Multinet was in a grip of cricket fever, teams were busy curtailing their options and everyone was having a go at each other. We the Techies extremely doubted our chances at the outset of this tournament but we motivated ourselves by tagging us as unpredictable. Throughout this blog you will be able to perceive that why our team was so Pakistani like! We were short on practice and the lane with the parking lot reserved for training was usually preoccupied. Wait a minute, our bosses intervened and devised an intelligent stratagem.
We ran, we slashed, and we planned and nailed down the final eleven for each match. We could see through their wily machinations and the Men in Green decided that they will have an intrepid conduct in the battle against the opponents. Our boss even went on to make a statement that they will get through for the next stage. His statements are here, Relevant content from 2:04 - 2:18:
Finally the day embraced upon us for the first round stage, the day which whole of us have been waiting for, there were so many speculations and we were all so obsessed about that. We were supposed to lock horns for the first match with Promoters and the pulchritude of our first match was that both teams had hyped match winner. A lot had already been said about the most sensational battle of the bat and ball between the Champ Paras and Adroit Masood. We had our plans to circumvent their batting God.
The match had kick-off, Paras standing at the batting end, fields’ men ready. Masood had taken off with his glib and articulate run up towards him. What happened? Yes first ball BOWLED, Golden Duck. That ball had gone like a rocket towards the stumps and the bails came down. That infallible delivery was too much to ask from him and it was nothing short of filching the batsman's virginity. You want to feel the experience?
The runs from nowhere after the first delivery started leaking, boundaries coupled with plethora of wides piled up the pressure. We leaped to a complete low after the few overs which were replete of extras. Waseem really tussled in the start as his epoch lasted for quite a time though he later managed to make the batsman eat the balls. Atif struggled initially too but got back to track after quite a few run-ups.
We witnessed incessant signals of wides:
At this moment team needed to bolster their efforts as we were quite in doldrums and needed some diligent effort. Phlegmatic Shahzad was handed over the bowl who was a last minute entry in the squad. He managed to pull off an economical spell. Khurram with his controlled aggression delivered the last but a decent over and managed to get wickets at crucial time too. Our bowlers had got great assistance from Atif who was as quick as younger Akmal on the field and proved a point that catches win matches.
The result was, de facto, jumbo total on the scorecard. An electrifying performance was needed for being able to manage a respectable net run rate. We needed a batting line up to explode rather than imploding, someone who could lacerate the counterparts. Team management made a forthright decision by sending M. Adeel who was reminiscent of Inzimam and Rafaqat who was the antithesis of Yousaf. Both of them were shaky in the start, they edged a few deliveries for the singles and doubles to get the scorecard ticking. Rafaqat finally managed to hit a sublime four for the boundary towards long on. Dot deliveries had already aggrandized the pressure and M. Adeel at the other end could feel the heat of missing the deliveries. He needed a shot that could revive the innings. During this moment of crux his calm and composed attitude prevailed. On his last delivery he managed to pull off a great shot towards long mid on for six. The shot was the message to the opposition that the men in green are no jest. It was all hand eye coordination and no feet:
The next man in Masood, his batting style has been my paragon of virtue, he just came and conquered. The guy has such confidence that he could hit each ball for six at his own will; he had the ability to whack the bowler all around the park. We knew that he was gutsy against fast bowlers and could easily take them to the cleaners. His shots were as good as quashing a rebellion. Nothing different happened when he faced his very first ball and the other two balls which followed him. Yes, three consecutive deliveries and we witnessed three sixes. Bowler was pawned and teared apart by the batsman, no wonder the fielding team was molested against the skillful Masood. To feel the moment, you gotta watch this:
He had hit delectable fours after the three deliveries and on his way back when he had almost sealed a win, he was lauded by the other players of his team for the awesome innings. The match was soon shrouded with a win and we celebrated a victory by ensuring that we had a good net run rate. The opposition was crestfallen and a place for us in the knockout stage was almost secured.
Our managers chipped in and improvised us not to take the next team lightly and there is no option but to win. We were bereft of some fine players as they ratified that each one of us get a chance atleast to play for a side. They discussed and divulged a final team to all of us. Many of us who were selected for the next match couldn't train during the last few days. To their help there was a jogging track around the circumference of a cricket ground. Our next match was with the team who was just like the archipelago of Caribbean Islands, just like them the unit consisted of few players from multiple departments. At the eleventh hour, their manager cum captain was able to trade the players.
We were supposed to bowl first and we were exhorted by our managers to contain them and avoid the botches we made while bowling in the first match. Masood came and delivered a fine over, next came in the Annas who effaced the bowl on his pants nicely just like a spinner does. He was the only spinner witnessed in the whole round yesterday. The batsman tried to dance down the pitch on each delivery but all efforts went in vain as his breaks were par above their batting standards. One of his clips from the practice sessions is here.
The moment had arrived for me to make the ball talk. From the bowling end I could see two lefties who were about to face me, that baffled me a bit as I scuffled to get the ball in line. Couple of times I changed the sides as I finally was able to settle with the perfect run-up. The semblance of my action was to that of Malinga and as I gained rhythm I was able to transmute my dreams into reality by bowling Yorkers right down to the toes. The highlight of the over was though an exceptional catch which Kapil Dev had taken towards the short leg. He was standing still the moment ball had left but I couldn’t believe that his judgment was amazing. I saw him running towards the ball as the ball glued in his hands! We were a happy lot that moment as we raced towards each other. The transit moment of celebration for a one handed catch by Kapil wasn't much different than this:
Adeel H joined the bowling attack as he had the ability to swing a ball a bit which could deceive a batsman. He bowled a nippy spell which had both dots and extras. Khurram like the last match bowled a better over than even the last one. His unerring spell with an aggressive attitude haunted the opposition further as they weren't being able to put enough runs on the scorecard.
Except Masood, we were deprived of our best batsmen and there was too much dependency on him. Our batsmen came and missed deliveries. Aziz unfortunately was run out in no different manner than this:
Khurram had an ugly touch with the bat and Fahad did a Misbah there.
Adeel H. added few doubles and singles but series of unfortunate events continued despite a clean hit for six and four by Masood but he had to retire from the innings. One of the sexiest shots of the night was hit by Abid, he had hit cover off the ball and oh he flashed and he flashed hard.
Few runs added were a celestial joys for us as they assuaged our pain for stabling the net run rate on which we were dependent in case of a loss.
It was turning out to be a tricky chase under the lights and both the sides knew the importance of the game. Our tail-enders Irfan and Annas marched towards the pitch. They were extremely prudent and smart to make sure they run whether they leave, edge or strike. We players were quite tensed as we were helpless but each run scored was a respiration process for us. That night even luck was with us, the bowler granted us with 5 byes due to a wide being bowled which a keeper and a third man couldn't stop and bowl raced away towards the boundary.
It was turning out to be a game where anything could happen. The over was already turning out to be a lucrative one for us. It had everything written all over it, free hits, byes, extras and what not? Target was achieved when Irfan managed to play an absolute master stroke with soft hands on the last delivery of the match. We met fortunes and the opposition met adversity.
We couldn't stop our emotions as we descended upon and intruded the arena to taste the victory. We jumped over each other and we exulted after the win. The celebration was nothing short than this:
Techies ousted both the teams, yet the job is not over. We have a knockout stage next month to take place, though whether we win or not we are still the heroes. The window between the stages is to make sure that we identify team’s Achilles’ heel and pick the best lot for the next venue.