Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hewlett-Packard lifts Blue-Sky Corporate League Trophy (2006-07)

Hello All,

On a sunny Sunday morning, with the whole nation celebrating the festival of colors "HOLI", we entered the ground with a sincere attempt to rewrite record books, bringing more color and glory to the team.

Our last column had analyzed the performance of team during the most frenetic stage of a one-day match - the run chase. This time the focus shifts to the start of the innings as well our lethal bowling attack, an aspect which is likely to be vital in key tournaments on tracks which are unlikely to provide much cheer to the bowlers. The days of openers playing themselves in and exercising early caution have long been replaced by a whole assembly line of dashing, throw-caution-to-the-wind style of openers, making the new-ball bowlers' task a pretty tough one as well.

This was really the intention of our opening batsmen yesterday, but unfortunately after we were put into bat by Irevna Research, it was a pretty jolter of a start as we lost all the key players, Hemanth (a mistimed pull), Ramesh (dubious caught behind decision) and Karthik Sridhar (failing to read the line of the ball) very soon. Lakshmi Narasimhan and Rajesh Muralidharan then started to consolidate the innings, essaying few delicate cuts and square drives, which did not last long as they too lost their wickets to over ambitious shots after scoring 20 each. Manchi Rajanikanth too fell for a poor umpiring decision. This left us stranded at 60/6 after 11 overs.

Yesterday, to our advantage, Hewlett Packard had the batting experience and depth plus the resilience of K Karthik and K G Sriram to play sensibly under pressure. It looked like they continued from where they left off in the semi-finals. Their shot making and running between the wickets were incredible which enabled us surpass the early storm. After settling in, KG Sriram threw caution to the winds with two exquisitely timed boundaries and an amazing six which kissed the hoardings on the terrace. KG Sriram was finally out for a brilliantly made 30 off 30 balls. If KG Sriram was only very good,  K Karthik was simply outstanding. His unbeaten knock of 52 (39 balls) was studded with 3 fours and two sixes - a straight six being the pick of them. This knock won him the "Man of the  Finals" award. He displayed silky elegance as his innings was a signature of beautiful brutality. KG Sriram and K Karthik shared a partnership of 68 runs off 52 balls. Lakshmi Narayanan was finally unbeaten on 6. After a bad start, we took the total to really competitive levels, ending at 166/7 after 25 overs, giving some encouragement for our bowlers.

With batting coming good after an initial jolt, the big question mark was the ability of the bowlers to hold it together when they are attacked in the field restriction period of an innings. To everyone's delight, we did raise the bar and the bowling was truly outstanding. We picked up wickets at regular intervals and kept applying the pressure with innovative field placing.

As usual, Vikash, Ramesh and Rajesh were the pick of the bowlers. Ravindran and K Karthik supported them beautifully with their excellent line and length.

Vikash has taken his bowling to ultimate levels which enables him pick up wickets at ease. He looks like getting a wicket of every delivery he bowls. He was totally dominant yesterday picking 3 wickets with in-swinging deliveries. Ramesh and Rajesh (The Spin Doctors) really treated us with an outstanding and economical bowling picking 3 wickets each. Hemanth showed his agility behind the wickets accounting for two crucial stumping. Vishal substituting for Karthik, took an outstanding catch at long on.

Finally, it boiled down to 25 runs off 2 overs with only a wicket remaining in the opposition ranks. Karthik Sridhar accounted for the final wicket effecting a run out from where the celebrations started to Hewlett-Packard won the finals of the Corporate White- ball Blue Sky League Trophy by 19 runs.

"During the presentation ceremony late in the evening, everyone started saying, the team to watch out for in the future, is clearly Hewlett Packard. They have the firepower in their bowling  attack, they have the depth and firepower with the bat, and they have the momentum. All they need to guard against now is complacency. We thanked all our well wishers and vowed to carry this momentum forward..."

Allow me to sign off as the statisticians are busy updating the player profiles. Keep watching this column as some amazing player profiles are going to treat your eyes today.

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