Category: Cricket

Cricket – Matches played in and around of Detroit, Michigan area.

Falcons Vs Indus – 2008 Qtr Final Match, DCL

Falcons have been playing in the DCL league for last 5 years and 5 years in the row, they reached the qtr finals (Final eight) and they never reached to the semi finals in last 4 years. Two teams in the league, GLCC and Brownstown knocked them out two times each in last four years. First GLCC in 2004, I still remember that game where the leg umpire from cougars gave out for a run out (Matta’s) at the non strikers end. Still remember few crucial catches missed by Falcons during the critical time. In 2005, it was Brownstone. We were close to win the game. It rained in the middle. We started again, we required 20-30 runs in 12-15 overs with 8 wickets in hand and still lost it. In 2006, it was GLCC again. It was a low scoring game, we scored around 60 runs and GLCC did have no problem scoring it. In 2007, it was Brownstown, we scored around 120 runs and they chased it.

It is a big relief that neither of the team is our opponent in the 2008 quarter final. Nonetheless, Indus is a strong team and it was the first team in the 2008 regular season challenged Falcons and we managed to win with Sudir C’s heroic efforts. Their fielding, in particular was exemplary in the league. They had few dangerous quick bowlers and strong depth in their batting.

Pregame planning

Strategy against the Indus was very simple. If bat first, score 100+ or if we bowl first, restrict them below 65. We all know what we all gotta do. Our roles, batting order, bowling order, bowling strategy, batting strategy, fielding position, approach, tactics, all clear to every one. We can’t wait to execute the clearly defined plan on the game day.

Batting..

Toss won by Falcons and as per the game plan, we decided to bat. Babu and I went to open the Falcon’s innings. Indus have their sharp, dangerous bowlers to start the innings. Babu scored a quick single and I was facing my first ball. The first ball was bowled at out side the off stump ball, little short to a good length ball. The ball to be punished. Their field setting had 5 players on off side and 3 of them very close. Went by the instinct, pulled the ball to fine leg (technically, a risky shot to play in the first over) and fetched two runs. The next ball was almost the same ball, this time, I hocked it (not a pull) and I thought it was going to get a six but fetched only a four. The next 3 balls were bowled at a very good length on on side and received the necessary respect from me. All those three balls could have been treated harshly but did not want to take a risk in the first over. In the second over, Babu again scored a quick single and I was facing this new bowler (Justin, I think his name is). It was a very good length ball, bowled to middle wicket, I paid my respect, went front foot and defended. The ball looped, raised 30 degree and due to its pace it traveled enough to reach the fielder at short cover. Azim took a simple catch. I could not believe what happened there. I knew there was 5 players on off side and 3 of them were close. That is the only reason I hocked and pulled in the first over. I should have driven the ball instead of defending it. I was out in the second over. I was kicking myself and what was point? No point. I was out.

Raj, the days are yet to come to see him scoring tons of boundaries in a match. He is a true pinch hitter. He does not take even a single ball to settle down. He plays by his instinct. He was unlucky again to be trapped before the wicket for a low kept ball. He scored just single in this game. Sudir P, another text book shot player from Falcons joined Babu. He not only supported Babu on the other end, he pulled few boundaries, made singles and doubles. The score board was ticking at a regular pace. Sudir P was bowled by a spinner. It was really a great ball. The ball pitched on off side, a good length ball. Sudir P, took front foot to block it. The ball took 25-30 degree turn and took his leg stump. Great ball. Bowler had a little bit of Abdual Qadir style. Matta, the super star of the league, joined Babu. He scored few furious boundaries before we was caught at the deep mid wicket. It was a splendid catch. Unbelievable to some extend. I never thought Indus was going to take that as the catch. They did and Matta was back to pavilion. Meantime, Babu was playing superbly, scoring singles and doubles. Sai joined Babu. It was the last over before break. Sai was asked to play cautiously. He was forcing himself to play defensively. The score board showed around 50+ during the break for the loss of 4 wickets. In the last but one ball, Sai was out, chasing a outside delivery and caught by the keeper. Keeper missed it but managed to grab it again. Sai was the fifth victim from Falcons and Piyush joined Babu. Both played really well. Had a good partnership. Piyush scored boundaries along with Babu before he was caught again by the surprise by Indus fielders. Babu exploded and got aggressive. He drove a long on shot and Indus took another impossible catch. Indus so far displayed how they could create opportunities in the ground. Keshav, Hari and Sudhir C all fell with slight modification to the score. Hari wanted to take a run when the non striker was not comfortable and ended losing his wicket. Sudhir C, who won the game for Falcons against Indus during the regular season also got out. Keshav’s shot in which he got made me to think. Srikanth scored pushed the scored board little before he left with no partners from the Falcons batting order. Falcons managed to score 94 when the likelihood of scoring 120+ was high at one point.

Bowling

Indus started their innings really very well. They scored around 20 runs in 3 overs with out any lose of wicket. We were challenged and think tanks (Matta) quickly changed the bowling and brought Matta and Sudhir C to bowl. The first wicket was fallen in Sudhir C’s over. I was little puzzled how the wicket was fallen but I was told it was LBW. In next few overs, they scored few additional boundaries and Falcon’s bowlers also helped with adequate wides. The score board was moving faster than Falcons wanted. Suddenly, a little over pitched ball was bowled. The hard, powerful driven shot was offered and it sent the ball towards covers in the air above 1-2 feet above Matta’s head at the speed of atleast 60 mph. Matta, with his greatest reflex, quick jump, strong arm not only stopped the ball but also graped and stuck into his palm. Yes, the second wicket of Indus was fallen by the greatest catch made by a Falcon this year.

Nitya, one of the coolest, talented, smart cricketer in this league joined the batting. Matta and Sudhir C combination worked but didn’t continue to work. In some cases, the extras were flowing freely. Think tank again made the right decision to bring the trump card, Babu. Babu bowled unbelievable deliveries before Nitya was bowled by his ball. So much relief in everyone’s eyes after Nitya got out but we also know their batting depth is so deep. The next batsman walked in, Raj was telling before the game that he is literally scared of his batting. He can’t bowl when he bats. He is the danger man of Indus. He can change the course of a game in matter of minutes. He can clear the boundaries and true heavy hard hitter. Srikanth walked up to me and told me that I should stand up to Babu. There are bowlers like Babu, who claim they are spinners and they bowl faster than some of the medium pace bowlers. I told Srikanth, standing up to Babu will not help to take the catches and told him I will stand down for him.

Babu continued his bowling and the danger man was reading babu’s bowling by defending, pushing and missing it. He decided he read Babu’s bowling and went for his hard hit shot. He read it wrong and the ball was traveling to the short fine leg. I was just running beneath it and I took it. It was not a difficult catch but it was very crucial wicket. Our hopes increased. Meantime, Matta and Sai bowled two more batsmen. Sai (expect his wides) bowled excellent deliveries. Srikanth and Keshav were brought back and disturbed the batsmen periodically.

We had to get 3 wickets and Indus had to score around 40 runs. Likelihood of our win was high at that point. Suddenly we were losing the game by giving boundaries, wides, extra balls, not materializing the run outs. Made quick adjustment to the field and the ball was hit so high to Keshav. He took a beautiful, well judged match winning catch.

The last two batsmen still troubled Falcons and ticking the score board. They required 25 runs and we required 2 wickets. Sudhir C bowling fetched a caught behind and the last wicket was run out by an excellent throw by Raj.

Finally Falcons broke the jinx and moving to the semi finals.

Falcons Vs Brownstown – Game #3, Round #2, Season -2008

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.

Falcon’s Batting:

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.

Falcon’s bowling

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..

Falcons Vs Stars (Round #2, Match #2, Season 2008)

It is my first second round game in 2008. I could not play last week for multiple reasons. I had to go with my son for a city (Farmington Hills) parade and one of my college mate came from Dayton. Looks like, Falcons played an emotionally exhaustive match in my absence and enough damage and control was made before game against stars.

Both team was on time on fine Michigan Sunday morning and quick in setting up the field with umpire’s concurrence. Toss won by Stars and with out any hesitation, they decided to bat. Few ramblings on how bad the field was and Sun was coming straight to the batsman.

Falcons’s bowling

Srikanth and Uppu started our bowling today. There were few wides to start with. Except the wides both bowled really good. The pitch was set such way that the wicket keeping position was half in the grass and half in the circle (we play in the base ball ground). I knew from the beginning, it was going to be tough to keep the wickets in that position. I could not cleanly stop few wide balls and fetched additional runs. Stars were very slow in scoring where as our bowlers were scoring fast for them by bowling wides and I assisted them by not collecting the wide balls cleanly.

Uppu bowled few awesome deliveries today. There was a distinct nick on his bowling and umpire for some reason was not sure and did not give him out. It was very clean caught behind and Uppu and Falcons became unlucky. After few balls, the same batsman played a lazy stroke for a very good length rising ball and this time umpire was focusing enough to give a caught behind decision with out any hesitation. There was another catching opportunity from Uppu’s bowling and I tired my best. I could not fully capture what happened and why I missed that catch. I touched the ball and did the ball had enough spin to escape my finger? Did I jump late to the raising ball? Did I jump faster? I really do not know but I missed a difficult catch (It is difficult because it was at least 3 foot above my head).

Keshav has been consistently bowling good and his swings are noteworthy. I wish to see him bowl the red ball with 3 slips. He bowled exemplary deliveries.

Hari has been doing good both in the field and with his bat. He made few great stops and made a run out. I liked what I said to him. “Some times our weakness becomes strength” He was throwing the ball so high to me when the batsman was in the middle of the pitch. Since he throws slow, it helped to jump accordingly to collect the ball and run out the batsman. New Sudhir made few excellent fielding. Few well judged catches made by Keshav, Srikanth and Matta.

Finally, Stars were all out for 68 runs and significant contributor to the tally was extras we gave him in wide,byes and no balls.

Falcon’s batting

Babu and I went to start the innings. Babu treated the bad balls and respected the good balls. I was rotating the strike by placing the ball. There was no pace in their bowling. The ball does not come to the bat and even the full toss balls you need to wait so long to connect it. I made 3 pull shorts and fetched 2 runs each and placed 4 times in the gap for an easy single. In this season, it was the first time, I got out for a good ball. In all other games, either I get run outs or chase the wide balls. It was raising delivery I tried to place it in the gully and the ball was quick and I was not quick enough. The ball was going to the first slip and fielder took a sharp catch. It was a good catch. Before I got out, Babu defended the ball and the ball was coming so slow and it hit the bat after he completed his stroke and went for an easy catch. Piyush, Keshav, Hari & Sudhir all got out cheaply. Matta and Sai took the game to the end with their patience. We won the game with bonus point. We spared almost 50% of their bowling. It was a good practice match for Falcons and it was a good umpiring from Sankar.

Falcons Vs Indus – (Game #5 season 2008)

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.

Cricket Match #4 (Season 2008) against Cougars

Pre-game Planning:

Probabilistically speaking, for Detroit falcons, the game result against cougars does not matter in the 2008 pre-season. Cougars lost enough games in the first round and are not really the serious contender for the next round. The teams which moves to the second round carries over the points based on the wins against who moves to the second round along with them.

Falcons game plan architects decided to exploit more experiments in this game. However, some of the Falcons players are intensively involved in the DFL (Detroit Fantasy League) ranking and wants to play all the games and score, pick wickets and catches as much as possible.

Srikanth (our captain) was not fully fit. He did not miss a game in last 5 years and want to improve the record further. He decided to play to maintain the records.

Our back up wicket keeper Bharath is also sick. The third wicket keeping option for Detroit Falcons is the one of best out fielder Detroit Falcons has, Sai. It is going to be the first match in 2008 for Sai to keep. We also wanted the new recruit (Piyush Khanna) to play in this match and few secrete weapons ( I can’t name them because they are real secrete weapons for Detroit Falcons)

It ended up a good mix instead of fully exploiting with lots of experiments in this game.

Toss won by Cougars and decided to bat first.

Falcon’s Bowling:

As usual, Falcons started aggressively. Got quick wickets. Bowlers were not disciplined in this match. Very disappointing. Our bowler gave at least 18 wides. When they were not bowling wides, they bowled their best deliveries. Few great catches from Raj, Srini and a spectacular catch from our wicket keeper Sai. It appeared as a difficult catch for Sai. It must be really really hard catch since he simplifies all difficult catches. Hari made few great stops.

I must call out our captain and vice captain in this match. First our captain, it was an easy run outs and he decided to do the run out like “Rajinikanth”. That is, give rest to one hand when you can do it easily with two hands. Even adapting that style, he rarely misses a catch or run outs. However, he missed continuously two chances in two matches. (a catch in the last match and this run out in this match). Our vice captain, I do not want to elaborate, we can not go to semi finals if we do not make those catches. (Falcons made to the qtr finals continuously in last 5 years). It is as simple as that guys.

Cougars were bundled for 46 runs.

Falcon’s Batting:

Matta who is the topper in the DFL wants to continue his top ranking. He jumped on to the opening slot and want to grab the most runs possible from the small target. He hit the ball all over. I mean all over. The two huge sixes, man oh man!, those were really huge. For lack of better words, those were Afridi sixes. You know what I mean. Those were marvelous sixes and you can not generally see those sixes with out paying a significant price for a game ticket.

Sai, when he is in the form, he hits the t-ball like tennis ball. He started hitting it like tennis ball. I think, he was intimidated by Matta’s six and want to hit longer one. He hit it with lots of power and I think he underestimated the rise. Ball was traveling both in height and distance. Ravish from cougar took a well judged catch at deep mid wicket, one or two yards before the boundary line. By losing 2 wicket, Falcons reached the target in 6 or 7 overs.

It was a good easy win for Detroit Falcons and real challenge is waiting for us against Indus next week.

Falcons Vs YouthRiders (Game #3, DCL Season 2008 )

I have been playing for Falcons team for 5 years and few things, I have been bragging about the Falcon’s attitude are

  • Always play as a team
  • Never give up
  • Respect every one in the team
  • Respect the opponents
  • Fight till the end
  • Never satisfy with our performance
  • Learn from the each other and from the opponents
  • Give every one equal opportunities (according to the situation)

The game plan architects of Falcons decided to exploit the equal opportunities attitude vigorously in this match. The regular opener became the 12th man and other one became the last down. The opening slot was given to a new comer to the team who has a great attitude and fits very well with Falcon’s chemistry. It is an excellent example of Falcon’s motto “We do not need great players but we will make them”. Both of them played good and one was very unlucky to get out when the umpire thought his thigh was an extension of his bat. He displayed a great confidence and made few excellent shots. The other new comer took enough time to settle down and made 3s, 4s and ended with a very decent score to start the season.. that too, he has not played cricket for almost two years.

Over all the experiments results were successful and provided 2008 Falcon’s architects lots of data points to grind and mine. Falcons scored 118 runs in 25 overs loss of 9 wickets. Srihari, Matta, Srikanth, Keshav, Sai, Sudhirs all contributed to reach 118 runs. During this innings, one of the Youthrider player dislocated his shoulder. Falcons team member took him to hospital and took care of him. Mean while, Youthrider called another player and Falcons generously agreed the just arrived 12th man as part of their 11. ie. he can also bat.

Huge delay due to the shoulder dislocation situation, the second innings started around 12.30 pm. Falcons, as usual, started aggressively and took quick wickets. Sai took some well judged great catches. Sai, he always make the most difficult catch as a very simple catch. His athleticism, concentration & judgment are priceless.

When YouthRiders lost 5 wickets and after that they were not playing to win but to play 25 overs. That put the Falcons very unmotivated and took it as a practice rather than a match. Missed too many easy catches. Had we took those catches YouthRider were out for 35 runs. Finally Youthriders were out for 51 runs in 23.2 overs.

It was a very good practice for Falcons.

Inter company cricket match (#3)

Due to the recent sale of a portion of the company, the company cricket members were split between new company and old company. Instead of playing in the external cricket league, we decided to play between the new company and old company. There are two teams from the new company and one team from the old company. I play for the old company. We played one against each team in the new company before, and lost one and won one. I did not play the game which we lost. We won the game against new company team B conveniently. This is the third match we were playing in the league we created this year.

Our captain mobilized the best team he could from the roaster for this game. All of our team members have lots of talent. (Great players not necessarily form a great team!!) Statistically we were stronger than our new company team A.

Toss won by new company team A and decided to field first. It was 15 over match and the target was planned to be 90 runs. It would be a good target for a 15 over match. We had okay start but the wicket was falling in the regular internals. There were some good long on catches taken by our friendly opponents.

I went as the 4th order batsman. The bowler who was regularly bowling wides and short pitch started bowling good length balls. I was beaten by the first ball. (Missed the timing.. and ball was coming slow and judged the ball would come fast). Defended the next 3 balls with clean defense shots. The last ball of the over was a full toss and driven towards the long on to get a single.

Faced a new bowler next over and asked my non striker to find out if he knew about this bowler. He said, he did not know about this bowler. I was facing his first ball. It was short pitch ball. I got out in my first league match hitting the short pitch ball in the air with out enough power. So I instantly decide to hit this short pitch ball in the ground with enough power. It went to deep fine leg and there was no fielder at that location. The fielder from square leg was running to get the ball. Even though I know this fielder has a good arm, I accepted the non striker call to go for the second run. I got run out again in this match. Second run out in the serious match in this 2008 season.

We went to field with a very low score to defend. We had some luck to start with and got two quick run outs. Then the score board ticked and the opponent reached 50% of the target. We never gave up and fought really hard. I had a opportunity to make a spectacular catch. It was a left hand batsman. He was trying to cut the ball and had a thick edge going towards the second slip. I dived and got the ball but did not hold the ball tight enough and it slipped. I immediately decided I should not use that wicket keeping gloves anymore. I have been using it for a while and never got the difficult catches using that gloves. It is made of leather which is little tough to fold the figures quickly. It is not an excuse and I should have got that catch.

We came back real hard. The target was around 15 runs in 6 overs with 5 wickets in hand. Looked an easy target to achieve. But it was not the case. It was 6 runs in 2 overs with 1 wicket in hand. It became 3 runs in one over with 1 wicket. This the best it could become from the position we were few overs ago. We had a equal chance to win this game. I really believed that we had an equal chance to win this game.

Captain decided to give the last over to a senior player who he thought would handle this situation. This is real test for any captain to judge their judgment. Surprise !! Surprise the senior most player started the last over with a wide. At this stage the opponents require 2 runs and we need 1 wicket. Still we were in the game.. Big surprise, Big surprise.. he started with two more wides and the opponents won the game by 1 wickets with 6 balls to spare.

It was a very big disappointment at the end after we came so close. The great team wins more matches because they do not just have enough talents. They win more matches because they have killer instinct, never give up , never satisfy with their performance (always want to improve) and use their emotional intelligence effectively. It was really fun and great opportunity to play this game, enhanced the relationship with our new company members & finally I learn t quite a few lessons.