Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Mini MCC Reunion

Babu was in town and wanted to meet the old MCC gang. So Ranjan, Pavan, Suri, Subbu, Srinu and I showed up.
A good net - Suri, Subbu, Pavan, Ranja, me and Babs

A knock at the MLJ Academy for old times sake and then some food and drink. Great time.
More like it - our meetings are typically fun and laughter

Lots of talk about the games we played and won, what we learned and what it meant. More on this soon. And with better pics.

No reunion goes without reminiscing these matches/incidents:
1) Win over Sacred Hearts: We got out for 135 and Sacred Hearts were 0 for no loss after one over. Srinu bowled a ferocious spell and got 5 for 25 or something like that. I supported him well enough to get 5 for30. Pavan pulled off some unbelievable catches at short leg. The most spontaneous celebrations we ever had till date - at Outswinger pub - sponsored by the man of good times Chandra.

Another big win over Sacred Hearts which piled up a big score of 270. We lost a couple of early wickets before Chandra and Raj played outstanding innings with unbelievable strokeplay. And another time when we defended a not so big total easily.

2) Win over MPG - We beat a strong MPG team consistently and comfortably over the years. I remember one when we won the championship - we scored 281 and they scored 270 plus after being 130 for no loss. Fabulous game. I got 78, Raj got a hundred.

3) Beating a team with 121 on board: Uncle promised us beers if we won this tight game. They needed 15 with five wickets in hand when Srinu decided enough was enough, took the ball from my hand and bowled another ferocious spell. They were shot out for 119. Fierce stuff.

4) Falaknuma - We were chasing some 260. While batting at about 100 I tried to pull a short ball and it broke my nose. There was blood all over. By the time I got patched up and came back, Suri had got us back the advantage with a stroke-filled 90 plus. We won.

5) Winning the championship twice - 1995-85 and 1997-98: The spirit of winning was inculcated deeply but we always played fairly and within the rules. Since we played to win the best team played, the team had a culture of discipline, and there was an edge always. We played on our strengths.
Winners 1994 - A2 league championship 
6) Subbu's famous samosa incident: A match which was seriously in balance. I was in the middle of a hot spell. I turn at the run up to bowl in parade grounds when Subbu raises his hand and asks me to stop. He had a samosa in his gloves which he had bought from a passing vendor. All hell broke loose when I lost it.

7) ECIL: Playing against a good team with a broken finger I batted and scored 27 out of 125 and then bowled unchanged for 15 overs, holding the ball with my thumb and index finger, I finished with 5 for 25 and we won the match. Full credit to Maheshwar Prasad who insisted that I bowl. In fact I was not supposed to play the game - just went to watch with my swollen finger.

8) Beating EMCC: We were bowled out for 130 or so and had little chance against the strong EMCC. We heard the inevitable 'finish the match before lunch'. I got the first wicket and then Vanka Pratap out lbw and from 30 for 2, EMCC folded for less than a 100. Brilliant catching by Babu and lovely bowling by Mohan.

Beating EMCC again: John Manoj once again uttered the same 'finish the game early' words. Low score. I got 4, finished my spell and then got the left arm seamer Chary to pick up 4 at his end. Won by 10 runs or so.

9) Losing to Ameerpet: In the season we won the championship the only match we lost was against Ameerpet. We had Vivek, Raj Kumar, me. But we scored few runs and could not defend it. However after that one year, we beat Ameerpet every year.

10) Dropping Suri because he came late: Suri and Subbu went for breakfast and Suri came late. He was the best batsman we had but as a matter of discipline I dropped him. Lot of acrimony because it was not really his fault and I drew a tough line but rules were rules.

Similarly, we forfeited the match when Ram, Ranjan and Babu went to drink chai and returned when we were already 7 down and our 9, 10 and 11 were out drinking chai. Though we could have asked for time or held up the match for 10 minutes I forfeited the game. Again, a matter of culture and discipline.

 There were fights, jokes, injuries. Shameem's crazy knock which won us a match, Prashant's wonderful technique, Bapat's resilience, Rajan's tenacity, Pavan and Vijay helping out the administration bit, Suri always by my side be it batting or bowling or fielding, ready to die for the team, wonderful stuff. They told me yesterday how upset I would be when we lost and how I would go off without talking to the team and how they would meet over chai and decided to win the next game for me. I told them how much it taught me about many things in life. We all shared our stories and promised to meet again soon. 

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