Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Team Asha Vs Ananya - Cricket match.

(Contributed by Balaji, Asha volunteer, Team Asha runner)

A fully fired Team Ananya was ready and roaring to go. Team Asha - Well had a team but only 5 people - too small to make it up a cricket team. Santhosh went out to scout a team like Aamir Khan in the Lagaan. He invited George, a teacher at Ananya and Valentina, a volunteer with Ananya to be part of the team Asha. Valentina exclaimed 'I don't know how to play'. Santhosh replied that it serves well to be part of Asha Cricket team! Such was our composition that included the likes of Vinod, Sriram, Balaji, Srinivas and Santhosh! Eventually, we were granted permission by Shashi to sign a few players from Ananya. We got George, Asha (thanks to her name!), Aruna, ........ . The team was ready and all set to battle out with Ananya. As we assembled the team, a bloodless coup saw Vinod self-anointing himself as captain as he walked out with Suresh for the toss. Nevertheless, Team Asha saw their first success of the day by winning the toss and the victory was celebrated with glee. Opting to bat first, the primary target was to see through 15 overs of the game. Balaji and Sunder were sent out to open the innings amidst the fanfare and cheering. Balaji was set to face the fiery bowling of Suresh. After facing the first ball, he looked at the Pavilion and complained for bowling fast only to be reminded that it is a match and he has to face it!

More photos here- Ananya_cricket_game

The first two overs saw some sluggish batting from Balaji and quick loss of the first wicket. Vinod joined Balaji at the crease and both stayed till the end of the fifth over surviving on a ball to ball to basis. At the end of fifth over, Balaji announced his retirement from the innings, much to the delight of batting team and even the bowling team, who by now had almost gone to sleep, watching one of the most boring batting performance since Navjot Singh Sidhu's 201 against West Indies in 1997! The scoreboard was 30 for the loss of 1 wicket with Balaji contributing just 5 runs after staying for 5 overs. He was replaced by Srinivas at the crease who decided to add some sparkle to the game. He started his innings with a six followed by two fours and game was back in action. Team Asha, who until then was seen praying to Rain Gods to save them, started seeing some hope in the game. Shashi was getting furious seeing their team let so many runs. Instead of being calm and composed cricket team manager, she now resembled a football team manager with her instructions from the pavilion. Vinod retired after the 7th over making way for George. He took to the field amidst intense pressure with Shashi asking him to come back to the pavilion at the earliest. There seems to be no dearth of healthy sledging before and during the game. One of the kids asked Santhosh if he had a proper sleep the previous night! George and Srinivas played a brilliant innings together and the score crossed the three digit mark. The ASHA team finished, what looked impressive then, at a total of 107 in 15 overs.

More photos here- Ananya_cricket_game

Ananya team came out to bat with Suresh and ....... opening the innings. The bowling attack of Santhosh and Srinivas was soon found to be posing no challenge to the Ananya team. With the crowd cheering loudly 'Ya Ya Ananya,' the batsmen lashed out the poor bowling attack into pieces. The fielders at the boundary line had a tough time going out and collecting the balls and getting it back to bowler. Their fifty appeared too soon after just 3 overs! Vinod suddenly remembered that he is the captain and decided to get into action. He rolled up his sleeves, (even though he wore only a half-sleeve shirt)!, picked up the ball and decided to bowl. That over did not do much to change the course of the game. However, the next over by George was more fruitful. He bowled an economical spell and picked up a wicket in the last ball of the over. This was followed by another wicket in the first ball of the next over. The batsmen was caught behind by George off the first ball by Balaji. A strange sense of optimism was found in the Team Asha's camp only to be dampened by the announcement '20 runs more'. Yeah, too little too late! The over proved to be productive with Balaji taking another wicket - another caught behind by George. Suresh stood firm on the other end taking his team past the target with 7 overs to spare! Sriram did not take the field as he stayed back to do the scoring. Encouraged by the success, the boys challenged the team for another encounter - this time, it was for 10 overs.

More photos here- Ananya_cricket_game

Team Asha again took to bat with Sriram and George opening the innings. Sriram, who got out in the previous match without even touching the ball, decide to show his mettle. They put up an impressive total in the first few overs. George got out to make way for Srinivas who could not produce the fireworks that he produced in the first match. Vinod joined Sriram and they put on an impressive 55 runs in 4 overs. Some tight bowling by Suresh refrained them from soaring high. Sriram made way for Santhosh who carried on the good work on the field. The batting by Team Asha vastly improved and they piled up runs. The boys from Ananya were getting tired and they could not keep up the same standards of performance they demonstrated in the first match. Team ASHA finished the 10 overs with an impressive 122 runs.

More photos here- Ananya_cricket_game

Team Asha opened their bowling with Sriram. Sriram started with a bang picking up couple of wickets in the first over. Joining him was George who bowled impressively conceding few runs. Sharad held the fort on one end for Ananya and he was soon joined by Suresh. Both added significant amount of runs and the target looked achievable. Team ASHA tactically decided to bowl slower deliveries . The bowling was getting slower and slower testing the patience of the Ananya batsmen. Balaji’s bowling was more sedate than his batting though it only conceded a few runs. After a few economical overs by George and Balaji, the target was now getting difficult. Ananya’s fans were seen leaving the venue and this acted as an additional pressure on the boys. Suresh was run out and this turned the game towards Team Asha. The target was now 42 runs from 18 balls. The next over from Balaji costed ASHA few more runs and the target got reduced to 26 runs from 12 balls. Few more run outs in the next over and target for the last over was 16 runs. Team Ananya eventually lost to Team Asha by 8 runs.

Team ASHA finally made some ground for their humiliating defeat in the first match with a consolation win in the second.

5 comments:

Balu said...

Boys ! Just wait.. in a week's time I'll be back to business.. we will sure have a rematch !

Vinodh said...

Rematch?? For what?
Lose again..

We need more bowlers..

Balu said...

@Vinodh:
At least margin of victory can be mitigated :-)

Vidhya said...

Glee! do i see some kind of conspiracy happening here. It was a great match indeed.

Shashi said...

Hi Balu, get back soon...team Asha needs you!