a chase !!!! to save our clubby Sunil_Singh (InsomniacS) 91 months ago Editor's Pick
A CHASE!!!! TO SAVE OUR CLUB
This is not a story but a Milestone for us........I won’t beat about the bush and come straight to the point........We had clear instructions from the Sponsors to promote to higher division in this season or were thinking of closing the Club. But it was not easy for us as we strongly believed in training raw talent. So, we argued but they again won saying that to prove our point the team needs to win against some higher division team. I knew that it was not impossible but did not want the boys to see the phase of life our manager has seen if they lost. With a heavy heart we decided to inform the boys about this. I knew they will not accept this as they were performing exceptionally well this season with just one match loss.
Finally it was decided to take part in an Unofficial Tournament and that day finally came when we had to play our match against a higher Div team. This was the first match in the history of our club against a very strong higher Div team.
Their manager was very experienced and was even the Head coach of a state team. To worsen our situation the match was lined up on their stadium which had a flat wicket.
Just see what happened next.......
(For your convenience let’s first meet the people in the story)
Sponsors of the Team : InsomniacS
They are from a very conservative Large Business family. Prime Target is cost saving and extract as much profit from the Investment. Owner of almost 150 different companies and this club is not one of their favorite investments
Sunil Singh – Manager of the Team : InsomniacS
He has struggled a lot in his career and finally got a job as the Manger of Team Insomniacs. He had no choice but to accept the targets from the sponsors as below:
1. Cost Saving – No costly Trainees can be bought.....We are not here to produce gems but decent players who can just win matches
2. Keep a very close check on the player salaries – We cannot afford a team with a very high maintenance cost
3. Winning is very important – As it increases ticket sales and no. of fans
His one of the favorite subjects is Market Research and believes in Experimenting with things. Sold all the major bowlers of the team except E. Malik this season to replace with trainees and to gain sponsors trust by showing good return on investment and cost saving on salaries. His approach now in electing players in the team was ‘Should be quick to adapt the circumstances’ and he believes in quick time Strategies
Abhiraam Bulusu – Key Batsmen of the Team : InsomniacS
Strike batsmen for the team. Costliest player the club ever bought so
all eyes were set on him. Performed well till now. Been in poor fitness in this
season and still not recovered
Ebrahim Malik – Key Bowler of the Team : InsomniacS
Strike Bowler for the team. Joined as a trainee and has a good reputation when question of reliability arises. After the 4 major bowlers left this season the bowling department is now on his shoulders. Captains the team in the League matches
Firdoze Hafeez – Captain of Team : InsomniacS
An oldy. Been with the team for a while. Manager uses him for different purposes at different times like a coach for young players, a captain, a strike batsmen etc
Finally on the much awaited day of the match our first let down was the toss which we lost.
Fasihuddin spins the coin and Firdoze Hafeez calls "Heads". Tails it
Yuvi Sixers win the toss and decide to Bat first.
FIRST INNINGS - BOWLING FOR INSOMNIACS
Though they did not lose any wickets till the end of 19 overs as our bowlers restricted them well.
End of the over 19, 15 runs off it. Yuvi Sixers : 182/0 - Aayushman Simi
THE LAST OVER OF THE FIRST INNINGS
But all the efforts went in vain when they fired us in the last over.20th over to be bowled by, Neelesh Khandelwal (Off break)
19.1. Khandelwal to A. Fasihuddin, 1 run,.19.2N. Khandelwal to A. Simi, 1 run
19.3N. Khandelwal to A. Fasihuddin, FOUR,.19.4N. Khandelwal to A. Fasihuddin, FOUR,
9.5N. Khandelwal to A. Fasihuddin, SIX,19.6N. Khandelwal to A. Fasihuddin, SIX, SIX all the way!
End of the over 20, 22 runs off it. Yuvi Sixers : 204/0, Aayushman Simi
End of the First Innings. Total: 204 without any Wicket
SECOND INNINGS : THE CHASE BY INSOMNIACS
It was silence all over and N. Khandelwal who gave 22 runs in the last over was seen sitting in a corner with tears in his eyes.
Sunil Singh – Rushed in and said “Well tried boys to restrict them to 204.......It’s definitely an Achievable target” though he knew inside his heart that it is tough to chase this total as they had just 5 recognized batsmen and loosing early wickets means pressure will build and may crumble in the half.
This team was not ages old but the bonding they made in a short time was appreciable. Leaving all worries behind they again started working on the quick time batting strategy. The strategy was formed and it was time to face the crowd now.
THE FIRST 3 OVERS
‘Oh...what is this’ exclaimed the crowd seeing a bowler (P. Samoothiri) coming out with his bat along with the WK batsmen (B. Baroova). ‘Seems they have gone insane’ was heard from the crowd who was not at all happy.
In the first over as expected P. Samoothiri was gone for just 1......
Again a bowler (P. Gupta) with a bat was seen coming from the room......which made the fans so furious that they started yelling ‘We can’t understand what this manager is up to......No power play in the first over on a flat pitch and 2 bowlers in the top line up...Who will save us’.
However P.Gupta was very keen to face the deadly pacer and remembered what was their strategy in the room while he walked towards the pitch.
At the end of the Over 3 they lost their 2 bowlers and somehow survived to save their batsmen. But still the RRR was very high
End of the over 3, 9 runs and a wicket off it. InsomniacS : 29/2, Yuvi Sixers : 25/0
Firdoze Hafeez3 (2) Bimal Baroova 14 (8)
THE POWER PLAY (FROM OVERS 4-8)
They struggled to score at a higher RR in the PP and lost their captain F. Hafeez also. Bulusu the star batsmen had some good boundaries but he also could not accelerate the score in the PP as was required.
End of the over 8, 5 runs off it. InsomniacS : 70/3, Yuvi Sixers : 78/0
Abhiraam Bulusu26 (15), Bimal Baroova22 (18)
Thats 41 runs and a wicket off the Power play overs.
THE SPINNERS PLAY THE TRICK FOR BOWLING TEAM (OVERS 9-10)
The crowd again went wild as 204 looked too far. Bulusu remembered what was discussed in the room.
This thought charged him again and he was back with a SIX in the next over. “If this pair can settle down for 4-5 over’s they can take us near to our target” Sunil Singh told E. Malik( who prayed after every ball while they were sitting in the shade).
But the story had a steep turn........
Baroova was the next to go in the same over and Kardar soon after him in the middle of the next over.......
Insomiacs were 5 down when Hassan striked again in the same over and took Malik who just played 2 balls.
‘It is all over with our 3 batsmen and 3 bowlers down. Better we leave. Insomniacs is gone. Will lose and the club will be in crap again’ one of the sincere fan expressed his feelings.
End of the over 10, 7 runs and 2 wickets off it. InsomniacS : 84/6, Yuvi Sixers : 96/0
Abhiraam Bulusu34 (19) Shane Laurens0 (0)
SAVING FOR THE FUTURE (OVERS 11-13)
Laurens who had no idea what he will do in the middle at this point could hear the fire crackers from the Yuvi Sixers fan stand. They were delighted as usual.
Bulusu caught Laurens attention by reminding him about the 3rd strategy
They will have to fire as well as be cautious while scoring as this was the last batting pair. Most of the Insomniacs fans had already left and rest were getting ready to leave.
In the next over Bulusu was on strike and seeing his confidence to deliver Laurens was also charged and decided to leave everything behind and focus on RRR in this do or die situation.
They anyhow survived the next 3 overs as below:
End of the over 11, 7 runs off it. InsomniacS : 91/6, Yuvi Sixers : 108/0
End of the over 12, 13 runs off it. InsomniacS : 104/6, Yuvi Sixers : 111/0
End of the over 13, 12 runs off it. InsomniacS : 116/6
Abhiraam Bulusu52 (29), Shane Laurens14 (8)
THE TWISTER (14TH OVER) & BULUSU IS DOWN WITH PAIN
Now, 89 runs were needed off 42 balls
Bulusu was very nervous. Though he knew his capabilities he was losing faith as the RRR was over 12 and they cannot hit each and every ball as any delivery can be an end for his innings. It just striked him what our manager would do in such a situation and he remembered Sunil once told him ‘Analyse the moment rather than React’. He turned his head to look at the stands and could find Sunil looking at him as if saying “Ur doing a good job......just keep analysing the situation and keep going’.
This just rejuvenated him and the result of the next over was:
14.1A. Agarwal to S. Laurens, 1 run, 14.2 A. Agarwal to A. Bulusu, SIX
14.3 A. Agarwal to A. Bulusu, SIX, 14.3 A. Agarwal to A. Bulusu, SIX
14.5 A. Agarwal to A. Bulusu, FOUR, 14.6 A. Agarwal to A. Bulusu, 1 run
End of the over 14, 24 runs off it. InsomniacS : 140/6, Abhiraam Bulusu75 (34), Shane Laurens15 (9)
65 runs needed off 36 balls.
That over was a twister. It brought back the hopes of everyone. The fans who were about to leave decided to stay and cheer the wonderful effort by this youngster. Lauren’s could not believe what he just saw. As required 65 was still to be analysed he noticed by this time Bulusu was down. His back was the reason for which he was down in poor fitness this season.
THE RISE OF LAURENS (OVERS 15-18)
“I think I will not be able to charge the ball into the fence for next 2-3 overs” Bulusu said trying to stretch his back.”Don’t worry brother. It’s time to prove my worth” saying this Laurens took the responsibility on his shoulder. Bulusu was happy to hear this.
End of the over 15, 12 runs off it. InsomniacS : 152/6, 53 runs needed off 30 balls
End of the over 16, 5 runs off it. InsomniacS : 157/6, 48 runs needed off 24 balls
End of the over 17, 10 runs off it. InsomniacS : 167/6, 38 runs needed off 18 balls.
End of the over 18, 9 runs off it. InsomniacS : 176/6, 29 runs needed off 12 balls.
Abhiraam Bulusu 85(42) Shane Laurens 40(25)
Till this time Laurens was the hero as he had kept his words and Bulusu just supporting him to tick the score card.
BULUSU IS BACK FROM INJURY (19TH OVER) & SPONSOR SEEN IN THE STAND
It was 29 runs needed off 12 balls in the last 2 overs and this time one of the sponsors was also spotted in the stands. Sunil was really surprised to see him as they hardly made their appearance anywhere. Everyone’s eyes were set on these 2 batsmen now. Bulusu was on strike
K. Hassan to A. Bulusu, FOUR, Full toss and cracked to the boundary at cow corner. Poor delivery that and gets the treatment.
This was a treat for the crowd. They never imagined this guy will rise from his injury to take his team till the end.
The bowler this time realized his fault and restricted them in the next 5 balls.
End of the over 19, 11 runs off it. InsomniacS : 187/6
Abhiraam Bulusu 92(45) Shane Laurens 44(28)
18 runs needed off 6 balls
THE LAST OVER- 18 NEEDED OF 6 BALLS (WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR FANS OF BOTH TEAMS)
There was silence everywhere. ‘Whatever will be the result of this match my money was worth spending on the tickets’ one of the fans of Yuvi’s expressed.’ ‘Yes it is a win-win situation for fans of both teams’ the commentators also agreed.
Meanwhile in the stands the ImsoniacS boys had hold their breath as at this point the match always looked in Yuvi’s pocket.
On the pitch Yuvi’s boys were seen discussing their strategy. It was decided 20th over will be bowled by Ishtaq Butt (Leg break) who was their second strike bowler. Seeing this the Yuvi fans made a huge roar as if declaring the match in their favour.
Bulusu was ready to face the music without any expressions on his face.
19.1 I. Butt to A. Bulusu, FOUR, pitched right up to Bulusu and he has smacked it towards the long-on fielder, ball wins the race. That wasn't a good delivery at all.
19.2 I. Butt to A. Bulusu, no run, Big backlift on the drive but no timing at all on that, straight to Ghanghas on the first bounce.
19.3 I. Butt to A. Bulusu, SIX, Steps down, gets under a length ball, and over long-on, into the debris. There is debris outside the playing field, there is debris inside the playing field. Fantastic hit!
And with this six it was a very well deserved century for Bulusu
This time even I was touched. Never witnessed such a drama in my whole life. This last ball six just took me of my mind. I straight away went to the sponsor and told him ‘Boss!! I hope you now realize what effort these guys have put in to save our club’. He did not react so I went back to my seat.
Believe me... that moment can’t be expressed when you need 8 runs of 3 balls and the match still can take a turn any side.
I.Butt was again seen discussing with his caption and they decided to make a slight change in the fielding.
But now no one can control this young tornado and the next ball was .........
19.4 I. Butt to A. Bulusu, SIX, Bulusu sends a message to the dressing room, comes out of the crease and a clean hit sends the ball soaring beyond long-on for six, nicely done!
19.5 I. Butt to A. Bulusu, FOUR, slightly closer to off, slightly fuller, in the zone, and the batsman puts front foot out and clobbers it to the long off boundary.
InsomniacS finally won by 4 wickets with just one ball to spare.
But in the true sense it was a victory of the’TRUST’ the manager had on these boys which saved our Club.
Link of the match
InsomniacS Cricket Club,
Himachal Pradesh, India
Amar Karam Chandani (Soldiers of Fortune)
Rishit Arora (dirtyboys)
VarunNandode (Varun Nandode 2)
Chetan Chauhan (BangaloreChallengers)