Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Straight down the ground.... into the stands she goes!

It was a day after my 'Middle Stump debacle' (refer the previous post). A Sunday, which is a 'getuplate&donothing day' ever since I've joined IFIM Business School (OK. I do go shopping and mall-hopping at times) Somehow the 'blow' that I had got the previous evening was still hovering in my mind. I had made it an issue for myself, thinking about it (and of course thinking about 'it' as well) the whole night. For me it was an issue of more seriousness than the Hiroshima & Nagasaki blasts back in the 1940s.

Cricket match with our Faculty the previous day had charged me up again and from being 'as dead as a dodo', I was back to that mood which I used to carry during school and college days. But like it happens with most of them, corporate world asks had forced me to break ties with some friends, Cricket being the one that topped the chart (We blame every damn drawback on 'Corporate World' on one side and eulogize 1991 economic reforms. We want education like IITsque or IIMsque and work like 'SARKAARI DAFTARsque') Add to it the gift (lower back pain) I earned for myself by over-exercising during my 'exile-in-daylight' i.e. the 6 month gap between Wipro and IFIM, ensured that I restrict my Cricket adventure only upto Cricket commentary and nothing beyond that. But now that things had gone well and with battery charged (why does 'battery' remind me of the 'blow' I got the previous day while batting?), I thought I must join my friends on their usual Sunday routine of a Cricket match. So did I - my shelf-ridden track-shorts came out and so did my dust-driven sports shoes. Soon I was ready and up to face the challenge :-)

I snatched the bat and asked the juniors to bowl at me from short distance. It was fun to defend the ball or jab it back to them. Was doing it after a long time and wanted it do it for some more time. But then we got into the game straight-away. It was a Juniors v/s Seniors match of 10 overs each. We won the toss and elected to bat. It also meant that I would sit aside and watch the regular players bat, those who are known to hit big sixes and fours, in short - Big Guns of our batch. But things went differently that day, our good start punctured in between and with wickets falling like a 'bicycle in a bicycle stand at Rajendra Talkies in Patiala', it opened the doors or me to get in during the 7th over. Another wicket fell by then and by the end of 7th over, we were 49 with 2 wickets to go and Juniors with their tail up and wagging. The last 2 wickets seemed to be a mere formality but Anshul and me had different ideas. I told him to hit hard but along the ground, our predecessors had fallen by lofting in the air or with some reckless freeing of the hands. But playing in the slog overs, prevented me from following my own advice. I heaved one over mid-wicket for a six and a loft over mid-on for four in the 8th over. The 9th over saw one more big six from me, just clearing the ropes. The 3/4th part of the bat had enough meat in it to clear the man who had just been sent from mid-off to long-off after 2 lofted shots in the previous over. The tenth and the final over witnessed a blitzkrieg from me, close to 26 runs came in that over, 24 of them coming in the last 4 balls, courtesy to the 4 sixes, 3 over midwicket and 1 over long-off. From 49 in 7 overs, we had moved on to 100 in 10 overs. The last 3 overs saw 51 runs coming, me alone hitting 6 sixes and 1 four. I was a hero to my team-mates! We won that match, though, the juniors gave a good fight. They scored close to 85 in 10 overs. It was a good match for me. The last 4 sixes I smashed seemed to make the difference, since we had won by just 15 runs. I had also almost engineered a run-out, with a direct throw to the batting stumps from mid-off. The batsman was running like an Indian three-wheeler, but he had a narrow escape. It was a decision that could not be made through a naked-eye. Hence, the batsman got the benefit of the doubt.

We played one more match. This time I got a batting promotion. From a tail-ender in the 1st match, I had become a Rahul Dravid in this match. I was sent into bat at No. 3. I did well again, this time played cautiously. 3 sixes came, one of which made us hopeless of retrieving the ball. I fell this time after going for an ambitious pull, my favourite shot. I got a top edge to the wicket keeper, but had scored some 25 odd runs by then. We batted badly in this match. We were all out for 75, not playing full 10 overs. It was a chaseable score on our ground. But our bowling and catching in this match was exceptional. The Juniors were bowled out for a little under 40 in 7 odd overs. We had clean-swept the series 2-0. I was proud of myself and my performance. After a long time I had played and had a good 2-match as well. It proved as a refresher too, especially after what I had to go through the previous evening. There is always a correlation between doing great and feeling great (unless & untill you are a Ramalinga Raju)
Started blogging for a reason which is secret plus as a pastime. But getting a lot of favourable responses to it. Thanks to all my friends for appreciating my write-ups, my cousins Shesh and Sand for uploading some of them in their websites. All this means a lot to me. Thank you once again :-)
Saw Sachin Tendulkar take the catch in the last over and the run out he effected in the penultimate over. Wonderful to see his involvement with the game even when he is not in business. The catch if missed which otherwise would have gone for a four or a couple did impact the result majorly. Oh yeah...! Who says he must contemplate retirement. He just 36 years YOUNG!

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