I still feel it was scripted quite similar to WORLD CUP FINALS finish [well, thats how I would put it since I am the author and this was the o nly Finals I have been part of ;)].
Until I reached the ground, I had a image of a dry, hard, flat and high scoring Jr. Thornton base ball ground for we have been playing o n the same ground for the past 3 weeks continuously (QF, SF, Practice match and now Finals.. oh that makes it 4), but to our surprise the ground was wet, almost marshy and the Birds did their part too ;) [We made our mind that bowling first would be a good decision in this wet condition].
Umpires (Neeraj Garg and Sunil Tomar) came, the pitch was sorted out, the cones were laid, the coin was tossed, "Cupertino Champions [CC] captain Sunder called and lost.We chose to bowl first as decided.
Official photographer Sheshu preceded with the team photographs! Its all set for the game to start, CC batsmen are in...
First 10 Overs (Cupertino Champions Batting)
1st over, Mihir bowled amazingly well and gave just 1 run, we couldn't ask for a better start. The bowling power play was o n immediately. The 2 overs of bowling power play we gave 10 Runs.Our bowlers Mihir, Swetab and Ram, all were o n fire, still we couldn't manage wickets until first 6 overs and they were also quick between wickets, keeping our fielders o n toes.They are unbeaten till 6th over with 23 runs.
The 7th over, we got our first break through in the form of Run Out [Fielder: Thyagy]. End of 8th over CC were 33/1. We sensed CC wanted to push the run rate for they brought Animesh at the middle. We bowled extremely well and the 9th over was a maiden.
The 10th Over deserves a Cricinfo. Commentory;) here it is
End of 9th over (maiden): Cupertino Champions 33/1
10.1: Mouly to Animesh, OUT!! That was a blinder!!! It was a good length bouncer taking off at the offside line, which Animesh tried to pull towards Leg, the ball took off aerial runway. The short midwicket fielder Ram ran almost to the deep square leg and caught the blinder with o ne hand. That was a Kapil Dev stuff which he did to Viv. Richards.
Animesh Kumar c Ram b Mouly, 1 Run, 7 Balls.
10.2: Mouly to Rakesh, 1 Run, Dropped !! Mouly had JP at short fine leg, Rakesh tried to scoop the offside fuller deliver to fine leg, the ball took aerial and was pleading to be caught. JP tried the Australian catch lost his balance and the attempt was was in vain. Nice field change for Rakesh.
10.3 Mouly to Sunder, no Run, Good length out side off, Well left by Sundar.
10.4 Mouly to Sunder, no Run, Good length to the wicket, defended by Sundar.
10.5 Mouly to Sunder, OUT!!, a good length delivery out side off stump, which Sundar tried to drive. took a leading edge caught by Vaibhav behind the stumps.
*+Sunder Rajcaught behind Vaibhav Kamdar b Mouly, 0 Run, 3 Balls.
10.6 Mouly to Ashok, 1 run, fuller delivery, o n drive between short midwicket and short square leg.
End of 10 Overs: Cupertino Champions 35/3
* Zero 4's and Zero 6's
Second 10 Overs (Predators, Chasing)
Predators dug out was quite happy for restricting CC to just 35 in the good scoring ground like Jr.Thornton! But it was just a short-lived joy for us, until the fast the furious, Krish took his first wicket in the very 1st over of our innings.
It was 3/1 We [Predators] lost o ne of our opener in the very 1st over for a duck, and our #3 batsmen Cyrus joined Raama in the middle, they were batting patiently and did not leave the asking rate get out of reach. They were looking solid.Raama kept his nerves cool by not going for biggies (which he didwith Infinity [QF] by scoring 63 runs).
End of 7 overs we [Predators] were 27/1. Venkat was brought in as bowling change. The bowling change did the trick for Cupertino Champions. Venkat did a caught and bowled of Cyrus.
Cyrus Patelc& bVenkat Suravarapu15 Runs , 26 Balls
we managed to level the score during 8th over itself but in the 10th over last ball we lost even Raama, who was looking solid.
Raamacaught behind Sunder Raj - b Aravind Dongara- 10 Runs, 18 Balls.
End of 10 overs Predators - 38/3 ( 3 Runs Lead)
* Zero 4's and Zero 6's
Third 10 Overs (Cupertino Champions Batting Again)
The game was evenly set at this point.We knew, the way we gonna bowl in next 10 overs gonna decide the game. We lost both our openners where as Cupertino Champions still had their openner Rakesh in the middle. Our bowler were bowling much better than the last 10 overs.
Swetab started the proceedings, the very first ball there was a controversial run out of Rakesh and later the decision was revoked as not out by umpires and Predators were happy to oblige. Swetab was miser enough to give just 3 runs of his over [11th]. Still Rakesh managed to take some quick 1's and 2's after that pushing the score to 50/3 in 14 overs.
End of 14 overs CC: 50/3
The 15th over was bowled by the left hand bat and right hand bowler Sridhar. He was o n target this time, he fetched us 2 crucial wickets (Rakesh & Krish) in consecutive deliveries.
Rakesh Dangar-c Subramani Ramaswamyb Sridhar -27 Runs, 51 Balls
Krish Mantripragada- caught behind Vaibhav Kamdar-b Sridhar 0 Run, 1 Ball
End of 15 overs CC: 54/5
Later Ram and Mihir completed their 4 overs spell in the 16th and 17th overs giving 3 and 5 Runs each, respectively.
End of 17th Over CC: 62/5
Cupertino Champions took their Batting Power play during the 18 and 19th over. Sridhar and Mouly bowled them. The 2 Overs fetched us [Predators] o ne wicket each giving 2 and 7 Runs, respectively.
Ashok Sarathyc Ramakrishnan Paranthamanb Sridhar- 9 Runs, 16 Balls
Venkat SuravarapuRun out Sridhar8 Runs, 17 Balls
Swetab bowled the 20th over, we got 2 more wickets (1st caught by Ram and 2nd Run out by Thyagy) in return of 8 runs in that over.
End of 20th Over CC: 79/9
* Zero 4's and Zero 6's
Fourth 10 Overs (Predators, Chasing)
End of 10th over, Predators: 38/3
79 - 38 = 41 => 42 was our Target to Win in next 10 overs, Sridhar and Myself (Thyagy) went in to the crease and the very first ball by Venkat our left handed batsman, Sridhar, got bowled while trying to him for a boundary and the next new batsman JP played out the whole over for a maiden Wicket.
Sridharb Venkat Suravarapu 7 Runs,10 Balls
End of 11th Over Predators: 38/4
And in the 12th over I (Thyagy) played a single and exchanged the ends immediately. JP defended 2 balls , was looking solid after his Semi Final's performance, but got out for the 4th Delivery giving a catch at long o n to Krish of Arvind's Bowling. Mouly joined me in the middle.
End of 12th Over, Predators: 39/5
in 8 Overs - 40 needed with 5 wickets in hand
Though It was Run a ball equation, Mouly and myself cautiously started the chasing as Cupertino Champions were bowling tight with wicket to wicket deliveries.After two over the equation was
in 30 Balls - 31 Runs needed !!
Mouly wanted to take batting Power play but I pushed it to another over for we know Swetab, Ram and Mani were yet to come and these 3 can clear boundaries at will. I was still interested in 1's and 2's and wanted to bring the game as close as possible before going for big hits.
24 balls, 27 runs needed!
Cupertino Champions were o n top of us with great confidents, for their bowlers just gave 15 Runs in last 6 overs(11-16) and managed to take 2 wkts. We chose to take the batting powerplay.
Batting PP, Over no. 17 & 18 (for the first time in the tournament, the Batting Powerplay went in our way)
Batting PP1 - Y 1, 2, 2, 0, 1, 2 = 9 Runs
Batting PP2 - 2, 2, 2, 0, 3, 1= 10 Runs
Yup, 19 Runs coming from the 2 Over of batting powerplay.
12 balls , 8 runs needed!!
We kept our nerves kool, still looking for 1's and 2's and not going for big shots. 19th over got us 6 Runs.
6 Balls, 2 Runs needed :)
Last over first delivery , Mouly went for a short towards midwicket, but the ball travelled almost towards the deep squareleg, The fielder at deep square leg ran forward and attempted for the catch and missed it, We ran 2 Runs and the Champions in Progress became the Champion[ oh... yeah I know, Super Divisions Champions ;) ]
End of 20th Over, Predators: 80/5
* Zero 4's and Zero 6's
Predators Highlights :
Thyagy - 24* not out and with 2 run-outs assist was awarded with the MoM!
Mouly- 11 * not out and took 2 wickets!
Sridhar- 7 Runs and took 3 Wickets!
Great bowling efforts from Ram, Swetab and Mihir!
Great start from Raama and Cyrus!
40-run unbeaten partnership from Thyagy & Mouly!
Rakesh scored 27 for CC!
Venkat took 2 crucial wickets for just 9runs in 4overs!
Arvind took 2 Wickets for 15 runs in 4 overs!
It has been a dream run for us; there have been some incredible performances from almost every player in our team during this tournament. Ram has been clinical in taking wickets of top orders and sweeping the tail Enders. Both Swetab and Mihir has been miser in giving Runs throughout the tournament. Raama is in the list of top 20 in Batting Aggregates. Vaibhav has been a wall behind the wickets and he is also in list of Top 20 wicket keepers. JP is in the list of Top 10 batsmen with Best Average. Mani stood tall with an amazing partnership with JP in Semi Finals and brought us back in the game inspite of our batting collapse, which won him the MOM of Semis. Cyrus is the "Chuppa Rustham" of our team with consistent performance with batting and amazing fielding display. Sridhar has been a perfect all rounder with bat, ball and fielding and Mouly has been an amazing captain bringing the team to this far. I should thank all the players of Predators who have shown amazing commitment towards the team.
Thanks to Cricbay Volunteers and umpires for organizing this Champions trophy! We hope everyone had fun! Split Innings was Fun but its time to play 20 overs format again:)
Good luck to all the team for the Fall open 2011 !