Friday, November 9, 2018

Blast from the Past - All Saints vs Rest of Hyderabad 1985

Out of the blue today, I saw these pictures pop up on WhatsApp and on Facebook. An old memory.

In the year 1985 or so, Bro Joseph conceptualised the idea of a match between All Saints HS (ex and present students) and Rest of Hyderabad. Needless to say, the top 22 players in Hyderabad then (almost, because Dr. MV Sridhar was missing) assembled to play. Of course, Rajesh Yadav and Chatterjee are also missing for some reason. Anyway, All Saints was led by Azharuddin and had in its ranks Arshad Ayub, Khalid Abdul Quayyum, Abdul Azeem, D. Suresh, Ehtesham. Srinivas Chakravarthy, Vidyuth Jaisimha, Abrar Ahmed, Osman, (Noel was 12th man - he went on to play for India later). The team had two players who played for India and 7-8 players who played first class. Rest of Hyderabad was led by M.V. Narasimha Rao, and had Shivlal Yadav, Vivek Jaisimha, Manohar, Arun Paul, Swaroop, Anil Mittal, Sunil Phillips and others.
Standing left to right: Manohar, Jyoti Shetty, Swaroop, xx, Aibara?, Shivlal, Bro Joseph, Azharuddin, Vivek Jaisimha, Kanwaljeet, MV Narasimha Rao, Anil Mittal, Khalid Abdul Qayyum, Arun Paul, Abdul Azeem, Vidyuth Jaisimha, Harimohan, Arshad Ayub
Kneeling l to r: Sunil Phillips, Meraj?, Abrar Ahmed, Noel David, Ehtesham, Zakir, Masood, Clement, Siraj Benjamin, Srinivas Chakravarthy, D. Suresh and Osman

The match was held at the LB Stadium and the crowd far bigger than I have seen for any Ranji Trophy match. It was named the Thums Up Trophy. Rest batted first and piled up a decent total (somewhere in the 250 range I suspect). I remember bowling well and getting two wickets including that of M.V. Narasimha Rao and if it had not been for Sunil Phillips, would have had much better figures than 2-40 in my 10. In reply we did fairly well, think we lost Azhar without much on board, but Khalid scored some. It finally came down to 18 runs in two overs as I remember because I was at the wicket then with Vidyuth. If I was in it means that we were in with the tail - I must have been 8 or 9. In those days that was a huge target - 9 runs an over.

There was a single early on in the over. Then I was on strike. A couple of balls from Anil Mittal and I missed. It was now or never. Anil bowls a predictable line and length so I swung at the fourth with all my might. It connected and went over mid-on for four. The opposition did not panic. They somehow believed they had the match in the pocket. The next ball Anil bowled in the same area again. I swung in the same arc. Better result. Another four. Suddenly we were back in the game. The last ball from Anil was the easiest ball in the over - full delivery outside the off stump. So easy was it that my eyes opened up and I swung hard, too hard. I nicked it and was out.

Last over by Vivek Jaisimha to Vidyuth Jaisimha. 9 to get. A couple of well-placed strokes and we were 4 short. 2 balls to go. Vivek bowled up, on the off stump. Vidyuth played the most exquisite cover drive I ever saw him play and we won.


Surprisingly, that format was never repeated again. The other day when I met Bro Joseph we spoke about it. 

1 comment:

Ali Juddy said...

We were always the best cricket team, Hari. So it is not surprising that we won!