Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Super Six 2009

The League Round Final Standing ...

and the Super Six Matchups for 2009...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Game 9 - Win keeps us on top

On Saturday, August 15, we defeated Grand Rapids CC at Toledo to finish the Division 1 league phase this year by staying at the top of the ten team division. It’s a great feeling to end up at the top. I hope we continue to show our class as we move into the playoff (Super 6) stage. In the playoffs each team will be playing two games. Four teams will then come out on top to form the semis quadrant.

As for the game against Grand Rapids, it was a humid day all along at the Beatty Park. The outfield was razor sharp. Batting first Grand Rapids were all out for 131. And we chased that down in 15 overs!
Our bowling continues to be erratic as we bleed more than expected extras – especially the wide stuff. With Deepak, Chirag, Manu and Chandu forming the fast bowling team – I always expect fireworks as I have seen what they are capable of but on this day that sting seemed hard to see.
Anyways Grand Rapids did not have much to write home as for the batting is concerned, and I thought we should have had them packed in far less than the 131 they scored. On any other day I think we would stream roll them honestly but they enjoyed the freebies we gave.

Viggy and Anand combined well to make it hard for them. The fielding was not that bad but we still have the occasional misfields/ and catches that get dropped and we need to kick up a notch or two on that.

BTW:)– was able to get one stump victim today, when the batsmen missed a fast Viggy leggy and I took care of it. And having done that I can now relate to how thrilling this event is to a keeper. It’s a truly rewarding experience even better than catching/ running some one out. Also of note where the reflexes of the leg umpire. The moment I did my job and looked towards him, his arm was up and high! :)

When our turn came to chase the target, Devin and I opened the innings and the first runs were boundaries from Devin but he chipped one directly to midwicket and Grand Rapids got a big wicket in the very first over. Thereafter Anand and I combined to shut the gates and take the game away from them. We had an 75-odd run partnership, where I was happy to rotate the strike and Anand just tore into their attack, with delightful boundaries all over the lightning fast outfield.

Anand was in a bit of a hurry. It was just that he was getting married the next day! I am not kidding, he was going to get married the next day, and here he was playing with us in a game that really didn’t matter too much to our fortunes. It shows his (and Devin’s) passion for the game. He said in his typical style – suhail bahi, 2 hafta naheen khayla hai, aaj naheen kheyla toh bahaut lamba break hojata hai - I had the best time all along our partnership, I kept bickering about the next day, saying kal shaadi hai aur aaj inki layra hai and he kept blushing. But it was a good knock and I am sure it made his efforts worth it.

We did play some hurried shots (I played on when we still needed 45 or so runs and Anand skied one too often). Gaurav and Kranthi missed out on scoring. It took Chandu and Manu to finish the game for us. Goldy led the side in the absence of Ani (our regular skip) and I am sure he is happy to begin with one in the win column.


Now we await the super six schedule but we know that we don’t have a game until Sept 12. I am eager to see the match ups. I hope that we continue on our winning habit.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Article-Candidly Ian Chappel

I enjoyed reading this interview of Ian Chappel...


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Game8 - A stutter not bad!

Saturday - the first day of August, we travelled to Fsrmington (Detroit) MI for our 8th game. We were playing the Oakland Univ Cricket Club.

The ballpark was lush green, weed-free and purely inviting. A bit on the heavy side and the morning dew adding to the heaviness. Some additional mowing would have made the outfield cricket friendly. The pitch - placed in the midst of two soccer fields - was not really ideal. Slightly inclined at one end and seemed to have uneven bounce.

Weather wise, we could not ask for a better day for cricket, lovely weather with steady cool breeze and white birds flying around the park. It seemed we were playing somewhere in Aussie-land.

CLCC batted first at the Founders Park, Farmington Hills, MI

We were put into bat first as OUCC won the toss. I think they took that route given the heaviness of the field. And as Goldy and I took the first strike we could easily feel the grass-brakes on good drives and pushes. The first few over’s we both got right behind the ball most of the times and kept the score moving with some good ones and twos. Goldy was timing the ball well and I must say I was feeling quite nice in the middle too, trying to get the basics right and playing straight, determined to get some runs. We got to 35 from 8 over’s. And we knew we had ourselves a decent start.

Left arm spin was introduced in the ninth over and the very first ball was a faster one that pitched on the middle and kept straight with me playing for the spin. It hit the pad in the front and gone LBW. Need to go back and practice hard. Anyways we were 35/1 and in-walked Pratik.
Goldy played some good shots on the off side – one of which was an excellent square drive. Goldy and Pratik raised the momentum and CLCC was looking in good control. Just then Goldy flicked one on the leg to find a very unusually placed square-leg. He played well for his 29.

Ani joined Pratik. And they continued from where they had left of in the previous match. Playing sensible cricket and running quick to keep the score-sheet busy. Boundaries and a few sixes later CLCC was in a great position with 120/2 in 24 o, and our sights were on score clearly above 200.
As happens in cricket it takes just one ball to get you out and unfortunately, Pratik played across and lost his stump. He was well-set for a big one but had to return after having scored 35.

Chandu - who was padded almost all morningJ - , was called into the middle for a situation tailor made for him but unfortunately he did not last long. CLCC still had some batting to show even though Devin and Anand – our regular middle order batsmen – where not playing this game. And with Ani still in the middle we didn’t have too much to worry, or at least that’s what we thought.

Pizza was ordered and we were basking in the beautiful day hoping to see a good last third of our inning. But this game amazes you sometimes when you least expect it, we sat and saw a downslide of amazing proportions when our batsmen started coming back rather swiftly, and we folded at an unbelievable 139!!

The downslide included a hat-trick by Lala their first-change bowler. I am not going to be able to explain what really went wrong as that wouldn’t be fair but we all knew this was something that we want to get right real soon, may be the same afternoon.

With 140 to defend and with our bowling options I was not once thinking about losing. We have been in such situations before and if we are to be the champion team we need to win such games from these situations too. And I think I share this confidence with most if not all the mates.
Anyways a quick huddle, focus all set, we began with Deepak. His in-swingers were quickly in display and he got one to bend in and out came the stumps. With a rocking start, CLCC began their hunt in earnest.

The one thing that bothers is when you try hard as a bowler you tend to spray around a bit and I am thinking that’s what happened as we started leaking wides. And when we defend small totals, extras hurt. And they did, as most of the runs they were getting were off extras or streaky cuts or drives. CLCC kept the pressure as fielders were on their toes. At break 1 (14 overs), OUCC was 35 odd with 3 wickets down. We continued to apply the pressure and bowled really well but also didn’t completely stop the extras.

And at break 2 (28 overs), they were 65 odd for 4. We had so far done a terrific job of restricting their score. It was all set for an exciting finish, 72 to get of 72 balls (12 overs)! We bowled well in the first 3 overs after the break and our bowlers created the opportunities to break in but, unfortunately we dropped couple of easy chances. In such tight games, all has to fall in place to pull off a win but that was not the case and OUCC ran hard, hit well when needed and continued to show more hunger.

At the end the equation came down to 12 runs needed of 12 balls. We still could do it but it was not to be and one of the hits went above the ropes to give them the much deserved victory!
Congratulations to the OUCC folks, they must be really feeling great. I know I would feel the same, when you win over a yet undefeated team!

Most of us agreed that this was a stutter which could not have happened at a better time; we needed this to ensure we were not getting ahead of ourselves. Our batting let us down no doubt, but better controlled bowling and fielding could have bailed us out. So it was a good knock on everyone to keep our heads down and on the job.

We have one more game – on Aug 15 - before the playoffs. We can use that game to resume our winning habit. I am already looking forward to the 15!


PICS from the game (courtesy - Priyank from OUCC). Enjoy!

Scorecard from the game.