My Maiden Cricket Tour Diary: Day 3

Match Day
05 January 2012
Today was the day; why we were in Mumbai; Match Day. And we were going to play against the U-16 team of Amre Cricket Clinic coached by the Mr. Pravin Amre, Ex-Test Cricketer. We were feeling very jittery and nervous and excited at the same time. It was a whole new experience for me as this is my first cricket tour. We were required to report at the Kohinoor Hotel Elite Lobby for breakfast at 7am sharp and we left for the match venue which was Matunga Gymkhana in Matunga at 7:30am.

During the bus ride, there was absolute silence. I understood that moment what is meant by “pin drop silence”; which our school teachers always say in class. Everyone was focused and concentrating for the match. Bus ride was through the narrow lanes of Mumbai and it took us around 45 mins to reach Matunga Gymkhana. When we reached there we were astonished to see such a long stretch of ground and at least 100 boys were practising there. Even uncles aged more than 40 were practicing very hard. That was the moment I realised why Mumbai is called the "Nursery Of Cricket" and the passion for the game is so high in city.

First we warmed up by playing a game of handball for about 15 minutes and then we did regular stretching exercise to relax our body and mind. After that we did some fielding and knocked few balls to feel the balls in the middle of the bat. Then our Captain Aniket Mangal went for the toss. We won the toss and decided as per plan to bat first.

Aadarsh Nagarajan{me} and Saurabh Agarwal opened the innings for our school team. Azhar Sir gave us final tips before we went into the middle; had told us to play with patience as it was a 40 over game. I will be honest here that I was feeling a bit nervous to start with. I took my leg stump stance and after glancing around the field I was ready to face the 1st bowl of our tour game. First ball, I stroked it through the covers for a boundary. The stroke gave me lot of confidence and my initial nervousness was gone. I hit 2 more boundaries in the same over. It was a very good start for me and my team. Next over was faced by my opening partner Saurabh; we took 4 singles in that over. We had a good start but in the very next over I tried to play across the line and I was plump in front of the wicket for LBW out. I lost my wicket because of over confidence, and walk back to the pavilion was very long and lonely.

After me we fell like a pack of cards. Aniket Mangal who was our captain was 1st down but he got out early. Then Mayank Chaudhary who was second down also got out early too. And in matter of few over’s the score board was 7 wickets down for a mere 75 runs on board. Then Anant Gupta  and Shubham Sharma came to our rescue. We felt like “angel falls from the heavans” on us. But angles left us early to. Shubham scored 34 and got out. At this stage Pravin Sir intervened and to motivate us, he allowed 13 players to bat. That was a great gesture from former Test Cricketer and now a great coach. Thank you Pravin Sir.
Our final score was 158 and were all out before the stipulated 40 over’s. The stand out performance from our side was of Anant Gupta who scored 46* and was not out. Well played Anant Gupta.

Since, we were all out before the stipulated time before the lunch, we were supposed to bowl 12 over’s before the lunch. Azar Sir, motivated us to field and bowl with enthusiasm and make the score look like 250 instead of 160. We were all pumped up with the last minute peep talk by Azar Sir. Our blowers bowled their heart out and at lunch we took 5 wickets for 63 runs. We were backing the game. Aniket was the stand out bowler from our end. He took 4 out of the first five wickets fallen till the lunch time. At the lunch break we were all focused and rearing to go at our opponent.

The lunch break did more good to them to us. When we resumed after lunch, somehow things were not at all falling to out plan. The break gave Amre XI to re-strategise and they chased down the target without losing a single wicket. It was a great match though we would have liked to have a different result but it was a great game of cricket. I learned value my wicket and since I am the oppenr for my team, I need to be more responsible in shaping the batting innings for my team. Our star performers with the bat were Anant who scored 46 And with the bowl were Aniket who took 5 wickets and Vinay Shekhawat who took three wickets an 2 awesome run outs.

After the match we came back to our hotels and relaxed a bit. Then we went out in groups for sight seeing and for some shopping. We returned to the hotel a bit late so Rathore Sir was angry but still we enjoyed a lot today except Kirti Vardhan and Shubham Sharma were not feeling well and are down with fewer.

Excited for tomorrow’s game and wishing Kirtivardhan and Shubham  to get well soon!

Until next time…

Happy Learning!

Aadarsh Nagarajan