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.
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)