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Match Report Indus-II vs Stanford-A-1 04/18/2010

Grit And Determination - Report by Rakesh

A very good day for cricket was dampened by a very wet outfield that caused the game to be played from one end. Pradeep changed all of that by playing some really fine shots that some of our idiot (in good intentions) teammemb ers missed for some T20 action on someones laptop. 42/0 at about 10 overs was a very good start on that ground. As soon as Pradeep left, Barry played as sweetly as you could see anyone but lasted for all of 5-6 runs and about that many balls. I dont want to provide a single word of encouragement for any of the other batters as that would be to admit that we were even moderately happy with their performance considering their abilities.
So we ended up on 133 playing 41 overs and some.
Moving onto the most interesting part of the day, a motivational chat by Pradeep that started our quest. Abhi started off fired up (Barry keep jabbing at him cos you surely get him all focussed) and was mostly unplayable other than for the edges and the LBW he got. Taking care of their best bat Nishant early he made a win look very possbile.
Nitin on the other end was very unlucky to find the slogger Dhruv miss 4 balls and hit the other 2 for some runs. They say fast bowlers hunt in pairs and the pressure generated by one gives the other guy wickets. What they did was convince the batters in the middle and outside that slogging was the only way out, something that was crucial in sneaking out the result we did. Deep came in for Nitin and immediately started troubling the batsman and got the wicket. In came a very good lefthander who combined with the other batter to take the team to 58/4 during the break. Although they were 4 down the momentum was with the home team.
All that changed 1st ball after break as Praveen "The Red" Reddy bowled a nasty delivery that rose of good length to get that good lefthanded batter out. Btw Praveen was fuming all day because of DK and his party's continous sledging form ball 1. Barry and I did try to give a lot of it back, but Praveen had to have the last laugh.
We beleived the win was ours to be had. But Stanford had one card up theri sleeve in the form of a good power hitter. Reddy came close to getting him out but a very very hard drive just didnt stick in Pavans hands. I dont think anyone except Satish :) (this ones for Preetam) could have caught that. But seriously that would have been a 1/2 chance by international standards, and the fact that it didnt go for 4 was because of his fearless attempt. As the 2 batters settled down the score ticked to about 80/5 and Pradeep was desperate to make changes and brought Pavan and Deep in. Pavan bowled very steady and gave the batters no runs at all frustrating the very steady Gopi who was abtting from the first few overs of the game, and finally taking his wicket. This brought in one of the lower middle order batters named Gayam. The power hitter and Gayam settled in and the score was 120 odd in over 30. The moment for me was the umpire asking Pradeep whether a break was necessarry. He wasnt about to give up yet.
After the break Pradeep toiled hard but couldnt break through until he bowled one up there that Gayam softly drove and Barry took the ball out the ground to catch one. All this time while many of us were preparing for a loss, Pavan was super charged egging us on to beleive.
We knew the next 3 batters were totally hit and miss and if we put pressure on the power hitter we could sneak this one. Unfortunately the steady wind caused a few wide deliveries, and they needed 4 to win with 3 wickets in hand and 10+ overs. I dont remember who took wicket 8 but it was an edge in the slips. The score was the tied.
Dasarath the Ranji player got harrased by the Red machine and he scooped one way up in the air as the ball was whirling in the wind Pradeep judged it beautifully to take that one. The power hitter crossed and so Stanford beleived they had this one. Reddy to Power Hitter to Abhi at mid on, GAME OVER. Players went crazy. It was awesome. Snatched a TIE out of a sure defeat. More on practice day.
Finally the difference was the last 3 batters of the 2 teams. Our bowlers scored that extra 20 runs that made the game competetive, theirs just scared the established batsman on the other end to not beleive. Keep it up guys whatever position you bat at your run is as valuable as anyone elses.