The first match of the Indoor cricket tournament was played yesterday morning against a Bangalore team. The match was at 8 in the morning and we all reached the ground on time. It was the first match we ever played in this fast-paced, indoor format. I wanted to opt out in view of my not-so-good physical condition - not having payed the game for a year. But I played in the end and wound up going for the toss.
The Bangalore team was young and fit and seemed to be in good nick. We were a bunch of old players who were good at the outdoor game, obviously rusty and not so fit. It was going to be a challenge anyway. We got the team together Shilpi and Sreenivas, Ramesh and me, Suri and Sanjay, Pawan and Gajanand. We lost the toss and they opted to bat.
Their first pair batted four overs for 44 runs without getting out even once (each time someone gets out it is a penalty of minus five, the pair bats on for all 4 overs even if the net score is in minus). That was a flying start. But then once we got the spinners on, the brakes fell, with Suri getting three dismissals in two overs. Ramesh got one, I got a couple, and the series of dismissals got us back into the game. The opponents ran well, negotiated the bowling well, and put up a score of 94.
We started off with Shilpi and Sreenivas batting confidently and adding 18 in the first two overs without losing a wicket. And then in a sudden spurt, they lost wickets four times which set us back into the negtaive. By the time they returned to the hut after 4 overs, we were 6. Ramesh and I went in next, and we had our fair share of dismissals. The game is so fast that decisions have to be made very quickly. Despite one lovely six by Ramesh we added only two to the total and ended up with a team total of 8. Suri and Gajanand took the tally to about 20 and then Sanjay and Pawan took it to 38. We lost by 56 runs.
In the final analysis it was clear where we went wrong. We had 19 dismissals, mostly run outs and ended up with a total of 38 i.e. we actually scored 133 runs but got penalised 95 runs. Also we gave away several extras in terms of wides and no balls - almost 20-30. The opponents got 94 with 8 dismissals, a total of 134!
Beaten thoroughly, we were a sweaty and sore lot. Obviously we are not used to being treated like this and being made fools of. But we learnt from this game and I think we should be much better in the next. I pulled my hamstring in the very second over itself and now it hurts like hell. I do not think I will be able to play the next match atleast. We need to win the next two games to be in contention for the semis.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable format especially now that we are getting a hang of it. Let us see what happens next!