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 !!!



Friday, August 28, 2009

Match Report: 08/22: vs Nemesis

Finally !
Finally the Immortals raised to the occassion...
Finally the Immortals exceeded their expectations on the field...
Finally catches were held, runs were saved...
Finally the pressure was built upon the opposition...
Finally the Immortals are back in action defending the Gold that they won last year...

This past weekend saw, the Immortals host Nemesis in Cupertino, playing for the Gold Cup as Skiers11 sent Immortals out of the Platinum round a week before. Somehow that loss hurt more than anything and it was utmost important for the Immortals to live up to their name and move on. And did they deliver? Hell Yeah they did and did it in style, leaving no doubt (Copyright - USC Trojans "Leave No Doubt")

Having won the toss, we opted to bat first and were looking forward to step on the gas from ball one. We knew Nemesis were one of the good tough teams in the business, and in order to take this win home, we would have to draw the first blood. But as things can never go according to the plan, Nemesis too had their own tactics as they started their bowling with a spinner in the first over. Something new for us, our batsman had no answer to the spin + pace bowling attach of Nemesis for the first 6-8 overs. Wickets started tumbling at regular intervals and more alarming was the fact that there were 3 run-outs in the first 5 wickets to fall. Clearly, the calling was not good enough and more importantly Nemesis had forced the Immortals on their backfoot in their very own backyard.

Apart from some middle order reprieve coming from Karan Shah (SJSU/Batti) for a brisk 30-ball, 19run contribution, the rest of the batsman just could not help except watch the balls go past their stance, as they tried their best to make contact with the ball. A little help from the extras (15) made the Immortals scorecard read a total of 56 runs in their 20 overs for the loss of 8 wickets. Clearly, the Immortals were dented and that too deeply. But as it is always said "It aint over until its all over" ... And what a second half it was ...

A small huddle (seen after a long time), a pep talk with a clear message - "Keep no pressure, nothing to be conscious about a catch or a run or a boundary hit, just try to give your 200 % and make the opposition toil for each run by hanging on to the match till the last ball is bowled" ... And it was never looking back then for the Immortals. A cover drive, misfielded by Harsh, saw our captain Darshil, jump on the chance of grabbing the ball and send a bullet throw back to the keeper resulting into the biggest blunder for Nemesis - a run out which just sparked the trigger for celebrations. (The practice of hitting our VC Aditya on friday evenings had eventually paid off)... Were the Immortals glad? Just read on for more action ...

The run-out not only set the fielding standard high, but had Viral (Sannato) ripen his vocal chords as he made sure that none of the sounds from Nemesis dug out reached their batsman. With a quick wicket from Nirmam, going two down, Nemesis did the blunder of hitting the ball in air towards Jaishal and what a spectacular catch he held on to with the sun in his eyes. The Immortals were on a roll and the action was just getting better. Jaishal had another chance which he made no mistake to convert to celebrations as Nemesis were soon 4 down.

The battle was still not half won, and their captain Rohan and another middle order batsman were looking to threaten. Karan Shah (Keko) was in his prime best, having taken 2 wickets already. As he sent a ball down Rohan looked to hit it for a square cut, and I am still amazed to what happened there, but the ball came hurling towards me and somehow, just somehow, my hands closed and this time the ball was comfortable pocketed in my palms, as I myself could not believe what had just happened. Keko got his third scalp for the day and finally the shackles were broken for my catching jinx. What a delight it was to finally having held on to that reflex catch. The war was just half from over and the fight was still on as Nemesis were 5 down with their middle order batsman Sarvesh attempting to bring them home.

As it is said, it takes not only courage, strength, stamina and talent to register a victory, but it also takes craftiness and alertness to make it even more special. The next big contribution came from the keeper Ronak, as he managed to flick the bails off Sarvesh but the umpire turning the appeal down. But not being bogged down, Ronak waited for the next opportunity and it did came 2 balls later, as he stumped Sarvesh from quite some distance, and this time the line just belonged to the umpire as he ruled the batsman out - out for his foot were not on the line. The batsman had to walk away grumbling as the Immortals celebrated the 6th and the important wicket of Sarvesh.

After this blitz from the fielders all over, Keko came back and finished what he had started as he took 2 more wickets to take home 5 prized victims - the first time any Immortals bowler had a 5er. Hi-5s were coming from all around as he was forced to do a little McGrath show of holding the ball in his hands and showing it all over. All along this Darshil(C) and Aditya(VC) had got together of cramping the batsman as they sent down 8 overs in tandem with 3 maidens and yielding only 15 runs. The duel got even more intense as Nemesis approached the last over with 8 to win and one wicket in hand, as Nirmam marked his run up and had a little bit of a nervous laugh for bowling the last over. Everyone knew - a single hit towards the ropes and the Immortals would go down once again as chokers - but somehow Nirmam held on to his nerves and sent a fiery delivery to rattle the batsman's furniture as the Immortals leaped in joy for having dismissed the Nemesis for 49 and taking one step closer to the Gold.



Man of the Match - Keko (Karan Shah) for his 5 wickets.

This win truly brought back the memories of the last year's Gold Cup, as the totals, fielding stints, catches, wickets - all were just giving a deja-vu feeling to indicate something special is round the corner. Having said that, a few take-aways were the way Immortals batted which they need to work upon - especially the lower order batsman who need to show more determination and technique in their stroke play. Scoring just 4-5 runs in the last 4-5 overs with 3 wickets in hand is not a good sign to close a batting scorecard. One of the biggest positive take-away is the Faith that the Immortals rode upon for this win. They believed till the last ball that they can win, and they never succumbed to their own pressures.

On a lighter side, we saw Viral (Sannato) do a ramp walk on the pitch whenever there was a ball being pitched on middle and leg. All he would do was just simply walk and take the hit on his butt. Having gone through the photographs I found plenty of such snaps where all he did was just walk showing off his belongings from head till the toe. But his constant blabbering, tauntering and gibberish sledging did play a great role in sending Nemesis packing home to wonder from where have the Immortals found such raw talent... (No offense buddy but came back and added this paragraph) Some selective pics for fun ... (Click to enlarge)

With a two weekend break the Immortals need to get their act together in the batting department, keep up the fire in the bowling and more importantly keep up their faith and determination in the fielding and catching arenas to take them all the way till the end.



Thursday, August 13, 2009

Match Report: 08/09: vs Twenty20 CC

Surprises come and go, the one that works towards a team’s success is the one that is most valuable. Something of this sorts happened in the game this past weekend as Twenty 20 CC paid a visit to the home of the Immortals in Cupertino. The stage was set, the equation pretty clear for the Immortals, win here, and move onto the next game to come one step closer for entering the Platinums, or lose here, and go back to healing your own wounds in the Gold cup.

The toss, rightfully won by our captain Darshil, saw us batting first on a friendly pitch and not-so-hostile surroundings, the ground being our home territory. The one and the only surprise that came in this clash, was the introduction of our impeccable player Nirmam into the top order, as he and Viral were sent to open the innings for us. Someone who was known for giving the bowlers a run for their money with some late hitting down the order when needed, it was a surprise to everyone to see Nirmam bat with sheer confidence, discipline and determination to make sure the Immortals were on their way to win this encounter. Having started slowly and steadily, he and Viral but up a good batting partnership to see off the new ball. With almost a run-a-ball scoring from Nirmam, the Immortals scoreboard kept on ticking.

With 3 quick wickets, and Nirmam holding up the other side of the pitch, Karan (SJSU) was sent in, and he went on to do business as soon as he joined his partner in crime. Three boundaries were scored between them, with 2 lofty shots over deep fine leg into the hard concrete by Nirmam, and one coming off the blade of Karan’s exquisite off side drives. All round contributions from other made the Immortals score look a respectable 79 for the loss of 7 wickets off their 20 overs. Nirmam scoring a brisk 28 off 34 balls and Karan giving support with his 27 ball 16.

Recently enough, a lot of drills has been done in the fielding and catching departments during the practice sessions, and this was just another day when that hard work was going to pay off. With Bhupesh bowling a fierce line and length the batsman from Twenty 20 CC were never allowed to settle in and within just a wink of an eye, Bhupesh ripped off the top order. A great catch, facing the sun, was held by Jaishal in the deep and set the tone for the Immortals. Bhupesh was at his prime best, as he took home 4 scalps off his 4 overs sending down one maiden and giving away a measle 9 runs. The highlight being a ball that just went through the air with such speed so as to rattle the batsman’s furniture, that it was hard not only for the players on the field to see, but it was hard to get a sight of it from the sidelines too. With Darshil bagging 2, and the rest of the bowlers hitting the deck in the right spots to earn 1 wicket each, the only glitch came when Ronak stumped the opposite team’s captain and that guy went ballistic with the umpire. The umpire after 15 minutes of facing the wrath from the captain, intended to walk away from the game out of frustration. The umpire’s aura continues with the Immortals – good or bad, as it has now become inevitable to find ourselves amidst some kind of issues with the umpires, come what may.

At the end the Immortals stepped up to the occasion, leaving no doubt, as winning was not the only goal, but winning with a huge margin was utmost important, if we were to find ourselves in some kind of a tie situation and for the DRR to come into effect. Twenty20 CC were uprooted for just 25 runs with 7 runs of it coming from extras. No batsman ever made it to double figures, and the Immortals could boast of helping their opposition to register 5 ducks.


With this great team performance, now comes an even bigger task as the Immortals face the Skiers11 this coming weekend in a do-or-die game. So stay tuned.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Match Report: 07/18: vs Hurricanes

Coming after a long break, the second round of the league, Immortals were yearning to start off on a winning note. With new personalized t-shirts in the camp, the equation was much more simpler now, to win a minimum of 2 games out of 3 to play in the Platinum Cup. If not, then just like previous regular season, we end up playing the Gold Cup.

The practice session a day before the actual game was much more rigourous as all looked forward to shaking off the rusty legs. Batting, bowling, fielding and catching sessions were good enough to get everyone back into the rhythm. The game was against Hurricanes with a 10-1 record in the previous round. Everyone knew what was at stake and how the performances on the field would matter in this crucial game against a good healthy opponent. The ground once again was a 360 format.

Winning the toss, our captain Darshil rightly selected to bat first, and with some top order mix-up and some middle order determined batting display, the Immortals managed to finish their innnings for a healthy 78 for the loss of 8 wickets in 20 overs. The highlights being Jainip's middle order 21 and the captain's own 23 ball 18 down the order.

Hurricanes batsmen were off to a flyer as both their openers were looking rock solid as they managed to wipe off 40 odd runs just under 10 overs at the break. With the first strike from Darshil and another one from Keka (Karan) things were looking a bit more bright as Immortals were willing to give their all to take this down the wire. Even as Bhupesh managed to strike later in the innings, some misfields, sloppiness in judgement calls, dropped catches (4 of them) and batsman friendly full-tosses helped the Hurricanes to scurry back home with a win off just 18 overs. Ironically, the boundaries scored were off all the full-toss balls, with 6 fours and 1 six. A batsman (Prasad) who lived almost like 3-4 lives due to dropped catches managed to set the tone for the win with healthy contributions from the top order for the Hurricanes.

Now its a do or die situation for the Immortals as they have to have to win the next two games in order to stay alive for the Platinums. Immortals have to get their game back into action and re-group to bounce back with firm determination and confidence.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Match Report: 06/21: vs Challengers CC

Complacency is the biggest fear any team has to face playing a sport, but not understanding the fine line difference between confidence and over-confidence is a mistake which the team cannot afford to make under any circumstances. From the sidelines, the game this weekend against Challengers CC, looked very blatant and disastrous in all aspects - bowling, fielding and batting. It seemed to be a day when nothing clicked and except a last wicket stand of 40 odd balls, there was nothing worth taking away from the game except a fact that: "This is not how The Immortals play, and certainly not the way we lift our game" With this last game for Round 1, the expectations were not at all higher, but simple enough to end the round on a winning note, gain momentum and confidence moving to the next big challenge of staying amongst the top 2 in order to qualify for the Platinum.

The toss was won by Darshil, and for the first time in ages since our last season, it was left to the playing 11 to decide whether they want to bowl or bat first. The vote came from only a certain few and the majority was to chase giving Challengers CC the opportunity to bat first. The ground a 360 with just a batting cage obstructing the slip cordon, looked to be a blessing for any team who can bat well and bat deep in the order to post a good total.

The bowlers were off to a decent start, with Nirmam once again delivering the goods with a consistent line and length teasing the batsman to drive and play shots thus creating opportunities for the fielders to dismiss them. Bowlers used were Nirmam, Bhupesh, Aditya, Darshil, Karan and Karan (SJSU) and with the exception of Nirmam who took 3 wickets for 13 runs in his spell of 4 overs, no other bowlers could have an answer to the vigilant batting by Rohit from the opposition. After being 26 for 2 at a certain stage, Rohit and Karthik put together, 42 runs on the board tormenting the bowlers. The partnerships of 18, 42, 18 and 13 with Rohit batting through the innings carrying his bat for his 57 balls 43, helped Challengers post a total of 97 runs on the board for the loss of just 6 wickets.

Speaking about the bowling for the Immortals, the only positive to take away was the number of extras bowled, which were to an all time low of 4. But on the other hand, that number itself indicates how the bowlers fared as the batsmen scored 93 runs off the bat. Of-course there was a particular decision which was turned down by the umpire involving Rohit, but that is no surprise to The Immortals as they have some kind of curse going on with the umpires. Nevertheless, the bowling was just too ordinary when watched from the ropes, as the batsmen scored fluently hitting 6 fours and 1 six (maybe the highest number of boundaries that The Immortals have given away till date, I could be wrong ?). Simply put, we did not have an answer to the brisk scoring and convinving hits on a 360 ground and it clearly showed lack of a plan to contain the runs on such an outfield as compared to the diamond field.

Add to it, the fielding was simply not upto the standards as it should always be when playing such a good team. On any given day, the difference between a good team and a great team is a matter of few catches and run-outs. There were 2 catches (sitters) which were dropped and the one which was caught resulted into a six eventually. There were some misfields in the outfield and certain runs which should have only been singles were converted to 2s and 3s on some occassions due to sloppy (sleepy) legs.

But the worst came when the Immortals took the crease to bat and chase down an intimidating total of 100 runs off 20 overs. The target was simple, play smartly, and rotate the strike. 3 an over, 4 an over, 5 an over, a bad over with 7-9 runs will eventually make it less hard to chase down this total. But the opposition just came out of the hood with all guns blazing and what should have been a steady start looked a shaky start as the Immortals were reeling at 10 for 3, 15 for 4 or does not even matter what the score was. With 11 extras from the Challengers, the Immortals were left stranded thinking what went wrong, at 30 odd runs for 9 wickets in 14 overs. The target just did not matter now, as Bhupesh and Harsh fought for 6 overs to save their wickets and also save the Immortals some pride as the innings ended for 38 runs for the loss of 9 wickets.
Runs from the bat: 27
Batsman reaching double figures: NONE
Ducks: 4



Definitely asked, one would say just a bad day, but more importantly it was a really bad performance in all departments. Although this loss does not affect us in order to go to the next round, but a loss is always a loss and when played in such a fashion brings out critics of its own, no matter what.

Going forward, it's a fresh new round, with some new teams on the table, and there is no doubt about it that The Immortals will be back with a bang. Defending a total or chasing a total, the Immortals for sure are chasing a dream of their own - The Platinum. It's now or never for them and the time has come for The Immortals to get their act together, individually and as a team, play some good competing sensible responsible cricket and of-course to have fun when they are out there. One game at a time - One win at a time !!!

Let's do it and make it happen guys !!!


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Match Report: 06/06: vs Cheers CC

Lights, Camera, Drama, Action and Cut ... Are all of these important to script an epic movie? Of-course, and something similar exists in the world of Cricket and in the camp of the Immortals every time they take on the field. Cricket for the Immortals without any Drama or Action can never be imagined I guess. To start with, as usual, I have to talk about the toss against the game with Cheers CC this last weekend. But for a change, and these changes are a more frequent scenario now, our captain Darshil won the toss on our home ground in Cupertino. He promptly choose to bat first but then the first wake up call came along as little league teams started making their late morning appearances to chuck us out of the field. The result - A change in the venue as Immortals found almost a 280 degree ground some miles away in the wilderness, completely untouched ... (It should have been called either a 360 or a 270 but our captain somehow found 10 more degrees of outfield somewhere and called it a 280 degree ground)

How good is a change? A change in the ground could work in the favor of any team, and more amazing is the fact that both teams adapt to the situaiton and the one who comes out on top is the real champion. Hostile unknown conditions are never easy to negotiate with and speaking about hostility The Immortals are quite reputed about it for altogether wrong reasons. Drama and mind games are worth a topic to debate but some way or the other all these factors do have their own contributions to a worthy win, as we saw some of the last year's sparks fly again on the field, as Immortals went up against Cheers CC in a crucial game for Immortals fate for the Platinums. One thing to surely observe is that wherever Immortals go there is bound to be drama, action and words flying out trying to bog down the opponents - but more important is how Immortals carry that aura and the sense of confidence with them to beat some of the best teams.

Everyone had one thing on their mind, we win here, we see ourselves comfortably walk into the Platinums, but we lose, and we face a pressure situation against the Challengers CC for the last game of round 1. And oh boy, we almost reached the end of the tunnel with a start that could have been very well tickling the critics but then it meant that someone would have to play an anchor's role to perfection. With Cheers CC bowler Rajendra opening up the attack, it seemes the ground would be working to Immortals advantage as they aimed for a good target of 100 odd runs on the board. But with the first 3 wickets dismissed for just 5-9 runs on the board, it seemed once again the Immortals were on the back foot.

But then, if it was anyone's day then it was surely our captain Darshil's comeback to form, as he started off cautiously but with one aim in his mind to get the immortals through the 10-over break without losing any more wickets, as Jainip joined him in the middle, and both of them started re-builiding the innings. It was a welcome sight and a relief for everyone to see Darshil come back to his natural game after 5 drought innings and it clicked at the right time as he scored 28 to play a Captain's innings and Jainip put up a well fought and timed 12 on the board to take the Immortals to a bit of comfort during the break.

With Jainip and Gaurav back in the dugout, it was left to our VC, Aditya to play one more of his memorable touched innings, as he crafted almost a run-a-ball crucial 26 with some lower order contirbutions to take Immortals to a total of 88 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. Aditya and Darshil almost frustrated the bowlers as they took cheeky singles and worked tha ball around for 1s and 2s. The highlights of their innings were the 4 boundaries which were perfectly timed exquisite strokes. On a lighter note, the last ball of the innings once again saw Bhupesh making a sprint towards the striker's end as he almost reached there and pushed Keka (Karan) towards the non-strikers' end... LOL ...

Well was that all? I think we all know by now, that Immortals are never satisfied with just "that much", and as Bhupesh and Nirmam once again opened up the bowling, no one had expected what was to come next. Cheers CC were very well known for their almost one-man army kind of team, and the batsman Rajendra was caught behind off a knick but due to some lack of concentration the batsman just did not walk away. More surprisingly the umpire turned down the appeal and we thought maybe, just maybe the knick was no good. The other end was not holding up well, and the Immortals got their first break through with a run-out by Nirmam. But the drama had already started with the caught behind appeal for Rajendra.

Karan (Keko) took a nice diving catch off Rajendra's bat, and Bhupesh's bowling, and up went the Immortals, as the main umpire took his time to give the decision. Meanwhile, the batsman started throwing tantrums about the ball being a bump ball, and claiming that he was not out. The leg umpire was convinced it was not and up went the tempers as this lack of sportsman spirit opened up a can of worms. Due to the use of the F word by one of our prominent fielders, which was not at all directed to any of the batsman, but was just a blurt of frustration due to the appeal being turned down, the batsman somehow lost control and started pointing fingers and pushing to leave the field and not playing the game. As more team members joined in from both the sides, it seemed a fight was on the horizon but somehow the situation was kept under control as the game went on. Eventually Rajendra did get out (run out) and everyone thought the drama was all over.

Unfortunately, if you all remember, it aint over until its all over, and with me and Vivek Patel our retired member from seattle made a guest appearance this time, both of us shared some light moments in the dugout, tickling the opposition with our words of wisdom. Naturally it agitated them, and the low mercury did little effect in cooling them off, as their innings started falling apart. Eventually, one of their batsman scored a well fought 22 as compared to the total of the rest of the team including extras summed up to 25 runs as Immortals dismissed Cheers CC for 47 in just 16 overs.

Score Card

Pictures (Game)

Pictures (General)

A comfortable win, action packed, drama filled walk into the Platinums for the Immortals was a moment of relief and triumph. But more importantly Immortals now face their biggest challenge, against Challengers CC. You might just be wondering what could be that bigger challenge be as Immortals are already through to the Platinums?

Even though we are into the Platinums, the job is still not done, or shall I say is just 25 % done. Qualifying for the Platinums is surely praise worthy from last year's Regular Season's Gold Championship, but that is for sure not the last stop !!! The journey has just begun and the destination is too far away. So the challenge that I mentioned above is the fear of being "complacent". There is no room for complacency as Immortals should give their 110 % as they always do taking no game lightly, and adding one more win to their feather as they end their Round 1 playing Challengers, on a winning note to take forward that momentum for a fresh new round.

I would say the dream for the Platinum Cup should be in everyone's heart, but more importantly the road to that cup should be in everyone's mind. There are lot of mile markers to cross before we can even dream of touching the coveted cup. You can surely take a moment and sit back to enjoy the success so far, but next moment make sure you understand that winning against Challengers not only gives us the # 1 spot in our group, but it definitely should send out a statement to rest of the league to watch out for us - The Immortals - where "If we believe, we definitely achieve" !!!

So lets devour and bask in the success we had so far, but try not to be over our heads against Challengers CC in two weeks time.



(PS: I have left the incident about the wicket of that particular batsman with whom the umpire played a game of his own lol and ruled him out as he mentioned he was just acting cool because Karan (Keko) was talking to him while he was completing his run ... lol .. I have left that incident for someone to post in the comments section below ;-) lol)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Match Report: 05/30: vs Eagles

Back with another report, and for the first time, I had no clear idea as to where to start from and how to end this post. One thing that surely came to my mind were some famous quotes that we have heard so much now and often, but more importantly some dimensions of a game of cricket, which without experiencing cannot be expressed in words. "Luck favors the Brave", "It aint over until its all over", "Catches can win matches" are some of the famous idioms that we have come across very oftenly in various articles but the one that stands out for me was Andrew Flintoff's comment when playing the West Indies, "Cricket has a very funny way of biting you up the a**" and I some way experienced that aspect on Saturday playing Aptech CC (Eagles) in what I can say one of the most closely fought matches ever played and been a part of. But, unfortunately I and the team ended up on the bad side of this quote.

Going into the game, the Immortals were all focused with just one motto, we have been down against the Eagles two times in a row, and lets not make it three, and play a good game of cricket out there. Toss, which is never so crucial for us, was won by Aptech and they rightfully put our batting line up to test by choosing to field first. The start for us was once again cautious, with last game's disaster riding on our minds, but not enough to slow us down, as Ronak and Darshil opened up the innings for us. With just 5 runs on the board, the batsman lost the call, and were involved in a suicidal run which was a misjusdgement, and that saw Darshil walking back to the dugout.

What came next was a solid partnership stand between Ronak and Viral who put up 35 together, to take the Immortals to a total of 40 odd runs for the loss of just one wicket. With plenty of batting to come down the order, Ronak wanted to go after the bowling, and he connected some good balls playing exquisite strokes for his well dserved 19. He was bowled and with Karan (Batti) getting out to a nice low catch in the cover region, it was Jainip and Viral who started the repairing. But, Viral too was caught behind, and the score read 44 for 4 (a full nelson) and Aditya walked in. He was bowled the very first ball, giving the bowler a chance for the hattrick and opening up the Immortals half way down.

A good knock by GD (Gaurav) saw the Immortals whiz past the evil figure of 52 as he and Jainip took the score to 62 before Jainip got out. Immortals were looking forward to a total of 75, and with Nirmam and Gaurav runningout, the Immortals innings ended on 73 runs for the loss of 9 wickets off 20 overs. Still a respectable total, the key was the first 3 batsman and controlling the extras. But, the foremost goal was to defend this total by some great fielding and bowling.

As always, Bhupesh and Nirmam opened up the bowling for us, and they did really well for their spells, to not allow Eagles to have a flying start as they had in the previous encounter. Bhupesh got the first break through as Aditya held on to a good catch in the deep, but Eagles' captain Arvind was the key to their victory and the wicket which we all were looking for. This battle went through a lot of see-saw moments as the momentum kept on shifting either way every 2-3 overs.

At 55 for 5, Eagles were still a good 19 runs away from their victory and the Immortals were not letting it go. With some excellent bowling from Karan (Keko), Nirmam and Aditya it seemed that Eagles will choke this one up and Immortals can finally taste the success. But as it is said, it aint over until its all over. With Eagles losing their middle order batsman for 5 odd runs due to some fiery spells from Aditya and Nirmam, one batsman Vinod still hold on to his end for the win.

Ultimately it came down to last two overs, with 11 runs required off 12 balls, and with just two wickets remaining, it could have gone anyone's way. But, Darshil's last over, first ball, Vindo launched himself and hit the ball for a six. Whack !!! That brought down the pressure for Eagles, as they needed only 5 more off 9-10 balls. But that was not all. The worst was yet to come !!! Nirmam took the final over, and oh boy, he bowled the over of his life, hats off to him, any amount of praise showered on him would be less, as he was defending a mere 3 runs off his 6 balls with two wickets remaining, and every one had their eyes on him.

Everyone was charged up, on the edge of their seats, as Vinod hit the ball up in the air, and it travelled in my direction, my eyes were on it, fielders were closing in, the keeper Ronak, Batti, Jainip but I somehow urged to take this one and shouted ME ME to allow myself to go down the history books as someone who just dropped the world cup. The ball hit my palms and out it went. A DROPPED CATCH AT SUCH A CRUCIAL STAGE OF THE GAME and it hurt me really bad inside out. I was shocked, Immortals angry, Eagles ecstatic. What a disaster I had just provided and that too at such an important stage of the game where that catch could have sealed off Eagles fate and handed us a well earned hard fought victory. What a blunder from me and my work in the field. Totally not acceptable. With 2 runs required off 5 balls, Nirmam held on to a caught and bowled chance, and that meant 2 runs required off 4 balls with just one wicket remaining.

At the end, it came down to 1 run required off 1 ball, with just 1 wicket remaining. Either Eagles could win it, or Immortals could tie the game. A plan was put into place, and it played to perfection. Karan (Keko) was made the non-striker's wicket keeper, that any fielder who gets the ball just has to pass it to Keko to run out the batsman at the non-striker's end. Everyone held on to their breath (My heart is still beating fast as I am typing this), Nirmam came in, delivered the ball, batsman connected, the ball went to Karan (Batti) and the batsman had just took off for a run, and Batti picked it, threw the ball to Keka, and we were almost half up in the air, that, the ball played a spoilsport, becoming a traitor as it left Keka's hands, the stumps were rattled but only without the ball. The batsman made his ground, and in a twinkle of an eye, the Immortals were down. Eagles won the nailbiter at the last ball with the last wicket.

The Immortals were left shocked, and more importantly it dented everyone deep hard, as Eagles themselves shook their head in disbelief to wonder as to how much luck can help them win this one as they were on the brink of a defeat (if I had made that catch) or a tie game (if the ball did not turn traitor in Keka's hands).

Score Card


What a game of cricket it was, as both teams played their nerves out right from their sleeves, and at the end Eagles managed to pull a win against us. I have nothing else to say here as I rightfully accept that the catch had to be made at such a stage and it is not at all acceptable after playing so many games that I can be so sloppy in the field. I do not want to say anything else excpet that I have felt this loss deep down. All of us have, but I have felt it a bit more. I look forward to avenging this lapse on concentration by me sometime in the future, and I am looking forward to that chance and opporutnity. It would be a moment of redemption for me to erase this dropped catch off my mind and being responsible for the Immortals defeat.

Up next is Cheers CC as we look forward to running the table now with two games remaining in the first round.

Go Immortals and most importantly Fight On !!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Match Report: 05/16: vs Cosmos CC

Good moments do not last too long, but we in the Immortals camp believe that the worst memories are just a matter of a blink of an eye, and they will soon fade away. No one had expected, and with such a strong batting line up on paper and on the field for the past few games, the Immortals were the last ones to expect to find themselves in shackles on a day that was rightfully called the moment of truth, a reality check for all of us.

This last weekend, the Immortals were up against Cosmos CC, with all intentions of playing a good game and winning to take the tally to a dream run of 7-0. No one expected Cosmos to put the brakes on the Immortals rolling wagon, and yet we did not want the team to be complacent to allow any blunders. Well, due to the unavailability of our home ground, we found ourselves playing Cosmos on their home ground in Fremont. Who knew, a ground could be so important in some games, that it changes the tone of the players at the end of the day. The toss luckily (or to our disadvantage), was not even called by our Captain, and yet he won it to silence the critics. We choose to bat first on an unknown terrirtory which at a first glance surely looked to live upto its expectations of assisting the bowlers, and it seemed the call would be to bowl first. But nevertheless, it did not matter, as we all follow the team's call and not individual opinions and choices.

The innings started cautiously, and to throw more caution to the wind, we were facing someone whom we have played a couple of times before and knew that he could surely deliver some good spells. With the Cosmos opening bowlers Sachin and Rikki bowling to their full strength, it seemed, the Immortals just got bogged down from ball 1. Cutting the long story short, 9 batsman were dismissed for a total of 20 odd runs (from the bat) + 8 extras (if we consider 50 % of the total extras given by Cosmos) within a space of 55 deliveries. A disaster ? The bowler Ricky bowled extraordinarily well that he got 5 scalps to his name for just 9 runs off his 4 overs. Our batsman on the other hand, batted extraordinarily well to eventually get their feet wet and somehow lose the grip to go tumbling down.

The mistake of one or two is always a good lesson for the rest, but the way everyone was batting it clearly showed lack of practice on such minefield pitches, and a great lack of concentration, composure and thinkful hitting. I am no one to criticize or analyze each batsman's shots, but I believe instead of a mere spectator highlighting what was correct and what was not, it would be better left to each of the batsman to analyze their own shots, their own game and think as to what was required and what was not required at the stage that each of them went to bat when their team was trying to save the blemishes of a humiliating loss.

A stage where one needs to play a role of an anchor around which the entire team can revolve, someone needs to step up and take the responsibility, as wickets were still tumbling down in ridiculous monotonicity with the Immortals batsman showing no determination to occupy the crease. Such a calm innings which injected some blood into the Immortals came from Nirmam and Karan (Keko) as they put on almost half of the total runs out of 52 on the board, as they both faced a combined 46 deliveries between them to save the Immmortals from a disgraceful Cricbay career low total. But once again, the magical figure of 52 saw Immortals push no further, as the innings was wrapped up in the 18th over and Immortals even though back with some momentum with a late surge, still faced the uphill task of dismantling the opposition, IF they had to win this encounter.

Just like the start which the Immortals had got in the batting spectacle was never ever seen before in any of the games, a similar situation followed in the second half, where Nirmam and Darshil opened up the bowling. (There was no Bhupesh as he was away on personal duty, but he would have been carrying the same body language if he had witnessed the batting collapse earlier). But, as we the Immortals are so called for, we did not give up, and we did not want that Cosmos just took away the game from us so easily. And what a start it was, so far the best in any of the innings we have played, as we dismissed 4 of the top order batsman for a mere 4 runs in the first 4 overs. The total read, COSMOS CC: 4 Overs, 4 Runs, 4 Wickets.

Nirmam took a great reflex catch of his own bowling, whilst the keeper Ronak took the catch of his life, with a diving effort off Nirmam's bowling. Darshil played his part in dismissing the opener and with another bowled from Nirmam, the Cosmos CC faced an uphill task and suddenly the game seemed to shift in the Immortals favor. But as we always say, it aint over, until its all over, and even though Cosmos CC lost one more wicket before the break, the other two batsman were starting to get the momentum going to take Cosmos CC home with a win over the Immortals. The bowlers then could not do any more damage to them, and the energy just fell apart.

Our bowling was upto the strength, the pitch was doing it's task, and that resulted in a lot of extras, but a couple of bad overs in addition to those extras, made it quite comfortable for the Cosmos CC batsman to manage to snatch the win away from our hands. Even after such a great start, at the end, it was Cosmos CC who won the game comfortably in just 16.3 overs at a loss of 6 wickets to hand over the Immortal their first defeat this season.

A lot of positives and negatives were bound to come out after the game during the team huddle, and that conversation did live upto its expectations too, but one thing for sure which stood out was that, the Immortals took this defeat very sportingly, with no fingers being pointed to anyone in particular, but each one blaming their own self for either batting poorly, playing bad shots, or bowling a few extras or just simply not contributing in some way or the other. There were no criticism arguments for anyone in particular, and the Immortals have learnt lot of things from this game.


- A bad start, or what could be called a disaster, with the team reeling at 27 for 9 saw their last two batsman lift the total to 52 runs.

Lesson learnt is to keep faith in all the playing 11 choosen on any given day out of the team roster. There is no need for any single person to be a superstar, but to have faith in all the stars.

- Bowling was all fired up, and 4 overs, 4 runs, 4 wickets could have been a dream start when defending such a total on a disastrous pitch.

Lesson learnt was to keep the momentum going and be a bit more aggressive in the field when defending a low total. All 11 are obliged to support the team under any circumstances and not drop their shoulders at any stage of the game.


- Not lack of practice, but lack of controlled, responsible and disciplined practice on Fridays.

What next: Each player needs to play sensibly, responsibly and adjusting to the game as the situation demands. And this in turn should come from the practice sessions with some seriousness to the game in all departments. Batting is not the ONLY key to a game of cricket during practice sessions.

- Words and advises are of no value when they are actually not implemented during the practice or the game day. Less talk and more work should be the key.

What next: Everyone knows what to do next ... Criticism is always easier than actual Appreciation ...

Score Card


A loss, is always a loss, no matter how good the fight was, but the pain fades away when the team lifts their performance to the next level in the very next game. Up next are arch-rivals Aptech CC and the Immortals camp are raring to go.

Lets bring this one home guys, and show what we really are made up of.

Go Immortals all the way !!!



(PS: I do not expect a lot of comments, on this loss and this report, but sportsman spirit earns a lot of respect)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Match Report: 05/09: vs Thunderdawgs

This time I am just going to start my report with a simple statement: Once again, our captain was on a rampage of losing tosses and now this has been taken out of the team’s equation for winning. The formula no longer includes the toss factor in it, because win or lose, the toss really does not matter for us, and the way our Captain has been leading our team to victories one after another, he surely can send the critics a run for their money when we discuss the topic of losing tosses. This has been the best start of any of the seasons that we have played so far, and a lot of credit directly or indirectly must go to the Captain – Darshil (Dagga Sheth), even though he ends up losing tosses one after the other. It is his gratitude that he loses the toss, the teams make us field first, and thus our captain generously helps our bowlers to get to a great start early on. LOL. Well this Saturday was no different, and the opposition – Thunderdawgs – made us field first.

It has now become a monotonous routine to see Bhupesh and Nirmam open up the bowling for us, and on each occasion they have put the batsman on the back foot from ball one. Wickets come and go, but the hard work and persistence pays off as these two bowl 5-6 overs in tandem, with the opposition score reading a ridiculously low 6-8 runs and to have some icing on the cake, they could be down by 2-3 wickets. But, this was going to be a different day altogether, with not just the bowling but the fielding stints too. A lot of credit goes to the opposition’s batsman who supported us by causing 4 run-outs. The bowlers did their job well sending down only 6 extras, and this shows what a big difference it makes when there is a tight grip on the extras. Batsmen don’t get those extra 1-2 runs per over to ease the pressure, and as a result they are forced to play shots, which gives us even more chances to get them out, or in the heat of the moment they go for suicidal runs thus resulting into run-outs.

The only complain that we have ever had are not from our dugout, or the opposition’s dugouts, but from two different dugouts which are not even on the field except for the fact that they stand behind the stumps and turn down the ferocious appeals of our keeper Ronak or just blindly rule down the run-out appeals of our VC – Aditya. They don’t even get scared with the fact that these two people, whom they are trying to rattle, Ronak, who will avenge his turned down appeals, by hitting the bowler all over the 360, and Aditya who will avenge his shouts, by sending a couple of beamers and bouncers with his extremely drastically Slow Right Finger Stomach Spin bowling … Well time will give a chance to the Immortals to take revenge on all these umpires who just have some kind of grudge to take out on us whenever they come to our game.

Thunderdawgs a respectable team in the league, were left reeling at 38 for 9 after an attacking opening spell from Bhupesh, Nirmam with some great middle order bursts, cooking the batsman into a pressure cooker by Aditya, Jaishal and Karan (Keko). With Aditya and Keko getting two wickets a piece, and Jaishal bagging one in his kitty, the other 4 wickets were simply outstanding brilliance in the field. Although a dropped catch from my hands should have triggered a series of abuses from my team-mates, the batsman just thought to give their support to me and set off for a second run when I dropped that catch, and I was not far behind when I pounced this chance to avoid a thrashing from my mates and got the batsman run out from a dropped catch. Another brilliant effort from Aditya was turned down by the umpire but Keko was not leaving anything to chances as he too played his part alongside Viral and Darshil to result into 4 runouts. If it had not been for the umpire’s aging mistake, Thunderdawgs would have been all out for 38-40 runs, but instead a decision where even the batsman was about to walk, was turned down, and they managed to score 11 runs off the last over, to reach 49 runs off 20 overs for the loss of 9 wickets.

Ronak was all fired up, and pissed at the umpire, and declared that he is going to quit wicket keeping and instead Samy (Me) will be the wicket keeper. He instead will take Aditya’s position in the bowling department, as our VC has been bowling a tremendously snail type slow speed deliveries, but the difference would be that Ronak would love to bowl from the striker’s end into the non-striker, and aim for the Umpire’s B****. Nevertheless, he was just pacing relentlessly to start the innings alongside Darshil. Luckily enough, this time my DSLR was around and that too with a tripod. So that was less effort for me to just stand there and click some pics which are shared below.

The chase for 50 off 20 overs began slowly, but steadily and both the batsman started firing some quick runs, pacing their game nicely to give the Immortals a solid start. The score was never meant to be a challenging total especially the way our batsman have been clicking in different innings. It could be anyone’s day anytime and that is a great quality for a team. Any win, or any loss should never be an individual’s blame, but a team’s game. Darshil was a bit reluctant to go after the bowlers and play his natural game, and he regretted that a bit later, when he was bowled by what seemed the only good delivery of the entire Thunderdawg’s bowling side. Our captain regretted for not playing his natural game but then he is the opener. He is going to get a lot of chances down the line with some more important games coming up.

It was left to Sannato (Viral) and Ronak to steer the ship back home, and both did splendidly well to cruise along at 50 for 1 off just 14.2 overs. The man of the match was Ronak for his 25 not out, 2 caught behinds, and his part in couple of run-outs. The joy that overwhelmed everyone on the field was of not yet going down this season and with one more win, the score now reads 6-0. The Immortals are still unbeaten this season, with many more to come. It was time for an update to the pic on the blog, and we rightly did so as you will see the profile pic has now changed.

Score Card


Couple of things that I would like to mention:
- The Immortals got their first kit and hopefully the t-shirts are on the way.
- Chasing or Defending – The Immortals have now done it all this season and have done it with great style and confidence ..
- No game has been a one- man show, with everyone contributing in some way or the other..
- Most IMP – No superstitious beliefs now can bog us down, as this time I deliberately highlighted our game in my Cricbox edition on Cricbay, and winning this game, proved that the Immortals are now way ahead of those old beliefs. Unless we all want to blame something or the other for any of our losses, we don’t think there is any need to talk about superstitions when we are playing so confidently.

Great game, great win with many more on the road …
Next up is Cosmos CC to make it 7-0.