Today 10 grown men openly proclaimed how much they all love the same guy! This wasn’t a “mass coming out of the closet” exercise, but the real reason was just as sensational.
The ISB Cricket Club won its first game of the season!
We were playing Intergraph for the second time this season. After having lost to them by a slender 5 run margin, we rrrreally wanted to win, considering our played 5 – lost 5 record. All games thus far had been scheduled in the wee hours of 10-11pm and we’d had a few heartbreaking losses as you undoubtedly know if you’ve as much as scrolled on this page J but this one was under bright sunshine at noon. They won the toss and batted on a reasonably green pitch that was fast drying out. Abhijit and I opened the bowling and while A found his line immediately, I had trouble adjusting to the red ball (previous games had been with white) which does not swing as much, and bowled quite a few wides down the leg-side. Nikhil then came in and took 2 wickets in his first over and it would’ve been 3 had ‘yours truly’ not dropped a sitter at mid-on. Our bowling was accurate with Pratik and Nikhil not giving them any four balls. RK and Phani were tidy too but some horrendous outfielding gave away too many extra runs. I alone was guilty of 2 dropped catches (the 2nd was off my own bowling) and a misfield that cost 4. Intergraph’s captain played an awesome innings to remain not-out on 100 odd and they got to 177 of 20 overs.
This was at par at what we’d scored in the past games and gave ourselves a good chance of a successful chase; Llewellyn even offered special weightage on ELP projects for the top-scorer J. I and Neeraj opened and set about knocking singles interspersed with the odd big hit. Just then their first change bowler got N caught behind off his first delivery. Abhijit replaced him and we played the bowling on merit with some calculated hits. Abhijit 51(43 balls), was in awesome form lofting the bowlers to all parts of the ground and we got to 130 in 15 overs. We’d just had a chat and decided to stay till the end when A was yorked by their stand out bowler – a spinner who got good purchase from the green-top. Phani came in and set about busily collecting 1s and 2s. the next over I was given caught behind to a ball that was nowhere near the edge – I have a vague recollection of almost tearing off my helmet in a rage and saying words not suitable for all ages. The equation now was 3 overs remaining with 36 to get and we had that sinking feeling that this would be yet another close loss. But RK (11 off 3) gave us some hope but Nikhil was DA MAN, smashing their bowlers from the first ball he faced to score 25 amazing runs off 11 balls to win it for us with 5 balls to spare! Sure, I was given Man Of the Match for my 54(36 balls) but seriously, it was Nikhil’s (in case you didn’t figure, that’s the guy who everyone loves J) heroics in the end that made the difference.
The Hindu: (search for ISB or anoop 😉 http://www.hindu.com/2005/11/29/stories/2005112909582200.htm