Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Guest Post Series : My Most Memorable Cricket Match

Note : This post is a part of the Guest Post Series.

In a pre-release interview for the unmatchably hilarious Tamil movie Naduvulla Konjam Pakkatha Kanom, director Balaji Tharanitharan revealed the reasoning behind one of the most rip-roaring moments of the movie, explaining that the deepest friendships are often formed due to totally insignificant, forgettable incidents. I don't remember when Gowrisankar and I started becoming good friends. We just ended up so sometime during the second year of our college. We would make the short journey from our college to Thanjavur New Bus Stand together, often having bunked the last one or two classes of the day. We would discuss cricket, movies and everything else, often disagreeing with each other, whilst eating some excessively oiled pakodas with watered chutney (chutneyed water?) at the bus stand (₹3 per plate). He would lie around at our house/room until we drove him out. We would travel on his dabba, barely functional TVS excel to his house, stopping by to fill Speed petrol on his insistence; lock his parents in a room and shoot badly made short-films, letting them out only briefly so that they can watch a tele-serial written by Cho Ramaswamy.

The thing with Gowri is that he rarely likes to hear that he can't do stuff. With sometimes hilarious dedication he keeps trying myriad things. And he often ends up doing them quite well. I can name a lot of instances where he started at square zero and improved himself immensely. He started writing just to compete with a few of us, and he keeps on. My favourite of his writing is this post titled "Remembering one of the best days of my life". I supported all teams other than India during the 2013 World Cup, and I am usually proud of my shameless act. This post was one of those rare moments which made me realise the impact India's victory had on a lot of people, and caused a momentary regret in me for my lack of "patriotism".

As a reader, he usually reads most of my posts, and finds novel ways to disagree. He is so intent on letting me know what he thinks that he once commented on one of my blog posts with a "I have nothing to say". He is also a good cricketer, often ensuring that he becomes the captain of various hurriedly-put-up teams. I asked him to write on the most memorable cricket match he has played, and he recounts one such incident. I must admit that I had no idea of such an incident until I read this.

My Most Memorable Cricket Match

This is a story of how a bunch of boys became men, how we overcame the odds to beat the best team in college, how we taught the arrogant opposition a lesson of subtility on their own game. Err.. Scratch that. It was a bloody murder. We got mauled by the mechanical department. But still why this ludicrous match is one of my favorite ? Read on.

They announced the inter department tournament for 2nd years in SASTRA. The glamorous, prestigious and glittering silver cup, the dream of many and prized possession that the 7 departments were playing for. OK OK sorry. It was a normal dept tournament with 1000 rs for the winning team with 500rs entry fee for every team. Other departments had some college team players in them, we, let's just say we had 11 people in our team. First the organizers thought of scratching our team as they thought we don't have eleven boys in our department! Respective Sir, I accept that biotechnology was a girls dominated dept, but to say that we don't have 11 boys who know the nuances of cricket!! Too much pride at stake. Too much. I had to show them. We registered our dept in tournament. 

It was match day. I was the department team captain. Here, let me rephrase it. I'm captain of the 2nd year biot team, the whole department ( waiting for it to echo). But 30 mins before the match we had just 3 members of our team in the ground. The opposition players were practising catches while we 3 furiously called our hostel mates to join our team. 20 mins before the match, 4 more joined. That was it, I lost it. I went directly to the hostel rooms, banged their doors hard and apologized immediately for doing that. Then, I asked(pleaded) them to play for biot dept team. They said they are sleepy. But I couldn't let that happen. I told them that there were no players and the team was completely banking on them. ("Not!").

5 minutes before the match, we had 11 heads. Eleven members! Oh yeah!! We lost the toss were put into bat. Here's another reason why this is one of my favorite match,  I opened batting and bowling and  kept wickets! That's what dreams of every gully cricketers made of. We batted carefully, me and Mr A. He got out when we were 24 at 5th over. Then I had a decent partnership with Mr N and took our team to 55 for 1 when he got out. Then our players switched on Indian test team formula of " come, getout, repeat " mode. I made a nonchalantly brilliant 45, but the team was bundled out for 68. People clapped when I walked back to the pavilion. That was a great moment for me.

They batted. We (apart from me, of course) bowled like a bunch of 6 year old girls throwing balloons at each other.Particularly we had a bowler( let's say " almost Akthar") who ran at 90 miles per hour and bowled at 20miles/hour. It was like his primary purpose is to run hard; bowling the ball -- that was just the byproduct of his super special running. The opposition targeted him particularly and clubbed him for 18 an over, naturally. We lost the match inside 9 overs. All the players from mechanical team said bad luck and that I played very well. They made me feel like," if only I had a better team". But the truth was, we were never really in the game and pummeled for the same.

I remember this the most because I scored 45, hitting some of the college team bowlers for boundaries. I proved that biot had more than 10 boys and it was not all girls department. ( I had my doubt too, at one stage one of the pace bowler in my team came and said "Machi, touch my hair da, see how silky it feels"!! ).

Next day seeing the scorecard many guys asked about me( organizers told me). I got respect from all the players who watched the match that day for the next 2 years in college. It was like dancing for "rains of castamere" while my teammates are bruised by the Lannisters. I enjoyed it. Memorable day.

- from the captain of 2nd yr biot cricket team SASTRA.

P.S. The Bioinformatics department of our college didn't play the tournament because organizers thought they were not even a real department. Ha ha!

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