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.
If you believe you can, you will !!!