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Archive for June, 2006

Weekend Washout

Both of the games this weekend got washed out. A little bit of a farce really since it didnt rain on Saturday and we could have easily played. However, it seems that miscommunication resulted in a cancelation. Ths sunday game was doomed and was rightly called off before we trekked all the away to the game.

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So on a high after saturday's incredible victory and a good personal performance was looking forward to setting Allentown's woes straight. 

We were again asked to field as the opposition captain won the toss. This was an even hotter day, 95-98 with humidity levels approaching 75-80%. It reminded me of Delh it was so bad. The fact that we were on a serious leather hunt didnt help.

Our opponents, 'Incredibles' had the same record as us 3-3, but were rumoured to have some serious batting talent. Well, it took them about 5 overs to get used to the true track and thick outfield and then boom! We were being shellacked like no tomorrow. One of their openers hit a brilliant chanceless hundred before something awful occurred.

Around over 35, with the score already on 210 the opener charged down the track. Our bowler banged it in short, the ball hit a top edge and slammed into his nose. He was down immediately and bleeding profusely through the nose. It certainly didnt look good and ultimatly an ambulance had to be called. According to Divya, he probably broke his nose in multiple places. Real tough luck and one of the worst injuries I have seen on a cricket field. 

They finished up on 267. After a tough outing in the field I was out to open as usual with fellow regular Negi.

We started cautiously, Negi got a couple of 4's to get us started. I then started my boundary roll with a pull. Another couple of good overs from the opposition kept us quiet. They were doing a remarkable job considering they were fielding with nine (one player had escorted the injured player to the hospital). 8 overs had only garnered 31 for us.

The ninth over we got back on track, first ball was short of a length and I pulled it for 4. Next ball was fuller and lofted it over mid on for another 4. Third ball was better and I safely defended it. They tried to trap me by posting a deep mid wicket, however the bowler tried to bowl a slower one. I saw it from the hand, took it on the full and deposited it over the deep mid wicket for 6. The bowler then bowled a wide and i chipped him over mid off for another couple. 17 off the over and 49 from 9 overs painted a better picture.

I was struggling to breathe and was losing strength rapidly. Despite constant rehydration I was really struggling. At drinks we were 70/1 after 13 overs. I really felt sick during the break. I went back in and was struggling to do anything … I put away a full toss but was struggling to place the ball anywhere. Ultimately I swung across the line and was plumb in front. I had 3 lives in the innings; dropped at mid off, dropped my keeper and dropped by slip. So certainly not one of my better innings but I tried as hard as I could given my physical state.  

We had a small chance to win but some insipid batting in the middle overs by our captain effectively ended the match as a contest. Charlie got back into form with a storming 59 and we ended up at 228 all out.

On a personal note, I added 34 to my season total but once again did not convert my start.

Allentown is now 3-4 and slipping fast. 

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The day we chased 268!

I neglected to tell my non-existent readership that I am now playing for two teams. Thus doing double duty on weekends. Last Saturday June 11th we chased a small matter of 92 with some stutters. I got out for 0!! A late decision to leave the ball resulted in the ball coming off the face to clip leg stump. 

This Saturday June 17th, where some people were busy attending graduation (side note: I didnt walk since I was more interested in playing cricket, however I did  graduate magna cum laude in both BS Economics and BS Information Systems) I was playing for Collegeville Cricket Club who compete in the newly formed Philadelphia Cricket League . We were playing New Castle County CC at their home ground in Delaware. This ground has the reputation for being a true wicket with a very fast outfield and smallish boundaries. 

We however didnt expect to concede 267 in 40 overs with their opening batsman making 151 not out. Needless to say after having fielded for 40 overs in 85-88 heat, I wasnt relishing the prospect of going out there trying to get this target. But I was encouraged by the true bounce of the wicket and the fact that every shot would get its full value on this outfield.

I opened with Kumar who is a classy batsman who scores at a fair clip. We started the first 3 overs sedately. Then in the fourth over I got my first couple of boundaries. The first one as usual being a pull, the next one being a full blooded cut over cover point.

Kumar also picked things up with more boundaries. I scored another boundary through a pull and then got a lucky break when a swics outside off resulted in a flying edge over first slip for 4.  Before we knew it my and Kumar had put on 55 in 10, 85 in 15 and then 112 in 20 overs. Kumar got one clear life along the way, but you need a little luck chasing 267 I suppose. Kumar departed after we had put on 125 in 22 overs. I added another boundary through a pull (I know it gets a little monotonous doesnt it 🙂 ) before I too departed as the fourth wicket at around 150 on the board. 

 All our middle order batsman contributed and at a fair clip before the icing on the cake. Pramod (captain) and Charlie put on 100 in the last 12 overs to get us a win with 4 wickets and 10 balls to spare. An absolutely cracking chase, it was well worth missing graduation. 

 On a personal note I had a season high 47, but more importantly help set up the game. 

Collegeville is now 2-2 and in 4th position with the top 8 teams advancing to playoffs. 

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Back to .500

We were playing the worst team in our division on Sunday. It should have been a cakewalk considering we were fielding a full strength side. 

We won the toss and decided to bat, or rather our captain I did. I am always in favor of batting second especially when you have a modicum of batting talent and when the other side doesnt have anybody who could post a 200+ total. Nonetheless, I went out to open.

I faced the best new ball attack I have faced all season long. Both bowlers were brisk and were swinging the ball in both directions. I didnt survive for too long as a late inswinger resulted in a poor LBW decision. The ball was swinging down leg. So I was done for 4. I need to start stringing some scores together.  

We tottered to a subpar 158 all out in 40 overs.

We lost the game by one wicket but some awful captaincy saw numerous questionable decisions. The team is a in seriious disarray. The next couple of weeks will be interesting.

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Yesterday we played at our homeground in Allentown. We were sent in to bat and since five of us were 5-6 minutes late the batting order got switched around. I went in when 2 wickets fell quickly with next to nothing on the scoreboard.

I proceeded to settle down with a fair modicum of luck as two relatively tough catches were dropped off me in quick sucession. The second one of them resulting in a four at long on. I kept trying to rotate strike but conditions werent great for batting with a slow and low wicket due to the overnight rain. The outfield which is bumpy and quite thick did not help matters a great deal. I was able to hoist one of their opening quicks for a six over long on. Quite an odd shot, especially coming from me. Nothing more than a backfoot over and under. My team mates refer to it as the 'chaapti'. Thus, the scoreboard read 53/3 after 14 overs at the first drinks break.

After the drinks break, I attempted to rotate strike and singles kept coming although at a relatively sedate pace. Amongst these singles I flicked one off my legs through mid wicket for 4. Probably my best shot of the day considering there was a deep mid wicket in place and yet I was able to place it the gap without lifting the ball. Shortly thereafter I hoisted the same bowler for a 6 over long on. This was almost a replica off the shot I hit earlier except I hit this a further 10 yards or so. I lost my partner shortly thereafter and the signal came from the dressing room to attempt to increcase the run rate which was hovering at the 3.9 mark. Another partner was lost in the search for quick runs. My last boundary off the day was a down the track chip over extra cover.

I lost my wicket trying to swing an offie on the leg side. I was caught dead in front and made my way back. I scored 46.

I had scratched around for 25 overs, missed more than I hit, mistimed aplenty, been dropped 3 times in that duration. Of course my namesake came in and stormed a 53* off 35-40 balls and made batting look far easier. The power of talent.

We lost the game mainly due to our extravagant extras. They totalled 34 with 30 wides. You simply cant win a game against decent opposition with that kind of an extras tally.

So 3-2 with some very tough games in the month of July.

Scorecard

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