Sunday, April 25, 2010

Match Report :: vs Skiers 11 :: 04/17

The game of cricket has a lot to offer, especially when two supreme teams clash. It was a day when no one had expected the unexpected as the bout between The Immortals vs Skiers 11 went all the way down to the wire (cliché as it may sound) and the result was determined at the last ball of the innings. Two teams of great fighting spirit, almost near-to-perfection talent and some strokes of luck (turn of luck) made this encounter a nail biting finish.

Skiers 11 had played The Immortals earlier and had the better of them back in the Fall Open. For the Immortals this was a moment of sweet revenge especially this early in the tournament to have that little mental edge by getting even with Skiers. The Immortals won the toss on their home ground and chose to bat first.

Paying justice to the way the Cupertino Middle School home ground is in terms of its layout, the Immortals batting first did superbly well putting 84 on the board for the loss of just 6 wickets with useful contributions up the order from Nirmam, Viral, Ronak and a late burst from Jainip.

The Immortals defense for their 84 on the board started in complete disarray as two sitters were dropped in the inner circle – the zone which had always been the Immortals strength for putting pressure on the opposition. Somehow the Immortals managed to push the Skiers batting personnel on the back foot until the break as they restricted them to just 30 odd runs in 10 overs.

Even as the Immortals were having buttery fingers and the ball kept slipping, Karan (Batti) pulled of a stunning blinder in the deep running approximately the distance of 2 pitches and chalking out a one-hand effort to set the tone before the 10 overs break. Another one, a reflex catch from Jimmy, standing right in the face of the batsman saw the Skiers losing 2 wickets until the break.

But what came next was a rude shock to the Immortals, as they just lost their way along the dusty ground, the thicker grass and the self-mounted pressure of fielding even the simplest of chances. Let alone the half chances that the Immortals got by dozens, even the fundamentally basic run out and run stopping chances were put down and the Skiers batsmen were given a free ticket to ride their wagon slowly but steadily towards their target.

Ball going through the legs, turning inside out from the hands of the Immortals was a sight of extreme disgust as it seemed to be a rookie performance from a great unit, even though the game was not lost until the last 5 overs. But somehow the Immortals did not manage to pull back their act together and with 18 required of 18 it seemed that even though the game could be favoring the Immortals the momentum had shifted towards their opposition.

The Skiers 11 middle order batsman Deepak had nothing but one thing to do, scramble the Immortals and with the fielding standard having dropped so low, the Immortals were bound to make mistakes and give free runs. Eventually even as he did bail out a long high one into the mid field, but just as it might deem justice to his batting (and the Skiers’ luck), 3 fielders could not manage to seize the simple opportunity of catching him out and dropping yet one another sitter (again). He was once again given a reprieve behind the stumps and eventually these were fatal mistakes as he remained not out, and more importantly taking Skiers 11 all the way home with a fine victory of the last ball of the innings.

Even as a lot of blame was being put on the way the Immortals fielded (or on the u-turn in the luck aspect), it was the Immortals bowling too which did take a severe hit. The last 10 overs leaked out 55 runs and that in itself is a major concern if one thinks of the way the Immortals have bowled and defended even less than par totals in much earlier games on a lot of crucial occasions.

Having said that, it was a rude, but much needed wake up call, for everyone on the roster, to cheer up and gear up (as quoted by the captain of the Immortals) for the next game. If that calls for certain changes in the field setup, some common sense, alertness from the inner circle, some strong legs and calls from the outer circle, or even if it means thinking out of the box and handling the ball/bat to someone else and carry out some orthodox changes – then be it ! All that matters is not winning, but not losing in such a pitiful fashion ! Come what may, the Immortals will have to bounce back – strongly, as they play Aryans this coming weekend !

Go Immortals !
Fight On !


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Match Report :: vs Hulks :: 03/27

The summer has begun in the beautiful Northern California, offering some great picturesque backdrops, especially when you are playing on the Cupertino Middle School (CMS) ground and facing the bowler running up to you. The Immortals began their Regular Season 2010 by playing the Hulks for the first head-to-head matchup this past Saturday. The Immortals were visiting the Hulks on their home ground at Mary and Remington, but come summer it was an inevitable fact that the ground issues would pop more often than your buttered corn in your microwave.

The Immortals have made all their efforts for the past 3 seasons to be a well disciplined, nicely organized and punctual camp, bringing out the professionalism in each of their individual player, but the outfit that they were facing were not quite up to the task, or shall we say were not up and running from their beds. What shocked the Immortals was that none of the players of the opposite team were on their home ground by the scheduled time, and to add to it, when the game was shifted to the Immortals home ground at CMS, it seemed as if the Hulks were in the mood of playing just the Little League of Cricket as they could not manage even 9 players till 9 am and were left scurrying for players to even qualify to play the game as per the rules.

The Hulks did finally manage to get their 9 acts together (but still 2 short), and the toss was done which went in the Immortals favor as they chose to bat first. No penalties were enforced by the Immortals upon the Hulks as the game was set for a full quota of 20 overs a side.

The Immortals Team: Viral, Nirmam, Karan (SJSU), Ronak, Jimmy, Aditya, Jainip, Darshil, Gaurav, Jaishal, Bhupesh

The Hulks Team: Simran, Aravinth, Srinivasan, Amol, Sujit, Karthik, Anvesh, Anand, Alhad

Batting first, the Immortals message was clear, to take advantage of the home ground and a bigger advantage of having only 9 players from the opposition and thus score big. But things did not go as planned as the first 3 wickets became victims of what were supposed to be well-timed shots but resulting into unlucky but well-held catches by the Hulks players.

But the next pair of Ronak and Jimmy batted quite superbly well to keep the scoreboard ticking, and with some wayward bowling from the Hulks resulting into a lot of extras, the Immortals were comfortably on their way towards a big total. Jimmy was back to his natural best as he played some exquisite strokes hitting 3 boundaries in his knock as he scored a brisk 31 off just 39 balls with Ronak and Aditya chipping in with valuable contributions in the middle order.

The Immortals did lose momentum towards the end of the innings with their lower order as Hulks managed to choke them a little with some good line and length bowling leaking no free runs as they managed to skittle the Immortals all out for 88 runs.

The huddle before the start of the bowling for the Immortals was about crushing the opponents to take advantage of the DRR. With two players short on the Hulks lineup, the task was going to be much easier for the Immortals as Bhupesh struck twice in his spell in the beginning to push the Hulks on the back foot. But what came next was quite unexpected and maybe something worth experiencing in a game of cricket. There is no better sight in this gentlemen's game than a bowler taking 3 wickets off 3 successive balls - a Hat-trick !

Ronak, the Immortals keeper was handed the ball after the Hulks managed to scamper to 23 odd runs with only 10 coming off the bat, and the Immortals leaking 13 extras in a span of just 6 overs. So Ronak started off his first over with 3 dot balls as he maintained an excellent line and length frustrating the Hulks batsman, and on the 4th ball Ronak got his first victim, completely bowling the batsman all over. The next batsman came in, took his guard, the Immortals all charged up, Ronak comes in bowling almost a similar delivery as the previous one, and the batsman had no clue as it went past through him and uprooted his furniture. 2 wickets in 2 balls and one delivery left.

Ronak was on a hat-trick and the Immortals were in the middle of a historic moment which would go down into the record books forever. The fielders were brought in to put pressure on the next batsman and there was pin drop silence (the silence before the storm), as Ronak went back to his mark, turned around, came charging in and hit the deck at the right spot as the batsman was left baffled, as he saw the ball rush past him onto his stumps and off went the bails, and off went the Immortals sparking off celebrations as everyone closed in on Ronak applauding his Hat-trick effort as the over read: * * * W W W

What a feat by Ronak as the Immortals finally closed the deal by dismantling the Hulks for 28 runs in 10 overs and taking 4 points under their belt.

Score Card

With this win, the Immortals now host GSCC at CMS on 4/3.

Go Immortals


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Thursday, March 18, 2010

3Peat - The Fall Open Gold Cup Finals !!!

The clock moved forward for Day Light Savings, as everyone lost an hour of sleep, not to mention that most of us might already be turning and churning right and left all night long before the big event. The game day sun rose slowly as it marked the beginning of a fine summer, and with that brought out the love, passion, aggressiveness, hunger to win and most importantly a desire to bring back home the Gold one more time for the Immortals. For those who are not aware – this was the day when two teams, The Immortals and TCC clashed against each other in what was to be a nail biting Cricbay Fall Open Gold Cup Finals, and what a humdinger cricket game it was as the winner was decided in the very last over, as the match went all the way down to the wire.

Having played 4 seasons now, the Immortals were a much more solidified camp, an outfit which had risen from the ashes but had made its way to its own self earned glory, beating some of the best teams in the league, losing some crucial games, and even having experienced a tie in the Gold Cup Finals just one season back against the Eagles, but later on going ahead and winning it in the Super Over. But having said that, the opportunity at hand, the tough battle and a much deserved title on the line, for this bunch of fanatic cricket lovers, individuals with tremendous talent and temperament, yet playing for the team with utmost dedication and sincerity, was the second ultimate prize (next best to the Platinum Cup) the Cricbay League could offer – The Gold Cup !

With 2 silverware (Gold Cups) already in the kitty from the past 3 seasons, the Immortals were all raring to go to make it a 3-peat and bring back the momentum heading into the Regular Season kicking off in 2 weeks time. But their opposition, a team who had come on top this season with some tremendous game plays, some well disciplined bowling attack and some batting stalwarts – TCC, had even more heart into the game playing for the Gold and delivering the Immortals a taste of what they had to offer.

There were no clear favorites except for the fact that the Immortals out on out, were kind of the dominant team and more prone to winning yet another Gold, but their opposition were not to be taken lightly, having shown their other counterparts what they had to offer in their last two games leading into the Finals. The ground – a perfect 360 with just a distracting batting cage behind the keeper’s back, the pitch famously known for high scoring games, the teams raring to go, and up went the coin, and the Immortals winning it, chose to bat first.

The Immortals were to a shaky start as their first wicket fell quite cheaply with the score reading 10, but the first wicket partnership started to bring the momentum back on track. Opener Viral and keeper-batsman Ronak steered the ship towards the break of 10 overs steadily but a bad miscommunication between them saw Viral getting run out right before the break. With two wickets down and just 35 on the board at the break, the Immortals had the perfect platform to launch themselves into attacking the opposition and taking their team to a respectable total. One more wicket fell quickly bringing the Immortals captain Darshil to the crease. He and Ronak made sure that the flow of runs kept on coming with some quick singles, fast paced doubles and two hits to the fence by Ronak, one of which was actually caught by a fielder in the deep but to the batsman’s reprieve he accidentally touched his team-mate outside the boundary rope, thus turning a great catch into a well deserved six. The sideline for the Immortals were jumping in delight as the runs kept on coming. Two quick wickets well without moving the scores and for the final 6-8 odd deliveries it was left to the Captain and the Vice Captain Aditya to deliver their final blows to which Aditya did it in style with a big six (the first of his Cricbay career) at the very last ball of the Immortals innings.
The Immortals total : 83 for 5 in 20 overs. (Highlights: Viral 14, Ronak 27, Darshil 14*, Aditya 9*)

The job half done, but the dents fully made on TCC’s morale, the Immortals went into defending their total and inching their way towards the Gold. Having known TCC’s reputation of scoring huge runs for the past two games, the Immortals were up on all toes as Bhupesh and Nirmam started the attack, but were quickly thrown on the back foot with some frustrating running between the wickets by TCC’s batsmen and with plenty of runs coming in the first 5 over slot with no wickets down, it was left to Aditya to bring back the momentum in the Immortals favor. The first ball that he bowled and the batsman being beaten for sheer pace saw his stumps uprooted and the bails flying in the air. A much needed crucial strike and Karan(Keko) alongside Jaishal made sure the scores were almost leveled at the break with a wicket each, TCC getting 35 for loss of 3 wickets at the break.

Madhu the middle order batsman was looking threatening as he single handedly seemed to be taking the game slowly away from the Immortals, but he was also running out of partners at regular intervals. A fine direct hit by Jainip and a tipped off catch from Karan(Keko) to Bhupesh off Darshil’s bowling wiped off half of TCC’s side, but the runs were still coming at a decent pace, as almost all the Immortals bowlers were taking fine hits along with some sloppy fielding giving away couple of free runs. A fine catch and a vigilant run out by Viral pushed TCC even further down the barrel, with leaving the last 4 wickets needing 9 runs off the last two overs.

Some tense moments, some words exchanged and some misfields later, it was all down to these last two overs. Karan(Keko) went in first, delivering one of the best over of his life giving away only 3 runs and on the way getting the prized scalp of Madhu who scored a fighting 36 taking his team on the brink of the victory only to falter at the end, getting caught in the deep by a fine catch held by Jaishal. Madhu's valiant effort was even applauded by the Immortals players as he left dejectedly towards the dugout. But that did not stop Karan from delivering yet another blow as Viral held on to a fine catch in the very same over.

The scoreboard now read, 6 runs needed off 6 balls for TCC, 2 wickets is all that Immortals needed for kissing that Gold. It all came down to Aditya to bowl the crucial last over. Once again he successfully uprooted the furniture giving away only 2 runs and with 3 balls to go TCC needed only 4 runs to win. One wicket was all that the Immortals needed to seal the fate. Aditya came in with all his fire sending down a quick fast delivery, the batsman lunges into driving it towards the cover, only to find Jainip’s hands, and off the Immortals went as everyone made a run for the stumps, grabbing them, hurling them in mid-air, sparking off celebrations, emotions flying over their heads, joy, ecstasy, as they hurdled up to do a victory jump dance, shoulder to shoulder, finally winning this topsy turvy battle.
TCC total : 80 for 10 in 19.4 overs. (Highlights: Aditya 3/11, Karan(Keko) 3/15)

Score Card


The Immortals had did it again, winning 3 Gold Cups in 4 seasons, 2 of which came in back to back seasons. One thing that might have stood out in all these 3 Gold Cup victories, was the fighting spirit from the Immortals camp, the players not willing to bow down to a few hits or a few misfields, the individuals stepping up to the occassion and bringing their A-game up their sleeve on the field, and most importantly the positive attitude that oozes out of these lads wearing the Immortals tee, when it comes to playing a fine game of cricket - anytime, anyplace, anyhow !

The Immortals were undoubtedly the supreme team when it came to playing the Gold Cup it seems, and their dominance along with the way they carry themselves on and off the field are remarkably worth praising. The Immortals players profile speaks for itself, as it clearly indicates that there is not a single match winner that would stand out - but it's all a team effort and a team game when it comes to winning and winning ! Of-course individual performances are what the team entirely depends upon but unlike other teams where the entire team revolves around a single super star, the Immortals - mind you, have 15 super stars uniquely placed, to whack you out of the park, bowl you out of your guard or simply break you down with their approach in the field !

So when you play the Immortals, be there, but be aware ! Who knows you might just be going home regretting having played the confident yet modest Immortals !

Go Immortals ! Let's step up one notch and bring home the first Platinum !


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Match Report: 02/28: vs Thunderdawgs

The Gold Cup definitely means a lot to the Immortals and it seems that as if they out-rightly dominate the game when it comes to winning it. It's kind of a supremacy which the Immortals have established since their inception by winning two Gold Cups in 3 seasons so far, and would not mind a third one up their sleeves. But to do so and come within one game of winning it, they had to surpass the Thunderdawgs in the Semi Finals, which they rightly did it in style, and march ahead to the finals.

The game once again was shifted to another ground as the showers had kept everyone checking for the weather the whole week. The game was played at Las Palmas park and it was Thunderdawgs who won the toss and chose to bat first. With the Immortals bowlers already boiling down the throat of the batsmen, it was the opposition's own mistakes that gave the Immortals the frequent breaks and with such opportunities, the Immortals made it sure to be on the top of their game by attacking constantly to put the batsmen under pressure. It yielded good results with the batsmen getting lured into creating half chances and succumbing to their own fall with 4 run outs and digging their own graves by the method of self-destructing. While the top 6 batsmen failed to deliver with no one making it to the double figures, the resilient fight came from their middle order batsman Srikanth who was in no hurry like his counterparts to return back to the dugout.

There is always an other side to the story too, and this time it was the Immortals fielding that took a hit. Sloppiness is what the Immortals encountered on the field, and even though it did not cost them dearly enough to make their opposition run away with the game, the fielding standards surely dipped quite low enough. There were three sitters dropped, one misjudged run out chance, and the Immortals were already looking out of shape, when their Captain leading by example, took a stunning catch and to add to it, Nirmam running backwards held on to a fantastic catch in the wet outfield to set the tone. The opposition luckily enough failed to seize these opportunities and eventually were all out for a mere 37 runs on the board. 4 run outs also does speak about how the Immortals do not look back to what might have just happened in terms of poor fielding, but their capability to make up for those failed chances by delivering the right blows at crucial times.

The Immortals batting was slow and steady and with a lot of help from the Thunderdawgs bowlers, who sent down 17 extras, the Immortals made it home by 7 wickets. With this crucial win the Immortals now would face TCC for the ultimate prize - The Gold Cup.

Score Card

The Immortals are all set for the Gold Championship Finals which will be played in a week's time and they are all pumped up to defend their last season's gold and more importantly cement their position as the Gold Champs once again to make it a 3-peat...

Go Immortals

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Match Report: 02/20: vs Hawkes

This week the world of cricket witnessed a spectacular innings - an innings of a life time - from one of the most popular icons of cricket by any standard - Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. 200 not out in a One-Day game is something which does not come too often and every Indian would pray this record to stand still in time for years to come. Switching gears and coming back to the Cricbay where the Immortals breathe, live and die for their cricket, the past weekend witnessed yet another resilient effort by the team, who now has come to believe in the never-say-die quote till the end. The Immortals hosted the Hawkes for the Gold Cup Quarter Finals and witnessed some inspiring performances from their players on the field.

The toss was won by Hawkes and they put the Immortals to bat first (a very natural choice for the Immortals), but once again with the summer on the horizon the ground issues gave its first visit this season as a football game came up on CMS and the game was shifted to another ground. With rains all week, and a little bit of moisture on the pitch, expecting the unexpected was sure up for grabs and Hawkes bowlers did just that. They exploited the conditions quite well using the right areas on the pitch to their advantage, and from the word go, put the Immortals on their back foot. Both the openers, Nirmam and Viral, were sent home with the score reading 10 on the board. But what was to happen next was not at all on the cards, with two other batsmen, Jimmy and Darshil, getting out on successive balls, giving the bowler a chance to do a hat-trick. Aditya survived the hat-trick ball but eventually got out. The break was approaching and Ronak was stranded at the other hand quickly running out of partners.

Right after the break, one more wicket fell, and that brought Kapad (Kunjan) at the crease. With the score reading 26 for 6 the Immortals were surely up against the wall, but what came next literally blew the Hawkes off their feet and dented their confidence and the enthusiasm in a manner that their body language showed their dropped shoulders from ball one when they came out to bat. A literal blitz of one of its kind, Kapad took the attack back to the opposition as he smashed two huge sixes with least effort, one of which was up in the air for ages and as Sidhu would have said "That must have kissed the air hostess before coming down". Everyone from the Immortals were up on their feet, all charged up, cheering and pushing Kapad to play his part as Ronak on the other hand played a perfect sheet anchor roll playing till the end and clobbering one six of his own, a neatly timed shot over long on.

Ronak and Kapad were applauded for their respective heroic efforts, one for his extremely patient innings and holding the scoreboard together as people were falling all around him, and another one for his natural brisk run-a-ball quickfire innings, as the Immortals once again were pulled back up from the death hole as they put up 75 on the board, but more importantly shook the Hawkes so much so that none of their batsman managed to cross double figures. The highest their batsman could manage was 5 runs, as the Immortals strong bowling attack bundled them up for a mere 31 runs. To an extent that was the total runs (2 less) that Kapad scored in as much as many balls.

The bowlers did their part too quite well enough to restrict and pressurize the opponents. Some highlights being Bhupesh's 3 wickets, Keka's 3 wickets (with no extras), Ronak's fantastic catch behind the wickets (to which he literally did a Bhajji style dance all the way till the Hawkes dugout, just like Bhajji did all the way to the press box on winning the last test against SA), 2 wickets for the Captain Darshil, one each for Nirmam and Aditya.

Score Card

With this win, the Immortals are now onto their way to the Gold Cup Semi Finals against the Thunderdawgs.

Go Immortals

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Match Report: 02/07: vs Hattrickers

Although the Super Bowl script did not play out the way it was supposed to be, where Saints would lead, but Manning and the Colts would make an epic comeback, 7 hours before the kick off, another team, playing for the ultimate success, playing for the second best coveted trophy in the league, and trying to achieve the 3-peat (as I mentioned during my last report), faced their moment of truth twice during the game. This is about team Immortals who visited the Hattrickers for the Pre-Quarter Finals in the Gold Cup game, and what a match it was as both teams witnessed some thrilling see-saw battles till the very last ball.

The pain for the Immortals started right from the word go, as all their playing 11 were sent on an unnecessary ride to find a ground with suitable playing conditions. Running out of luck, the Hattrickers finally agreed to play on Dunford Way and the pitch played to perfection as it was a minefield out there for the first 30 minutes or so. Having won the toss, Immortals choose to bat first on hostile conditions and were thrown up against the wall as the opposition bowlers exploited the perfect bowling conditions. With the top 5 out of 6 batsman falling like bowling pins, Nirmam who went to open the innings grimaced in pain at the non-striker end, as the scoreboard displayed the Immortals innings in tatters at 13 runs for 5 wickets.

But what came next, was an applauding performance by two people, one from the middle order batsman Jainip and the other from Nirmam, who both dropped anchor and pulled the Immortals innings together with a very fine 40 odd runs partnership, to take the Immortals past the 50 run mark. Both these batsman played out of their skins to inch slowly towards a defend-able target as they left some, played some and whacked some. With some resilient lower order batting the Immortals finally managed to post a decent 64 runs on the board off their quota of 20 overs. The highlight of the innings - definitely the partnership between Nirmam and Jainip and their will to not let the innings fall apart.

With the work half done, it was now the turn of the Immortals bowling attack to do their part, and they did not disappoint. Bhupesh drew the first blood, as a fine catch was held by Karan (Keko) in the very first over and the Hattrickers had lost their first wicket with 0 runs on the board. With the Immortals fielders mounting continuous pressure on the opposition, mistakes were bound to happen, and small chances were ought to be taken. Two successive run outs from the deep saw the Hattrickers hit the panic button as the Immortals fought back with a valiant effort from their bowlers and the fielders.

What got the Immortals back from the ruins was a middle order partnership, and that is something which their opposition did too. The Hattrickers were slowly and methodically lurching towards their target and that showed on the body language of the Immortals players. The opener from Hattrickers had held the innings together, but threw away his wicket when he attempted to clear the boundary but found himself getting caught by Jaishal in the deep. But even as he left, the Hattrickers had found another resurgent batsman down the order who was beckoning the Immortals to bring the game on. With some powerful hitting and running between the wickets, it seemed that the Immortals would have to end their Gold Cup dreams, but a brilliant run out from the deep by their captain Darshil saw the danger man getting out and thsu opening up the flood gates for the Immortals to run through the lower order batsmen.

With 14 runs required from the last 3 overs and 4 wickets left, Nirmam, Bhupesh and Aditya delivered their final blows in their last overs. Slowly tightening the noose around the batsman and choking them for the singles and the boundaries, the game seemed to slip away from the Hattrickers. With 7 runs required from their last over, it was once again left to their savior Nirmam to do his part. What came next was a magnificent last death over which saw yield only 3 runs and thus took the Immortals home by 4 runs.

The win sank in slowly as the Immortals erupted on the pitch shouting and hugging each other as they realized they just beat one of the finest teams of Cricbay and this victory would definitely set the tone for the rest of the remaining games as the Immortals are now one more step ahead to reach for the Gold.

Score Card

What a fine game it was and more importantly what a never-say-die spirited performance it was by Team Immortals. With this win, the Immortals now play the Quarter Finals.

Go Immortals

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Match Report: 01/30: vs Daredevils

Once again, the Immortals were back to familiar territory, now the third time since the inception of this team, as they faced Daredevils into the Gold group, and embark upon a path to bring back the Gold Cup one more time to make it a 3peat !!! With already two Golds up on the mantle, the Immortals are once again in good shape as they came strong and focused against the Daredevils.

With the week before presenting a lot of showers, and the clouds looming large on the horizon, the Immortals hosted Daredevils, but due to the puddles on most of the grounds this game shifted, from the CMS ground to the Daredevils home ground - Lake Wood Park, the first visit by the Immortals.

The toss was won by the opposition as they decided to bat first, and thus the Immortals were going to chase their way to a win in this game. The start given by the opening bowlers Bhupesh and Nirmam was decent as Daredevils looked strong to build upon a good opening pair and post a respectable total. With 5 overs gone by, and no victim to the kitty, the ball was given to Jaishal, who somehow seems to be possessing that golden arm, who always comes in when a wicket is needed and delivers right to the barrel. Once again, he did not disappoint as he struck in his first over, as a fine sharp catch was held by Darshil. One more scalp to Jaishal came when the batsman looked to pull the delivery but failed to do so thus top edging and was caught and bowled by Jaishal. Two down, and with one more blow from Keko (Karan) from behind the stumps, and the Immortals were all raging to go. At the break the Daredevils were precariously placed at 28 for the loss of 3 wickets. The game could go either way.

Their was a brief moment of resistance from the opener and the captain of Daredevils, as they built an innings together to take their total past 50 after the break. Just as the game seemed to drift away from the hands of the Immortals, Aditya delivered a crucial blow, uprooting the stumps and sending home the opener. That as if it seemed, opened the flood gates, for the Immortals as they looked pumped up to run through the rest of the line up. The captain stood at the other end as he watched his other batsman come and go at regular intervals.

The fielding looked sharp as two run outs and a brilliant display of judgment and poise by the Immortals captain taking a splendid running catch saw the Immortals bowl the Daredevils out for 69 runs in their quote of 20 overs.

The Immortals started with caution, but got the first blow, when Nirmam was caught behind early in the chase. With Sanato (Viral) and Batti (Karan), giving the much needed anchor to this innings, the chase started slowly, but in style with Batti opening up his blades to anything short of the length and confidently dismissing it for twos. A fine partnership between these two batsman saw Immortals race to 50 runs at the break for the loss of just one wicket. Sanato looked solid, and Batti was all fired up.

Wasting no time, Karan riding high in confidence struck a 4 and a massive 6 to get everyone on their toes, screaming, shouting and cheering the partnership. A fine run-a-ball innings from Batti and great support from Viral saw that the Immortals rode home in style with 7.9 overs to spare.

Score Card

With this win comes the next most important game, vs Hattrickers. The Immortals play them for the first time, and from the ranks, the talks and the looks of it, this is surely going to go down the wire. But being one of the most solid teams when it comes to defending their totals, and now slowly oozing confidence on chasing a total, the Immortals would look forward to go 1 up in this head-to-head battle.

Go Immortals

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Match Report: 11/14: vs Wisden CC

With little drizzle and overnight dew and light showers, the non-seasonal clouds brought up a little worry to the Immortals as they hosted Wisden CC over the past weekend. These teams had never met before, and with the game shifting to Washington Park in Mountain View, it was yet another day for some good cricket and more importantly a W on the board.

The toss was won by the Immortals captain, Darshil, and the choice was to promptly bat first on what was to be a batting platter with the moist hardening the pitch quite well. It looked as if it would be a run fiesta. A day when everyone contributed their best in some way or the other the Immortals were on their way with a stomping win.

Immortals batting had never looked so much better with everyone chipping their best as the top order fired the right cylinders from ball one helped with some haywire bowling from Wisden. With the odd extras coming every over, the Immortals were cruising at one poing with 30 runs off 6 overs. A flurry of boundaries from Ronak and Jainip, just added to the total which was well set up by the openers Nirmam and Sanato (Viral) at the top. With some exquisite shots from Batti (Karan SJSU) it looked like 100 were surely up for the grabs off the 20 overs. But with some well disciplined bowling towards the end by Wisden, restricted the Immortals bandwagon on 89 runs for the loss of just 5 wickets.

If the batting cage was happy about their performances, the bowlers of Immortals were not to be left behind. I wonder if someone has ever known, observed or recorded the kind of bowling we inflict upon the opponents, such a way, that this time there were 5 ducks in the Wisden CC batting card. If we look back upon the previous scorecards I think they speak up for themselves as to how accurate, ferrocious, aggressive yet well balanced the Immortals bowling aspect is. All the bowlers got their piece of the meat here and there, as the Wisden CC batting just collapsed like a deck of cards with no one showing determination to occupy the crease.

With only one batsman of Wisden CC reaching double figures, the game was well over at the 10 over break, but to add to the misery of their batsman and to haunt them, one highlight that stood out was Jaishal's only over that he bowled. The first ball, was well knicked and a fantastic catch was held by the keeper Ronak. The second ball (Jaishal did mention on the fly that the batsman is not at all showing any stumps), and somehow he managed to uproot his furniture as the batsman was yorked and the bails flew by the keeper. Third ball - which meant Jaishal was on a hattrick, and the captain rightly closed in all the fielders to pressurize the batsman, and a little wide and the batsman thought of coming down the crease to drive it, only to fall short of his crease, as the ball went past him and Ronak made no mistake in flicking the bails to stump him out. What a over !!! It was the final nail in the coffin as Wisden CC were wrapped up for 35.


The Immortals now are second in their group right behind Mavericks at 10 points. With yet another win against the upcoming game against GSCC, the Immortals are surely on their way to qualify for the Platinum/Gold.

Go Immortals


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Match Report: 11/08: vs Warriors

Two teams filled with brothers of the same neighbourhood, most of them coming from the same locality back in India with almost a major chunk speaking the same language, this clash of the Immortals vs Warriors was going to be exciting right from the beginning till the end. The Immortals paid a visit to the Warriors home ground in South San Jose, only to dent their opposition's debut season, and above all and more importantly get back to winning terms with some convincing cricket. With already a tie and a loss on their minds, it was a self-built pressure on the clads in the Immortals camp, the pressure of not losing, but delivering and winning this important game.

The Immortals won the toss, and once again choose to bat first on hostile conditions, with a belief of reviving the batting maestros and on the way get a chance to witness some fireworks. The start was quite solid, a bit shaky and timid in the beginning but catching up the pace as the match progressed. For one more fine day, Nirmam's batting talent and ability to play long innings was at display as he scored 30 odd runs with just 1 hit to the fence, and more importantly dropped anchor to stay until the 17-18th over of the Immortals batting innings. The rest of the batsman once again failed to deliver as they fell down like bowling pins in and around Nirmam's laid out innings. The result, Immortals managed to score a decent 68 runs on the board facing comparatively some fresh, new, naive and inexperienced bowlers, which could have been exploited well.

With Dhruval Shah, a good bat in the business, someone who had two half centuries to his name coming into this game, and someone known for his flurry of stroke play, the Warriors looked confident enough to chase the total easily. But what they might not have experienced before was the great bowling display from some of the league's premier bowlers from the Immortals. The 10 over break said it all and summed it all up. Warriors were reeling and licking their wounds as they found themselves shattered at 22 runs for the loss of 7 wickets at the break. Their top 7 batsmen had failed as a team, and no one even managed to cross 5 runs with Dhruval out for 1. This meant someone else would have to take the responsibility and play a macho innings to give the Warriors some glimpse of hope if they had any intention of winning this bout.

This turned out to be Sanket, their # 8 batsman, who surprisingly came so low down the order once that we all witnessed his batting display. Crawling at 22 for 7, Sanket, played his natural game, hit some exquisite strokes and managed to remain not out on 30 runs, as the opposite end did not give him support as he was inching closer to the winning target. With 10 runs needed of every over for the last 4 overs or so, it seemed the game was favoring the Immortals, but with Sanket on the crease things could go haywire. But then, the Immortals boasts of some great talented group of bowlers that they carry, who not only managed to put the brakes on the run chase, but also managed to bowl the Warriors out for 56.


A much deserved victory for the Immortals, and a relief to see a "W" on the charts. The Immortals had come together as a unit, as a team who even though defending a low total, managed to rattle the opposition with some fierce spells of bowling and some great work in the field. Catches were held to perfection, crucial boundaries and runs were saved with precision, and it seemed the game was quite one sided at the end.

This important victory shall bring back the confidence that the Immortals needed to romp ahead and march past the other opponents. With 50 games to their names, the Immortals achieved yet another milestone as a team.

The Immortals look forward to celebrate their home coming in Cupertino on their home ground with many more victories, as they now host 3 games, with next up being Wisden CC.

Go Immortals !

Friday, November 6, 2009

Match Report: 10/31: vs Cougars

How many times have we seen teams and certain individuals run up against a dead block and end up sulking about the bad day they had. Something similar happened to the entire team of Immortals as they hosted Cougars this past weekend. With already the ground issue turning up a pain in the neck, the game was not played on the Immortals regular happy hunting ground Cupertino Middle School but was shifted to Washington Park in Mountain View. Some good, some bad memories were a distant reach as Immortals looked forward to register a convincing win since their last two encounters against Cougars had ended on a happy note for them. But alas, it was not to be as Immortals not only cursed their own approach to the game but were left dented in all aspects.

To start with the batting, Immortals went up first with Nirmam and Sanato (Viral) once again doing the honors. With just 2 runs on the board, the first blow struck as Viral got out to a marvellous diving catch at point and with Karan (SJSU) too falling at a team score of 13, it was left to Ronak and Nirmam to slow the game down. They succeded to some extent and managed to get the team past the 10 over break with the score board reading 28 runs for the loss of 2 wickets.

But then with some deja vu feeling once again Nirmam got out the first ball after the break and it seemed that opened up the gates for Cougars to boil down the Immortals middle order. And what was to come was a once in a life time seen event where Immortals somehow managed to break the shackles but not on the scoreboard but that of the stumps and the wickets, as the middle order was torn apart by some disciplined bowling from the opposition, but more of due to the self killing by the batsmen. Ronak, Aditya and Darshil the anchors of the batting line up saw themselve pushed on the backfoot as the Cougars tightened the screws from all aspects.

A flurry of wickets were thrown as the Immortals lost 5 wickets in the space of a measley 3 runs. Some messy calling, and some bad shots saw the Immortals choking up at 31 runs losing 7 wickets. Valuable runs and valuable time spent at the crease by the next 4 batsman saw the Immortals get past a decent 50 runs on the board but deep down it meant that they would have to fight harder to contain the opposition. Immortals had done it in the past, and it meant repeating this feat one more time.

If the batting had let us down, the bowling was something the Immortals had always had pride in. With some great performers all around in the bowling department, it meant a tough day for the Cougars with the chase of 52 runs for a win. But then, as fate always loves to play it's sweet part in our destiny, the umpires from Kings were not only bad in judgements but they had plenty of false attitude to carry on their shoulders with one of them even threatening to shutdown the game and with fireworks already flying since early morning the umpires calls made it even more frustrating for the Immortals.

Nevertheless, with some great display of bowling by everyone, Bhupesh and Nirmam who opened up the bowling stints, were right on target, and with Darshil, Jaishal and Karan (SJSU) doing their part in the middle, every effort was made to put the batsman in a pressure situation. With Aditya bowling his 4 overs in tandem, and yielding only 5 runs, the nail biting habits were out for anyone who was watching the game closely. The Immortals took the Cougars right till the last over which by itself speaks about the valiant effort by the bowling department as it was not to be an easy win for the Cougars who finally rode home with 5 balls to spare.

What hurt us the most, and might have let us down was the fielding and catching arenas where (I might be wrong on this) but approximately 5-6 catches were dropped with some sloppy work in the field too. Some sitters were dropped and some dolly chances were not converted to the Immortals advantage but having said that, not to pin point fingers at anyone, the entire team felt responsible for this loss be it the batting, fielding or to some extent the bowling aspects. On the whole it was a bad day by all means and other than the fact that the game went till the 19th over, there was nothing much left to take back home but to shred this loss and focus on the next big game coming up. It was just a bad dream and the confidence level needs to rise up and up outright for the camp.


The Immortals have yet to register a convincing win in the Fall Open yet, with the first game being a tie due to some herculean efforts and the next one turning out to be something of similar sorts but resulting into a loss. With Warriors up next, the Immortals need to be, should be and will be back in action with some stunning performances.

Go Immortals

If you believe you can, you will !!!



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Match Report: 10/24: vs Challengers CC

With a fresh new season, came a fresh new start, and a fresh new hunger to make it to the ultimate coveted prize this season - The Platinums. But not going too far, there was a bigger hill to climb in the games shaping up for the coming 8-10 weeks and with that the Immortals faced a very competetive opponent - Challengers CC who had won both their previous clashes against the Immortals convincingly. This time though the Immortals expected things to be turned around but what was to come at the end of the game no one had expected the finish to be so close.

The toss was won by the Immortals and righteously enough they opted to bat first. With Viral out early in the innings, the Immortals then looked towards Nirmam who once again did not disappoint with his bat carrying his form from the Gold Cup finals where he single handedly took the Immortals home with a win. He and Karan (SJSU) got together in the act as they started clobbering the bowlers all around the park. With a 25+ run partnership between them the Immortals were crusing nicely at break time with the score board reading 10 overs, 34 runs for the loss of just one wicket.

With Nirmam getting out just at the beginning of the second session, and with some strict bowling from Challengers, the Immortals were finding it tough to get the scoreboard ticking. Once again the strong middle order failed to deliver in the crunch overs from 12-18 as the Immortals kept losing their wickets at regular intervals, with 4 wickets falling for just 11 runs. The extras were hardly a sight as the opposition bowlers were doing their job nicely after goofing up in the field early on as they dropped two sitters. Some late crucial runs down the order helped the Immortals put up a defendable total of 70 runs on the board for the loss of 7 wickets.

The Immortals had done it in the past with lower totals and with 71 needed to win, Challengers started their part of the batting cautiously. With Rohit their anchor playing some strokes and Nitin giving him company, both the openers were to a solid start. With twin strikes from Jaishal in a single over, the Challengers were off to a decent start at the break of 10 overs. The Immortals needed wickets to choke them up, while the Challengers had to score only 3 runs an over to take them home. Easily said, but tough to do, the Immortals started their second stint of the bowling with amazing zeal. With Ronak once again playing his part from behind the stumps, helped Immortals rejoice at a wonderful stumping off Darshil's bowling. Rohit was still in the hunt as he had already whacked a four and a six to his name, but his opposite end was running up dry.

With a crucial wicket of Rohit, coming off a nicely held catch by Karan (SJSU), off Darshil's bowling, the Immortals captain had ended up bowling superbly for his spell of 4 overs giving up only 7 runs for his 2 scalps. WIth the match swinging from time to time in either side's favor, Karan (SJSU) delivered a maiden at a crucial time and with him Jaishal, delivered yet another blow in his bowling and then holding on to an excellent diving catch in the deep. With the Immortals bowling pushing the opposition on the backfoot, Jayesh, was the only player who could take the Challengers home, as they entered the last over of the game with only 3 runs needed for them to win with 4 wickets in hand. A task that looked quite easy for a team of great calibre. But there was plenty of action left in the game yet !

The Immortals turned to Aditya for the last over, and after delivering that superb over in the Gold Cup Finals Super Over, it looked as if this could be the moment again. I still don't remember the exact ball to ball split-up, but with Jayesh their pinch hitter still at the crease, it looked all but over for the Immortals. But then, the fielding for the Immortals were right on their toes, as they got Jayesh runout for a bad call. At the end it came down to 2 runs off 2 balls. Aditya delivered a dot ball. The equation now was 1 ball to go, and 2 runs for the win. Aditya bowled, the batsman took a shot at it, the ball traveled in Harsh's direction, hit the angled wall, kept on spinning, and Keka (Karan) who finally managed to grab it threw down one of the most aimed well timed throw in the wicketkeeper's direction as the batsman was trying to go for the kill by running a second run. The result was a run out once again, and the Immortals rejoiced as they managed to TIE the game for second time in a row (the first happening in the finals of the Gold Cup).

For us the Man-of-the-Match was Karan (SJSU) who scored 27 and sent down 4 crucial overs of spin bowling under pressure which included one maiden.

Score Card

With this tie, the Immortals are now all but pumped up as they have taken so far almost all the great teams of Cricbay, and have put up a stunning display of bowling, batting and fielding in all aspects. The Gold Cup Champions are on a roll and what a start to a fresh new Fall Open 2009 for them.

Go Immortals !!! Next Up is Cupertino Cougars !


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Gold Cup Finals Victory !!!

The Immortals vs Eagles - Gold Cup Finals @ Thornton Jr. School, Fremont

Having played each other 3 times before meeting for the ultimate show down, these two teams knew their opponents inside out, with no surprises left in the kitty. Prior to this finals clash, both teams have played neck-to-neck in all aspects and the Immortals have always gone home licking their own wounds after succumbing to close defeats after putting up a great fight on each occasion. The favorites for the finals were clearly Eagles with 3 victories out of 3 and had the utmost advantage of presurrizing the Immortals when it mattered the most.

Head-to-Head: Click Here

Ground and the Toss:
Well history might have it's own rules and ways of playing on a team's mind, but on this day the cricketing gods had other plans of their own as these two teams met on a perfect batting platter with almost virtually a 360 type outfield except for a batting cage in the middle. Immortals had a great record on this ground and were unbeaten both the times when they have played there - against Chargers and against Rising XI, with plenty of runs being scored. With this in mind the Immortals were looking forward to batting first. As luck might have just woken up from bed, the first sight of it, was Immortals losing the toss, but then Eagles giving us the pleasure of batting first.

Immortals Batting:
Even though batting first, the Immortals knew the nature of this ground and with most of the regular games being played on a diamond field, everyone knew, that a score of 100+ is very much needed in order to take us home with a victory against a team who by far was reputed as having some of the most fighting stalwarts. The start was as usual steady with no hiccups and Viral (Sanato) and Nirmam set up the tone in the early overs. The key was to exploit the nature of the outfield and with that Nirmam started hooking and pulling the shots all over the backward regions. The Eagles were soon out of gas and ideas of stopping Nirmam who was on fire from the very first ball. A strong batting display by both the openers helped the Immortals setup their batsman down the order to take the total past 100 runs. Boundaries were not in sight, as the Immortals batsman were made to toil hard for their runs and it showed the batting prowess of the team as they scored a total of 107 runs which included only 2 boundaries and the Eagles gave away 12 extras to that total. So a total of 95 runs came off the bat which really would boost the confidence of the team when they take on the field to crush the opponents and take home the gold.
- Nirmam scored at a brisk rate having played only 52 deliveries for his 45 runs and Sanato gave him company having played only 34 balls for his share of 24 runs.
- Eagles dropped Nirmam once and a couple more in the outfield to their dis-advantage.
- The behind the stumps region fetched almost 25+ runs for the Immortals with a first time 5 runs of a single delivery due to a poor throw which hit the batting cage and resulted in overthrows.
- Two boundaried were scored, one by Ronak and another one coming at the very last ball, and the only ball faced by Jaishal.

Immortals Bowling:
With 100+ runs on the board, the confidence of a team surely speaks a lot on the field, but the Immortals knew that there was plenty of hard work to be done. They still had to send down 120 legitimate deliveries, hold on to difficult catches, cash upon easy runouts and more importantly take down all the Eagles batsman and get them All Out before they can even touch the gold. With that in mind, the Immortals bowlers started their task, got success and even faltered along the way. Bhupesh and Aditya were the most economical of all bowlers to restrict the Eagles at frequent intervals. But the action was far from over, as Arvind Sridhar, the Eagles Captain and Senthil one of the top batsman ripped apart the Immortals time to time. At a stage when a victory looked certain for the Immortals, the opposition took their time to whack the bowlers all around the park as they scored 8 boundaries with 6 Fours and 2 towering Sixes. The Immortals were being attacked and they were being pushed on the backfoot. There were misfields, dropped catches, but even as this was happening, Immortals cohesively held on to their nerves as it all came down to the last over of the match. With runs required off the last over, it looked certain that the match is far from over until the last ball is bowled. And with Nirmam bowling the last over, everyone had their hearts in their mouths, and watched as ball after ball, the Eagles took one step closer to victory. Arvind Sridhar single handedly took the Eagles from the jaws of defeat to the very last over where all the action came into one place ... Read ahead as the over unfolds ....

Last Over: 6 runs needed of 6 balls for Eagles to win, 2 wickets needed for Immortals to win..
19.1: Nirmam to Sridhar: Wide Ball ... 1 Run .... 5 more required ...
19.1: Nirmam to Sridhar: The batsman comes down the pitch trying to secure a win with a six, only to be seen throwing his wicket and his bat for his shot, as Jaishal held on to a splendid catch in the deep, right on the boundary ropes after having juggled the ball twice ... No Run ... 5 more required ... The danger man gone ... 1 Wicket to go ...
19.2: Nirmam to Arun: Whack .. Hits a four to tie the game and Eagles go crazy ... 1 run required by Eagles to win ... 1 wicket needed by Immortals to win ...
19.3: Nirmam to Arun: Dot ball ... No run ... Everyone holding on to their breathe ...
19.4: Nirmam to Arun: Good length, Edged ... Caught ... Gone !!! Ronak holds on to a fantastic low catch and this time it was the Immortals who went crazy as they rushed on to the field ... Eagles were all out ...

The Game Was Tied !!!!
Immortals: 107 runs, 7 wickets, 20 overs
Eagles: 107 runs, 10 wickets, 19.4 overs

The action had just re-started and the mood was upbeat in the Immortals camp as they truly did believe in the team's name, standing there and wondering what did they just pull off and for the matter of the fact that they did not succumb to defeat this time. With a quick break both teams were ready for the Super Over where each team would face 6 balls and try to score as many runs possible. The team who scores the most wins.

Quick Question: Did You Just Feel the Rush of Adrenaline reading the 4 balls above ?

Super Over:

The Immortals once again lost the toss and the Eagles once again, even after going through an agonizing tie, put the Immortals into batting first. Nirmam, Ronak and Darshil, the captain leading from the front, made sure that the Immortals managed to score more than 6 runs to give Eagles a rate of scoring more than 1 run per ball. Once again, the behind the stumps region proved to play its worth as Immortals managed a total of 9 runs for the loss of 1 wicket in their alloted 6 balls.

The super over was to be bowled by Aditya who had a splendid spell of 4 overs earlier. Arvind Sridhar was sent out to bat, but Aditya's pace and precision proved too much for the Eagles, as they managed to score only 2 runs off their alloted 6 balls and that was the final nail in the coffin.

- Aditya registered a hat-trick in the finals taking 3 wickets in a row and rattling up the middle order for the Eagles.
- Jaishal held on to a fantastic catch under pressure in the last over, that of Arvind Sridhar, to once again get the Immortals back into action.
- Ronak held on to a fantabulous low catch behind the stumps for the last wicket as Immortals tied the game and took it to the super over.
- Once again, Aditya bowled the over of his life, as Eagles could not manage more than 2 runs in the Super Over and went on to lose against the Immortals.

The Immortals just huddled up together, fists pumping, defeating the Eagles, and doing it emphatically when it mattered the most. A loss is always a loss, no matter how much valiant the efforts are, and it definitely hurts a lot deep down when the occasion is just too big. As for the Immortals, they proved what they are made up of, as they won back to back Gold Cups from Regular season and righteously deserved a place in the top 20 amongst the rankings.

Nirmam was awarded the Man-of-the-Match for his entertaining and splendind innings.

Score Sheet


With this came to an end a fantastic regular season 2009 for the Immortals who saw it all... Victories, Defeats, Tied Game, Hattricks, Half Centuries, Brave efforts in the field, Sheer Batting display, Pure Bowling stints and what not ...

Stay Tuned for more action as The Immortals are back in action with Fall Open 2009 ...


Road to the Gold Cup Finals !!!

(PS: Sorry for the late post)

The Golden Days are back, and with it, back is the rhythm, the confidence and the tempo for the Immortals who are going to play their second Gold Cup Finals this Sunday in Fremont. It was a year back when a rookie team entered the league of Cricbay with one aim in mind – Play good cricket and alongside have some competitive fun. Flashback to last year’s Regular Season 2008, The Immortals played Knights in the Gold Cup Finals and put up an awesome display of performances from the playing 11 to bring home the glory of the Gold Cup. Fast forward today, once again The Immortals riding on a great Regular Season 2009, would be facing Eagles (Aptech CC) for the Gold title and looking to the history between these two teams we expect fireworks to see who gains a positive edge over the other.

Round 1 – Rebuilding the Team, Rebuilding the Confidence
This year’s regular season began for the Immortals with a lot of good, great and fierce names in the business. Their first group made them rub their shoulders with : Royal Ranji, Darkhorse CC, Megastars, Rising XI, Knights, Thunderdawgs, Cosmos CC, Eagles, Cheers CC, Challengers CC.

Some of the moments that have proved to be morale boosting and some which were heart breaking tells a lot about this team – A team that has seen it all. With easy victories to close defeats The Immortals played out of their skins in Round 1 with just one aim in mind – One game at a time, and One step towards the Platinum. Let’s take a brief journey through their Round 1 games and see if they were able to quench their thirst for the Platinum or did the Cricketing Gods had something else planned?

The first two games the Immortals rebuilt their confidence in two different types of situations. Against Royal Ranji, the Immortals successfully chased a total of 70+ runs in just under 15 overs whereas in their next game against Dark Horse CC, they went out all guns blazing and managed to pile up 100+ runs in their quota of 20 overs with one of their batsman scoring the first half century in the history of the Immortals. With two such confident wins, their next opponent was a much tougher side and righteously veterans of the league – Megastars. Batting first and in spite of putting up 80 runs on the board, the Immortals were very much aware of their opponent’s caliber and with this in mind they did not leave any stone turned as they bundled them out for just under 50 runs.

With such 3 victories in the kitty, their next opponent Rising XI were grinded to dust as the Immortals put up a fierce batting display with fireworks all around as they managed to score 110+ runs and register a convincing victory by a margin of 35 runs. Their next game would be a repeat of last year’s Gold Cup finals, as they faced a resurgent Knights team who were on the prowl to avenge their gold cup final defeat. But with their bowling on its prime, and the batting hitting a purple patch, The Immortals cruised through yet another victory by 7 wickets. With 5 wins in 5 games, the Immortals looked forward to extending their winning streak against a team who had stunned everyone with their opening records of winning 8 out of 9 games previous season – Thunderdawgs. With excellence in fielding and raising their standards to the next level, the Immortals stunned Thunderdawgs to register their 6th consecutive victory.

But just as every good thing has to come to an end eventually, the Immortals faced a roadblock in taking their tally of wins to 7. Cosmos CC played the spoilsport this time as they defeated the Immortals by 4 wickets. To add to it, their next opponent, and this year’s Gold Cup Final’s opponents – Eagles, were all roaring in form as they hosted the Immortals and edged past them in the closest of victories in recent times on the last ball with just one wicket left. That was a heart breaking moment more due to the fact that each team played out of their skins.

Making a comeback is never easy, but the Immortals convincingly did that in their next game against Cheers CC and with just one game left to end Round 1 the Immortals wanted to make sure they enter Round 2 with oozing confidence. But just as it seemed maybe the Immortals are back on the winning track, Challengers CC got the opportunity to hit the final nail in the coffin and the Immortals ended Round 1 with 7 Wins and 3 Losses.

Round 2 – The Fight for the Platinums
With one aim in mind, to qualify for the Platinums, the mantra was simple – Be amongst the top 2 in the group and you are through to the Platinums. But the path to the victory was not going to be easy as said than done. The opponents were no mere jokes, and their performances were not ordinary. With everyone on a knife’s edge, the battle to the top began between The Immortals, Hurricanes, Twenty20 CC, Skiers.

Their first game against the Hurricanes saw the Immortals put up a decent batting performance but with some lackluster bowling stints made it easy for their opponents to take one step to the top as Immortals were facing the end of the barrel. From a bad bowling effort to one of the most dominating bowling spells all around, The Immortals registered their first victory in Round 2 against Twenty20 CC as they dismissed them for a mere 25 runs. With one more win needed the clash against Skiers was not a pleasant experience as the Immortals went sprawling out of the Platinum Qualifiers and ended up playing for the Gold Cup.

Playoffs – Defending the Gold
With the Immortals now playing for the inevitable Gold Cup to repeat what they did last year and have two silverware on the shelf, the Playoffs brought out a lot of déjà vu moments as Immortals rocked their opponents crushing them with confidence and wasting no time in setting the tone for the finals. Mind you, these were respectable opponents who on their given day can make sure you grind the dust in defeat.

First up was Nemesis, who have been around for quite some time now and knew exactly how to slay their opponents which they rightly did by dismissing the entire Immortals side for a mere 56 runs. But the Immortals who have always fought back with their bowling strength came out of the blue and shocked Nemesis by 7 runs to enter the Quarter Finals.

In the QFs, the Immortals ran into Daakus, a team whom they had played only once before and that too in a practice match during the younger days of Immortals’ formation. Once again the batting let Immortals down as they were on the brink of a defeat and being sent home packing as they collapsed for mere 44 runs on the board. But having put up a fight a weekend ago, the Immortals knew it wasn’t still over as they came with all fire to send Daakus home for 36 runs thus making their way into the Semi Finals.

Their last stop before the coveted place in the Finals, and the Immortals hosted a well deserved semi finalist Yuva XI. With two matches in a row being won on the bandwagon of great bowling display, this clash was no different, as the Immortals dismissed Yuva for a measly 41 runs and then made sure they could catch up with some rest as they scrapped off those runs just a ball under 10 overs.

The Gold Cup Finals
With their last victory against Yuva XI, the Immortals are now facing Eagles in the Gold Cup Finals to be held at Thornton Jr. School in Fremont, the ground which reminds the Immortals of two fantastic victories in crunch moments and against respectable opponents. Could this be the day when Immortals re-wrote history by winning their back to back Gold Cup in Regular Seasons and still maintain their winning record on this ground?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Match Report: 09/12: vs Daakus

Rewind a year and a half, and a bunch of enthusiastic cricket lovers came together to shape up a team and play some good cricket and have some fun along that journey of ups and downs. With no idea of how Tennis Ball Cricket looks like and never ever having played on a diamond field before, a young rookie team were facing a good strong veteran team Daakus that day and mind you, their first step brought out a lot of question marks as they went down against Daakus in an emphatic fashion. The loss even though in a practice game set the tone for months to come, as the then losing team went on to win a lot of accolades in the opening season.

Fast-forward to the last weekend, that same team, righteously now called The Immortals, were once again facing their opponents from the past - Daakus, against whom they had lost their first exhibition match and had never played before in a regular season game. With the Platinum left for some other season, The Immortals had only one goal to achieve - Play with your heart, give a 100 % and repeat the Gold victory like last year to make it two trophies on the shelf. This game being the Quarter Finals, had to be won by either of the teams, to advance further and keep their dreams alive. With some ground issues popping up, the game was reduced to 16 overs per side and The Immortals went into bat first after winning the toss.

The 16 overs per side seemed to be playing quite a different rhythm on the batsman as compared to the regular 20 overs game. Viral (Sannato) looked to capitalize on the short leg side fence with his constant complaints about allocating just one run as the ball goes over the rope. With some solid hitting from him, and some extras from the opposition, the scoreboard seemed to be ticking in good shape. But then, the usual monotonous routine happened. Immortals lost some quick wickets in the middle before the break, and with Viral departing ways, the first ball after the break, the captain, Darshil, gave good support at the other end, but none of the other top guns fired their cylinders at the right moment. A spinner from Daakus, caused some early damage and later on a good line and length bowler swomped off the rest of the batsman off their feet. Not even having played their full quota of 16 overs, the Immortals were bowled out for a total of just 44 runs on the board.

Finsing themselves in a similar situation against Nemesis, the Immortals knew, that it aint over yet. But it would definitely need something special from the bowlers and more importantly from the fielders to take this game all the way home and down the wire. And having said that the bowling session hit off on the right note, now that the Immortals have set a trend of inflicting run-outs in the first 5 overs and sending fearful vibes down the other batsman to come from the opposition. This time it was no different, as the first wicket was a run out and that must have sparked the wicket keeper Ronak's natural talent, that he managed two catches, one run out and one stumping (which has now become a regular sight). On the whole, it was a great display of bowling from all the 5 bowlers - Bhupesh, Nirmam, Darshil, Keko (Karan) and Aditya (VC).

Whether it was the fiery pace from Bhupesh, or the consistent line and length from Nirmam, be it the teasing deliveries of Darshil or the economical bowling of Keko, everyone clicked at the same time resulting into an awesome show of bowling. But a delivery that stood out of the numerous ones send down by Aditya was the first ball of his first over and the batsman just tried playing it down with a defensive shot, and it knicked the bat onto its way into the safe gloves of Ronak. A ripper of a delivery it was from Aditya.

Those rigorous fielding and catching practice sessions every friday evening seemed to have paid off for the last two games, as the Immortals fielders were backing their bowlers with great enthusiasm and flawless fielding on the ground. Scratches, dives and blood drops are now a regular sight which the Immortals do not seem to worry about while dominating the field during their bowling session. The scorecard speaks for itself, as none of the Daakus batsman managed to come close to double figures. Even though there were some tense moments when 15 runs were required off the last 3 overs with a couple of wickets in hand, but Aditya who went on to become the Man of the Match for his spell, made sure that the batsman never came out of their shell, as ball after ball, he sent down unplayable deliveries devouring two wickets for his spell of 4 overs bowled in tandem in one spell with one maiden and yielding just 6 runs in the process.

The game in spite of playing a see saw battle of its own went into the last over as Nirmam was once again handed the responsibility of taking the Immortals home. With 11 runs required of the last over the message across the field was simple enough, stop the boundaries, overthrows and extras. Singles should be ok. With a dropped catch from Aditya, a missed out diving effort to run out a batsman from me, things were already in the Immortals hand, but a bang-on-target throw from Kapad to the non-striker's end hit the final nail on the coffin as Daakus were all out for a measle 36 runs.

Score Card

Sorry there were no pitcures taken, but the flashes of the entire game still hang fresh in the Immortals mind, as they are now into the Semi Finals and one win away from playing the finals of the Gold Cup. It has been a great season for the Immortals and they would surely like the momentum going with more and more wins and improvements in certain aspects.

The Immortals are on a roll, the Gold Cup totals are back but more importantly the Gold Cup Winning faith, belief and the confidence is back amongst the players. And as always said, if you believe you can, you would !!!