Monday, November 19, 2007

We are the Champions!

I doubt I have ever been happier. On Saturday, the Longhorn Cricket Club won the the Central Texas Cricket League Division B Championship. It was an incredible victory and the fact that we reached the finals, let alone clinch the trophy, surprised most (including ourselves). One of my favourite series of books is the Glory Gardens series written by Bob Cattell, where he writes about this club team in England that takes part in a Cricket league and about their progress through each season. I loved those books because the Cricket matches depicted in that series seemed so real and it really made me want to be a part of a team like that. The camaraderie, team spirit and the knack of rising to the occasion (on most situations) were aspects that made me love that book series. And now, I can look back on a Cricket season that had its downs (the first 6 games) and its amazing highs (the last 5 games) and mark one more thing off my 'things-I-have-to-do-before-I'm-too-old-to-do-those-things' list.

On Saturday, we completed a streak of 5 consecutive wins and all the 5 games involved chasing down a total. The final game had us chasing 152 to win in 20 overs and we were looking down the barrel at around the 14th over when we needed close to 60 runs to win with our best hitter back in the hut. People say Cricket is a confidence game and I doubt the guy who won the game for us would disagree. Dhruv came in with 9 runs per over needed and he was pretty low on confidence. He played out two dot balls which just seemed to increase the pressure and then broke the shackles with a huge 6 over mid wicket. It was our game all the way from there as he motored along with our captain, Mohit, picking up 2s with ease and then hitting the occasional boundary to keep us on track. At a certain stage, we needed 33 to win of 19 balls and as if following a magical script, Mohit played a simple flick off his legs and the ball sailed over deep square leg. Yuvraj Singh would have been proud of that shot. The opponents hadn't given up and a tight 18th over brought the equation down to 23 runs of 2 overs. Dhruv used the spread out field to his advantage as he and Mohit ran twos off 4 off the 6 balls. The other two balls of the over, well, Dhruv cracked both of them for 4, giving the fielders no chance at stopping the ball. One over to go, 6 needed. Two 2s and one wide brought it down to 1 run off 3 balls. At this point, the whole team was going crazy at the boundary line with shouts of 'Jeetega bhai jeetega, LCC jeetega!!' getting louder and louder. The bowler ran in and bowled a fuller delivery towards the leg stump. Dhruv got into position and lifted it over midwicket, and even before the ball could sail over the fence, the entire team was on the pitch jumping on top of the man of the match. The last 10 balls had yielded 28 runs and we had clinched the Division B Championship.

It was an amazing season. I have never been part of a Championship winning squad and so I had never realized the magnitude of pride and joy that one feels for himself and for the team. The final 5 games would definitely count as the greatest comeback in Central Texas Cricket League history and the final game, between the Longhorn Cricket Club and the Excaliburs, would count as the best game of Cricket this wonderful little city of Austin has witnessed.


Madhuri said...

Congrats to the whole team!!!

Gaya said...

Awesome, congrats! :D

*~ Mayth!!~* said...


(I like happy posts :)