. The game was scheduled to play in Drake park and I scored 3 golden ducks (getting out in the first ball) in the same ground before in the past regular seasons. I always played good against Brownstown and my first sixscored in this league was against Brownstown. I was debating my self, am I going to score good or continue my golden duck in this ground.
Sai’s newly born had a function in the temple and he had arrived little late.
I personally was hoping for Uppendra to continue his last match performance in this game. Falcons won the toss and as per the game plan, Falcons decided to bat. Babu and Raj went as the opener for this game. Raj is an aggressive stylish batsman who plays the ball by its merit. He does not take time to settle down. If the first delivery he faces is a bad ball, irrespective of the situation, he will put it off to the boundary. He played few aggressive shots before a close run out call. The Rehan and other players thought Raj was run out but the leg umpire from Falcon’s team thought other wise. I told Sudhir P that if Raj was really run out, Raj would get out in the next ball. The next ball was bowled, Raj hit the ball towards covers through the fielder at short cover. Short cover fielder graped the ball and managed to hold it before he fell down. Raj was out in the next ball and my conspiracy theory was proven correct.
Sai, Sudhir C, Keshav and Piyush were all promoted in the batting order. All of them are very dangerous players with strong batting technique and Sai, Piyush & Keshav have strong temperament also. They all going to fire up in near future and each of them are capable of scoring half century in a game in this league. Sai was unlucky to be stumped in fast wide ball. Piyush was playing so well and beautifully pulled the ball for a boundary in the mid wicket. He was beaten and caught well by Rehan behind the stumps. He was misguided on the guard and did not connect the well judged ball. Sudhir C was given out for a catch where the leg umpire strongly believed that catch was not taken cleanly. Since the main umpire thought it was cleanly caught and we did not argue and moved on.
Meantime Babu played with patience. He played around 16 overs and scored around 25 runs. His patience, temperament, risk averse approach aided and guided Falcons to move forward in the score board. Matta (Mr. Consistent and Mr. Dependent) provided a required support to tickle the score board. After Babu and Matta’s dismissal, Sudhir P was looked up on to take the score to three digit. After Keshav dismissal, I joined Sudhir P. Tons of things were going on my mind. Will I break the jinx (out in the first ball, golden duck) in this game. Is it going to continue? Should I change my bat to test my better luck? and finally I changed my bat and went with CA bat. When I was facing the first ball, all I wanted to do was to score one run and not to get out in the first ball. My thoughts were, if I would do that, then my burden in my mind would go away and I could play my game. As you can see, I was over analytical and thinking too much.
The first ball I faced, was good length but pitched on leg side coming to the stumps. I played my cross shot to deflect the ball to short fine leg since there was no fielder. Surprise! Surprise! I missed the line and got bowled. It continued. Got out in the first ball for the fourth time at Drake Park. I could not provide the support the team was looking from me in this game.
Sudhir P was also got out sooner. Both Srikanth and Uppu showed their character through their smart batting. Ticked the score little bit but became unfortunate to get run out. We were bundled for 84 runs. Not a great score but not a bad score either. To become a champion, we need play lot smarter than we did today. We need to apply our talents on the field when we play against a good team like Brownstown. We should have scored at least 125 runs and we were way shot of the expected target. Lots of lessons learned in this game and we need to improve in those areas in the future games.
Uppu continued his last match best performance in this game. He bowled with precision and occasionally surprised the batsman. He provided the break through for the Falcons. I was still thinking about my batting did not bring my mind fully to the keeping job. Had few sloppy gathering to start with. I pulled my self at least to gather the ball. Made few wide ball stops and there was very low catch from Babu’s ball. I thought I got the catch cleanly but the umpire felt other way. No argument and moved on.
It was an excellent display by all the Falcon’s fielders. To name few, Sai (as usual) took few terrific catches. Sudir P dived front to secure the catch to avoid any potential mistakes. Great thinking and good presence of mind to secure that catch. Matta’s caught and bowled was also caused some rumbling from the batsman but umpires (leg umpire was from brownstown’s team) thought otherwise and he was the danger man who dismissed Falcon to get into the semi final in the last season. At a point, Brownstown was very close to target and comfortably moving towards it. Falcons exemplary fielding, bowling , supporting each other aided Falcon’s to pull it off. Raj, Uppu, Srikanth, Babu, Matta, Sai all stepped up in the bowling to make the difference. We played as team, good chemistry in the field among the players and were goal oriented.
I want to call Babu out during this session. He was leading the team during this session, supported, encouraged and pumped up the energy of the team members. The credit goes to him to make the Falcons to create the opportunities (or luck as some team member would like to refer) during this session.
It was great team effort and we should continue this effort in the fielding and avoid the mistakes made in the batting in the future games.
Greens are next..