Asteroids show comeback in the second half of the season

Report by Srikant

Team Sunnyvale,

It gives me immense pleasure in writing this match report because its one the most memorable and commanding victories we have seen in a long time. We literally crushed Marin which is one of the primary div 1 teams. Believe it or not, and I wish I had taken some pictures of it, Marin 1 was in shock after the loss. Their captain comes up and says “Sorry we did not show you the best of us”. Apparently they don’t have team meetings but yesterday they did and they were licking their wounds.
Asteroids give yourselves a huge cheer and a pat on the back.
This team is now starting to believe in itself and playing some fighting cricket in the big league.
Summary: Asteroids win by 7 wickets
Marin I: 213 all out
Asteroids: 214/3 from 37 overs (Vijay S 100+*)
MOM: Vijay S
MVP: Saqib and Raj S
It was a warm and sunny morning for a wonderful day of cricket.
The reporting time was 10 am but Ajay’s carpool party (Ajay, Tejas, Athul and Rohan-newbie lucky charm) were there at 9:15a for 11:30a start. Isn’t that AWESOME?
You would wonder why they would come so early and yes I too was puzzled. It can’t be that they wanted to avoid writing the match report.
May be the Marin chicks huh? ya jhaadu marney ke liye….? 🙂😷
Anyways, the whole team was on the ground on time getting some good practice in the Marin nets.
1st innings
The toss was won by Marin and without hesitation elected to bat. Kiran and Sathy started the proceedings with the new ball.
Sathy was getting some stick on one end with Anwaar hitting the ball out of the park at will.
Kiran on the other end hit his length right away and had Ozair dancing in the crease without being able to successfully play a decent shot.
In the 3rd over, Kiran got Ozair to edge one to Raj S and was soon back in the dugout.
Sathy bowled his 2nd over with some more vigor and used his deft swing bowling to get the dangerous Anwaar LBW (currently 2nd on the leader board in runs)
His wkt was the prized one and we were rejoicing.
Next in was Sakib Saleem (US team) who is probably the most clean and intelligent batsman we have seen in the league.
The morning heat and humidity took the opening bowlers through about 8 overs when Narsi was brought into the attack.
Narsi bowled some excellent loopy off spinners and was not easy to play. Marin had a brief 3rd wkt partnership when Narsi put the 3rd kink in Marin’s Armor.
He got rid of Zulkiqur who had to play at it and the ball looped up to Ajay at Short mid wkt.
The 4th wicket again was off Narsi’s bowling. A beautiful floater edged to Peruri at Slips.
At first break Marin 1 were 4/90 and well above 6 RPO. Getting wickets was the key in that first session
Second session did not go our way.
Narsi and Ajay kept tabs but Sakib and Saad had a good 100 run partnership for the 5 th wicket.
This session is where the team very dearly felt the loss of that 5th and 6th regular bowler, for us Gadde and Nitin.
As captain I did feel a little desperate about what to do next and who is that one bowler who could get me that much needed wicket.
Part timers were me and Tejas who tried to chip in with some fillers but we were both severely dealt with. Tejas was brought in on demand and I had confidence in his bowling based off of feedback from his Friday’s practice. A glimpse of my belief in him is shown here With a shy Warne like run up and looking down at the ground while bowling, things did not go too well and that ended up being a long 1 over.
He tried some fast fippers too like in the video (at 2:20 mins) above but that did not work too. 🙂 ROFL. The good part though was that Sunderesan would not have gotten his hundred if not for Tejas’ and my bowling. Buddy thank us…..😁
Back to the game… Sunnyvale held its nerve during this session and with some sharp fielding from Athul at Deep extra cover we were able to get the 5th break in the form of Saad’s run out. At this point, Marin 1 were 190/5 in 30 overs but were looking ominous.
Session 3… we regrouped and made some good changes with bowlers shifting ends.  Kiran B and Vijay S were brought in right after the break  and “Voila”.  These two brought some fire and ripped through Marin. Kiran got another wicket by yorking the batsman #6. Then….
Kiran Bondali opened his Kundali to check his start and map out the next set of events and called out in Telugu “Aye Narsi ra voi 1st slip ki” meaning “Aye Narsi come to first slip” and BOOM the ball was pitched in the right spot. The LHB edged it and was into Narsi’s hands. Narsi was in disbelief that things went more than exactly as planned (strategy king). This entire thing lasted about a minute …was so fast and done before it started. Moral …any difficulties in cricket …take ur KUNDALI to Kiran BONDALI 🙂
Marin were now bleeding at 200 odd for 7. Vijay S on the other end wrapped up the last 3 wkts within 2 or 3 over with one LBW, had Saakib caught in gully by Rohan (excellent sharp catch), and claimed Gaurav caught at covers by Sri. In 15 mins, Marin lost 5 wkts for 23 runs and were gift wrapped and sent back to the dugout with final score being 213 all out. A way below par score for that ground and that team.
2nd innings
After a good 45 min lunch break but not enough lunch for all, Sunnyvale Started in great fashion. 1st ball boundary from Athul.
Both openers Raj S and Athul R went flashing hard at anything wide outside and had the ball flying multiple times to the third man fence.
Soon we had reached 40 runs odd but had lost Athul playing a chip shot to mid wicket.
In came at #3 Mr. Vijay Sunderesan who started cautiously sticking to his usual and simple plan of playing only whats playable & Leave the rest. Once he got set,  Raj S and Vijay S toyed with Marin’s bowling maintaining RR of ~5RPO.  At first break Sunnyvale had racked up a score of 69/1. Raj S and Vijay S continued doing well and Raj S got his 50 marked with some glorious boundaries. Raj’s shot of the day was one huge six over extra cover marking the highlight of his innings.
He soon perished scoring 54 trying to hit a similar shot on the rise and was caught by the keeper.
Srikanth joined Vijay S but did no last too long playing cross , wanting to heave one over cow corner and was out bowled.
While batting with Vijay S, however, there were was one distinct thing that comes to mind. Sunderesan was tiring and gasping and I was telling him to keep going on and anchoring but he need that breather so bad….. Next ball he hits six over cow corner and I run up saying…”dai calm down da… why would you risk that?”
 his reply… “I needed a break so I hit it out for them to get the ball…I need time to breathe” …….jeez… that was the confidence Vijay was batting with… A truly amazing and chanceless knock!!
I don’t think there was even one major opening in the field which was left. He scored at will all around the park. Vijay S did not stop toying with the bowling and kept frustrating the bowlers to a point where toward the end of the game they started bowling wides to avoid him from getting his century which was the most unsportsman like attitude we have seen.
Towards the end, Narsi supported Vijay S very prudently by negotiating those gaps and picking up the singles and twos and dispatching some boundaries with utter disdain…in simple words like a slap in their face.
Narsi marked some of his singles by literally smirky laughing during his running  between the wickets giving them the feeling that what shit are you guys bowling….. This got them super frustrated.
In doing so, these two saw us off to victory beating Marin by 7 wickets and chasing down 214 in ~38 overs. For those of us who sat in the dugout and watched it was a pleasure seeing Raj S, Vijay S and Narsi “spanking” the ball.
With 3 wins on the trot this team is now starting to believe in itself.
The talent has long been there but only now we are becoming one fierce unit with aggression and are ready to take on the big guns in this league. It feels like we are hunting in a pack and lets keep doing this.
All said and done, we however have to keep our heads down and reset for the next game, one game at a time. Every game is a new one, it start at 0 and we still have to go out there and make things happen to get the win.
Vijay S Enjoy this and relish it since this is the first century this season from Asteroids. Cheers to you da !! 👌
Waiting to see more from you ….

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