What a weekend it was! Alright..to cut to the chase*, I did chase some cricket balls this past weekend. My Friday was rather wasted. The game of golf, which I have been elusive to all these years, saw me embrace it finally this summer. But the game is being elusive to me this year. I set out on the right course by scheduling some private lessons. The first one went well but the second one …well I have had to reschedule this 5 times so far. I hope to get my second lesson this week and that I don’t have to reschedule it for the sixth time else, the guy who writes my name in the register every time I reschedule, who now makes only a handful of spelling errors while writing my name, may end up totally familiar with my name like the back of his hand. And thanks to the wonderful game of golf, I decided to give up Cricket this year. My compromise on cricket is also partly due to the fact that the team I so much was part of during the last 4 seasons, did not field itself in the league this year.
A twist of fortune brought the willow wielding game right at my door again this year – A couple of my co-workers cajoled me into playing for their team. On Saturday, I played my first game for this team (their 5th game) as the league is approaching its half way mark. When I went for my second practice session with the team, I got a chance to hit some balls. And there the captain of the team saw my stroke making abilities. So during our pre-game team huddle, he expressed his confidence in me and made it clear that the team’s batting line-up was centered on me. That was some pressure. When I started playing cricket in Michigan in the summer of 2000, getting used to this T-Ball was a little challenging. But I guess I didn’t think much then, about the adjustment itself one has to make and the result was that I was a free flowing stroke maker in the team. Never overpowering or attacking but more of a push & drive player. But over the years, I have started playing attacking strokes a little more consciously because of acclimatization of the techniques involved hitting a T-ball in a baseball ground. But in the last 4 years, I have hardly managed to score match winning knocks except for a couple of games that I can recall but always ended up with some useful scores for the team.
My first scoring shot of this game was a six. There is a first time for everything and this was one such. I went in at the fall of the 3rd wicket and stayed there for about 10 overs, which was ok for a 25 over game. But I didn’t quite expect to get out the way I got out. I missed the line of a good length ball that had nothing in it except for some low bounce. It is too boorish to try to introspect what went wrong with that shot but I was planning to open up the gates after the 18th over (the over in which I got out). 16 was my score and I remained the top scorer of the team. But when you are defending 78 runs, you need to take early wickets however good your bowlers are. That was exactly what we did not do and hence we were scrambling towards the end. 13/6 may read like a great bowling score..but it happened too late for us – after all those catches were dropped. I was a culprit too for dropping a difficult one. I chased a half-hearted lob from my ‘extra-coverish mid-off position’ to behind the bowler, only to get my left fore finger under the ball before it touched the ground. I dived and rolled over and jammed my finger in the process. Well..for now. I have a slightly disabled left hand.
We have 3 more must-win games and then we may have a chance to make it to the play-off round. That should give an indication to my wife that my next few weekends will thrive well in the willow world.
* Interesting fact – “Cut to the chase” as you know means to get to the point. But the origin of this phrase is actually “movies” – Ha! This was a term used in the 1920s to convey that the story will now shift from a dramatic scene to an action packed scene.