Tag Archives: Cricket

Fast Bowler

 

 

4th_Test_Woodfull

Sid is just annoyed, annoyed from yesterday, he is constantly trying to pick up a fight with his elder brother Gautam. But his brother just shunning him away with sheer disinterest and sarcastic smile, normally it’s the other way around, Gautam and his best buddy Sonu is always picking on him, bullying him.

Gautam and Siddharth are studying in the same school, in 12th and 9th standard respectively. Yesterday when 12th standard boys were mocking Siddharth’s classmates for trivial issue, Sumit, the cricket captain of the class 9, lost his nerves and challenged the elder boys for a cricket match, which they gladly accepted knowing the 9th standard boys are no match to them.

As the challenge is made and accepted for a twenty20 match between the boys on this Sunday, Gautam came and whisper in Sid’s ear, “Hope you’ll bowl in this match, we’ll make sure your bowling figure looks as generous as it can be, 100 for none may be.”, and laughed his head off.

Gautam is the opening batsman and Sonu is the no. 3, they are the best batsmen this school cricket team has, no wonder they are popular and have quite a fan following. Other hand Sid is a first change fast medium pacer yet to play for the school team. For obvious reason Gautam is snubbing him.

When at the dinner table that night the same topic was discussed, Gautam and Sid’s dad was as always not much interested, but their mom was over cautious and asking Gautam to go soft on his younger brother, which made Sid more irate and frustrated.

Saturday, as Sid returned back from school he heard fragments of words and laughter from his brother’s room. He peeped in and found his brother’s snobbish girlfriend Harshita inside, she’s called miss snotty in school and Sid loathe her for her cosmetic smile and fake attitude.

As she saw him, she taunted, “Heard you are playing a match against your brother, good luck. You need that when you are playing against our school’s Virat Kohli.”, and started to giggle.

“I heard Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are breaking up, when you people are going to?” He threw those words at her and started walking, he heard her shouting, “Tell that li’l devil not to talk to me that way.”

Sid made a face and sat with his grandfather on the sofa, the highlights of India Australia match was going on. Sid’s grandpa shook his head and said. “It’s such a one sided affair now a days, it’s all a batsman’s game now. Boundaries are small, fieldsmen are restricted, bowler’s wings are clipped with so many rules, no wonder nobody is interested being a bowler. Everyone just want to pick the heaviest wood they can lift and hit the ball as hard as they can”

“Yup, and Australia is always a strong, from the era of Don Bradman”. Sid replied. “Ahh, Don Bradman, Do you know story?” Sid could see the glow in his Grandpa’s eyes, he answered, “No, tell me.”

 

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It was just an exhibition match, a tennis ball cricket game, sports teacher and school cricket coach agreed to be the umpires. 12th class boys won the toss and decided to bat first. As usual Gautam and Dhiman walked in to open with Gautam in the striking end.

“Let me open the bowling”, Sid asked Sumit. Without much thought Sumit tossed the ball at Sid, even he knew the outcome of the match.

“Right arm, round the wicket.” Sid announced it to the umpire and started to walk towards his bowing run up. Gautam surprised to see his brother taking an unusually long run up.

First ball, a short pitch bouncer till the chest, Gautam played a defensive shot.

Second ball, a higher bouncer hit Gautam’s shoulder.

Third ball, almost the same like the first ball, raised till his rib cage. “That’s no ball”, Gautam screamed at the umpire, “Only one bouncer is allowed.” “That’s not above the shoulder, legitimate delivery.” Sports teacher playing the leg umpire dismissed the plea.

Fourth delivery was also similar. On fifth delivery Gautam lost his patience and tried to play a hook shot, the ball parachuted down to deep fine leg fielder’s hand. Sid finished his over as a wicket maiden.

Sid started his 2nd and match’s 3rd over with Sonu facing him. The first ball hit his forehead, second ball hit his shoulder when he tried to duck, third ball flew few inches above his head, called a no ball. The next ball was a Yorker, cleaned off Sonu’s leg stump. From the look of his face Sid could tell, Sonu wasn’t expecting that. The other pacers of the team were following Sid and started bowling on leg stump line with waist and chest high bumpers.

12th class boys were all out in 16th over scoring only 67, with two of their best batsman out so cheaply, that too against the 9th standard boys, demoralized the whole team. Sid finished his bowling figure as ‘4-1-13-4’.

They tried to get back in the game with tight bowling and fielding, but Sumit’s team were already sniffed the victory. 9th standard won the match with 4 wickets and 1.3 over remaining. Sid became the overnight hero.

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Harshita and few of her class girls were standing outside the ground, awestruck and heartbroken, they came to see and cheer for the victory of their class. Sid walk by them like a proud peacock with his full glory, royally ignoring each of those known faces.

Puzzled Sonu asked Gautam, “What was that all about?”

“Bodyline”, Gautam replied with dry and uninterested face.

Sonu: “What?”

“1932-33 ‘English tour to Australia’ under Douglas Jardine. Harold Larwood and Bill Voce brought down Don Bradman’s dominant Australia to its knees with their bodyline bowling, Bradman’s own average came down to 56.57 in that series.”, Gautam answered with frustrated voice.

“Sure they didn’t have Twenty20 back then.” Sonu said while scratching his head.

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(A bodyline delivery was one where the cricket ball was bowled towards the body of the batsman on the line of the leg stump, in the hope of creating leg-side deflections that could be caught by one of several fielders in the quadrant of the field behind square leg.

A cricket team representing England toured Australia in the 1932-33 season. The tour included five Test matches in Australia, and England won The Ashes by four games to one. The tour was highly controversial because of the Bodyline bowling tactics used by the England team under the captaincy of Douglas Jardine. The debatable series notoriously known as Bodyline Series.

As per the instructions of England captain Jardine, the pacers duo, Harold Larwood and Bill Voce constantly attacked the Australian batsmen’s body, caused several injuries to Aussie batsmen. This controversial yet useful tactics paid off, as even the greatest batsmen like Don Bradman averaged 56.57 in the series which is an excellent average for most, but well short of his career average of 99.94.

As a direct consequence of the 1932–33 tour, a lot of cricket rules are changed. From then till now there were many debates if the bodyline tactics is a fair one. Recent death of Phil Hughes added fuel to this debate if fast bowlers are even allowed to bowl bouncers. But definitely as Cricket become exceedingly a sport of batsmen, fast bowlers are becoming the endangered species of the game. )

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Merry Christmas

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Part 1: https://anibhoot.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/homework/

Part 2: https://anibhoot.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/punishment/

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As bittu entered into the staff room, Firoz was standing there holding bittu’s note, enraged and fumed. He waved the page in front of bittu’s face which has the lipstick mark on it.

Firoz : “So Bittu, tell me why do you come to school? For this huh? Mr Casanova. Are your parents Mr and Mrs Sinha are aware of all these or I have to personally tell them?”

Bittu (In a dumbfound voice): “I… I don’t know anything about this. Please don’t tell mom and dad anything, please”

Firoz: “Stop being a skirt chaser or you’ll regret it, badly.” Firoz chucked the note on Bittu’s face and snarled “Now GET OUT!”

 

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Bittu was standing in front of the cash counter as he was making payment to the old lady

The Lady in the counter: “Ahh, you have bought such a nice dress for your sister. But you’re sure it will fit her? I mean you could brought her along.”

Bittu: “Amm, this is not for my sister, actually for one of my, err… friend.”

The Lady in the counter (Making a face): “Hmm! So even school kids like you are having girlfriends and boyfriends, huh, don’t where this generation is heading to? Now here, the dress is packed. “

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Mr Sinha (While taking a sip from his tea cup) : So bittu, you got the new cricket bat?

Bittu: “Ye…. Yes dad”

Mrs Sinha: Where’s it? Show me.

Bittu: “I… I kept it in the school store room, tomorrow is the match so I thought….”

Mrs Sinha: “Come on Bittu, such an expensive new bat and you kept it there? What if someone flicks it?”

Bittu (Smiling): “Don’t worry mom, it will be safe

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Bittu: “Neeraj, can I borrow your bat for tomorrow? For the boxing day match between teachers and students”

Neeraj(Bittu’s friend): “Why? Didn’t you get a big cash from your dad for buying one?”

Bittu:”Amm, I spent it somewhere else.”

Neeraj: “I know where you spent it. On her, don’t you? Fine you can have the bat. But you borrowed 500 bucks from me?

Bittu: I’ll give it back next month.

Neeraj: “Yeah but this time you have to give me 1000.

Bittu: “Why?”

Neeraj(With a mischievous smile): “I too have my own expenses.”

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Christie: “It’s for me? Why?”

Bittu: “Christmas gift.”

Christie: “Hmm, ok bye, mom’s calling me.”

Bittu: “Christie….?”

Christie: “What?”

Bittu(Sighed): ”Nothing.”

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Bittu: “Sir, did you call my home? Asking for me?

Firoz(At Firoz’s house): “Ya, Neeraj told me you wanted to his borrow his bat for tomorrow’s match.”

Bittu: “ Aaaa….mmmm, Yess!!”

Firoz: “I played with this in my college days, now there’s no much use of it to me anyway. It’s yours.” He was holding his old elegant cricket bat.

Bittu: “But sir…….”

Firoz: “Bittu, this mid-term I want you to get A+ in Chemistry. Now take this and GET OUT.”

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Christie: “First ball, clean bowled. Do you even know how to hold a bat?”

Bittu: “Raman sir was bowling, it was a low full toss, I was thinking whether to hit for a four or a six, then there was something distracted me. As I felt and breathe a strange sweet fragrance and I saw someone there on long off, dress in red. I stood there and closed my eyes, the ball took off my middle stump.”

Christie: “Idiot, I thought I would wear it in Christmas, not a day before, but you…..”

Bittu: More than half of my team are yet to bat. Could we go get some ice creams and sit under that tree?

Christie (Smile and tears): “Merry Christmas ‘My Santa Claus’.”

Bittu: “Merry Christmas Christie”

 

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Last man standing

Courtney-Walsh-Holds-Record-of-Most-Ducks-in-Test-Cricket

 

Principal D’Souza is walking impatiently from the dressing room towards the seating arrangement again. The scoreboard in front of him showing the digits, 161 / 8. That’s the score of his college team while chasing 173 against their one of the most prominent rival college team.

An avid cricket fan Alvin D’Souza, when joined this college as principal, he was sad witnessing the pitiable situation of the sports segment of the college. Slowly he rebuilt the sports infrastructure of the college. Especially the cricket team, he appointed Prithvi, a retired young ranji player as the coach.

Now as for the first time they are participating inter-college cricket competition, things aren’t look so rosy in the very first match. Prithvi’s boys did well in the field to restrict their opponent by 172, the credit sure goes to their main strike bowler Abhay. He had a good spell and picked 4 for 30, but unfortunately before he finish his full quota, he had a muscle strain and had to leave the field.

“Sir, Abhay’s parents are here, so is his sister and younger brother. They wanted to see him, they heard he is injured.” The peon Panu announced to Principal D’Souza

“How is he doing?” He asked.

“Not too good. Prithvi sir is massaging his thigh with a big chunk of ice. The pair on the ground now has to win this match.” Panu, the office peon, also a cricket enthusiast blurted those words eagerly.

As they were speaking, D’Souza heard shouts and screams from the field. As he hurriedly looked at the game, he saw the 10th man Ranjit was slowly walking towards the dressing room, Mohsin, 87 not out, their no 3rd was looking helplessly as he was standing on the striker end. “What a suicidal runout”, somebody from the viewers shouted out. It was the last ball of 19th over, Ranjit was trying to get back so Mohsin could be in striker end of the next and last over.

Alvin D’Souza closed his eyes, it’s all over now. If Abhay wasn’t injured, still they couldn’t have won the match now, he is well aware of Abhay’s reputation as a batsman. He is a different animal with a cricket ball in his hand and a dummy with a cricket bat.

“Tell them they can see Abhay after the match, outsiders are not allowed inside the dressing room, anyway the match is pretty much over.” D’Souza instructed Panu in a cold voice.

“But they are already inside” Panu hesitantly informed. “Prithvi sir already called them in,”

D’Souza was about to say something when his attention turned to the field, Abhay was slowly walking towards the wicket, as he took his leg stump guard with a high batting stance, with helmet, pads, arm and chest guards, he was looking like a complete batsman. Mohsin walked up to him to give him some advice perhaps, but immediately came back as Abhay signalled him to return back.

 

The first ball of 20th over, the bowler tried to pitch it in good length only managed to bowl a half volley. Abhay leaned forward, took his left foot on the line of the ball and smack! Slapped the ball through the cover for four, a glorious cover drive!! “I have seen ‘Aravinda De Silva’ playing such shots”, the local polish officer invited was clapping excitedly when he said those words. D’Souza couldn’t believe his eyes.

Instinctive opponent fast bowler’s next ball was pretty obvious, a short pitch delivery raised almost above the rib cage. Abhay quickly went to his back foot, transferred his entire weight on his right leg, his whole body turned 180 degree to his left, as his bat too. The ball went to the boundary in flash through the gap between square and fine leg. A pull shot even ‘Mike Atherton’ would be proud of.

 

Alvin D’Souza was taken aback, as the opponent captain ran to his bowler. Now it’s only 4 runs needed of 4 balls, opponent team was totally confused about how to set the field now. The next ball, bowler tried to aim block hole, a slight deviation made it a low full toss. Abhay again leaned forward and hit it right above the bowler’s head. A straight bat SIX!!! As the audience and supporters rose their on their feet with a roar, Mohsin was dancing his two hands up above. Principal D’Souza saw Abhay was swiftly running back to the dressing room.

 

As D’souza entered the dressing room, the boys were celebrating, Abhay was sitting on a chair with a pain clad yet smiling face. His family was standing near him, and another character, almost the same height, short hair, same intelligent eyes as Abhay.

“Let me introduce you.” Prithvi, the coach spoke to D’Souza with impish smile, “That’s Anshika. Abhay’s twin sister. She plays in second divison league as opening Batswoman for her team.”