Blue panthers reign supreme in Vibha cricket
By winning two major tournaments in less than two months, Blue Panthers proved once again that they are the Australians of cricket in Atlanta. Having won the FutureTech Vibha Tournament in May, they showed their supremacy and determination on June 30th and clinched the Pyramid Consulting Vibha Cricket Super-16 Corporate Challenge.
The Super-16 Corporate Challenge was an off-shoot of the larger tournament held in May. In this event, the top teams from the May tournament were pitted against each other, and some corporate teams joined the fray as well. It was a huge success, raising valuable funds for child development projects supported by Vibha in India.
All matches were played in parallel on the Georgia Tech astro-turf field with histrionics, heroics, heaves, huge sixes, classic cover drives, close finishes, tied-matches, and heated arguments; all abundant in the course of the day!
Blue Panthers steadily made their way to the semi-finals where they played Dosa Houze. Despite having restricted the Blue Panthers to a reasonably low score of 84 runs and making a good start, Dosa Houze could not withstand the accurate and deadly bowling of Anish and Yogesh of Blue Panthers.
Alpharetta Monsters, last year's Super-16 champions and the traditional powerhouses of Vibha cricket, reached the other semi-final convincingly. Their opponents in the semifinals, the Cool Guys, had a big surprise in store for the spectators. Having won the hearts of Vibha volunteers in the last tournament by making the largest team donation, they once again entered the tournament to enjoy the game and made a modest 75 runs, but then, the Monsters lost their way while batting - costing them the match.
Cool Guys began the finals with renewed vigor and gave away only 67 runs in their allocated ten overs. From the Blue Panthers, Dharam Damani made a gritty 25 runs to bump up the score and gave his bowlers a fighting opportunity. In response, with rain on the horizon, the Cool Guys opening pair made a cautious start and were ahead of their rivals at the 5 over mark, the minimum number of overs needed to decide the outcome in the event of rain. However, the rain held back just a little longer for the Blue Panthers to fight back into the game. They bowled a few tidy overs in the middle. The Blue Panthers prevailed finally!
Ela Govind of Cool Guys said, "We've been playing in Vibha Cricket for six years now and we are happy that we came so close to winning the trophy this time. Every year we come here and have a lot of fun but this time we had a chance to show our cricketing side too. We thank Srinivas Vemulapalli and the Vibha Team for creating the opportunity to play and donate for a wonderful cause."
Ninad Patil, captain of the Blue Panthers added, "We would like to thank Vibha for hosting this tournament annually and giving us an opportunity to participate, compete and enjoy the game that we all are so passionate about. Our dual victories in two successive tournaments are a result of our commitment and passion towards the game."
Jaydeep Desai (Man of the Tournament), Dharam Damani (Man of the Match – Finals), Narendra Sahoo From Dosa Houze (Best Batsman) and Dhronal Shaw (Best Bowler) received their trophies from Mr. Ramesh Maturu, Pyramid Consulting.
The unstoppable volunteers at Vibha are getting ready to do two more events. A concert by India's most famous rock music band "Indian Ocean" will be held on August 17th at the Roswell Cultural Center, to be followed by "The Dream Mile 5K Run/Walk" on September 22 at Georgia Tech. For a complete list of projects currently funded by Vibha, please visit www.vibha.org/projects and make a difference.
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