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Blue Panthers Tame Monsters At Vibha Cricket Championships

July 2004
Blue Panthers Tame Monsters At Vibha Cricket Championships

A record 48 teams with more than 400 contestants participated in the FutureTech Vibha Cricket Championships held at the GeorgiaTech campus in May despite thunderstorms and rain.

Vibha, a US based non-religious, non-political, 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization working towards child development has been organizing this tournament for six years. As one of Vibha's premier fundraisers, this tournament has become the Super Bowl of Atlanta cricket. In fact, this year many teams had custom designed T-shirts just for this occasion.

After the first couple of matches, the tournament was opened officially by the Georgia Tech Athletic Department director Kirk McQueen, who expressed appreciation for the inspiring activities Vibha is promoting to aid under-privileged children in India. Vibha raised over $15,000 with the help of sponsors during the event. This $15,000 translates to full annual funding of two projects in India that will educate and empower deserving children, like the Child Care centers provided by Baikunthapur Tarun Sangha in West Bengal, and to help the mentally challenged children through Rajasthan Mahila Kalyan Mandal.

Sravan Vellanki, CEO of FutureTech consultants ? the title sponsor for this year's tournament - aptly remarked, "It is wonderful how Vibha provides people with an opportunity to share the bounty of America with the less fortunate in India. The FutureTech Vibha Cricket Tournament is an excellent way to do good while having a fun time. I am honored to be associated with it." In addition to their praise for the organization, both of them opened up their wallets even more, with McQueen donating the use of the ground for this year and Vellanki announcing a Man-Of-The-Tournament purse of $500, with half of that going to Vibha as a donation on his behalf!

Srinivas Vemulapalli and a team of volunteers managed to schedule and finish up to 20 games on both the wet and cold days of the first weekend. Vemulapalli, the principal organizer of this event was ecstatic. He said, "Once again, we had teams from all over the South East. It is a challenging task to schedule close to 50 matches over two weekends. But, all the players cooperated in the spirit of the tournament ? to help the underprivileged child".���In response to that, one of Vibha's annual sponsors Narayana Rekapalli, the president of Omnisoft, added, "Vibha volunteers did a very professional and efficient job of putting this event together. I found their enthusiasm inspiring".

As expected, the cream rose to the top, with all the highly rated teams making it through to the second weekend. Indeed, it seemed as if providence impressed by the intensity of the cricketers chose not to rain on their parade and the weather conditions therefore resembled an Indian summer. As games became more and more evenly contested, the veteran teams with better chemistry, seemed better equipped to handle the pressure than the younger, more athletic and swashbuckling teams. This was most evident in the quarterfinals and semifinals when the GT Playboys lost to the Alpharetta Monsters. The veteran team ? from Alpharetta bowled and fielded brilliantly as the Playboys crumbled to 54 all out, chasing a modest 68 in ideal batting conditions

Finally, the stage was set. It was going to be the Blue Panthers vs. the defending champion Alpharetta Monsters. With ominous thunderclouds brewing in the distance and lightning bolts striking a few hundred yards behind the ground, the Monsters and Panthers battled in a surreal setting. Powered by a strong partnership between Rajesh and Shyam, the Monsters set a very good target of 87. The match looked like it could go either way until Ashok stepped in and confidently stamped his authority on the game. The Monsters blew an opportunity to take control when Vikas dropped a fly ball from Ashok in deep center field. Ashok didn't waste this renewed opportunity as he (33*) and Vijay (18*) took the panthers home ? capitalizing on a couple of bad overs from the tiring Monsters. The Monsters had been tamed.

The exhausted but thrilled champions received their trophies from Sravan Vellanki and Narayana Rekapalli. Ashok was named Man of the Match for his awesome display in the final game. The Best Bowler award went to Ajay from the disappointed and yet satisfied Monsters. They had battled through a lot of tough games over the 2 weekends and had every reason to hold their heads high. The ultra-competitive captain of the Monsters Sanjay Narla was rewarded for all his efforts with the Man-of-the Tournament trophy. The Best Batsman award went to Rakesh from Purple Bulls, who hit 14 sixes by himself, on his way to two separate innings of 65 and an aggregate of 168!

Following the tremendous success of the FutureTech Vibha championships, Vibha will be organizing the Omnisoft Double Wicket tournament on July 31 and Aug 1st at Georgia Tech campus. Omnisoft will be title sponsor for this event. All the players are requested to register early for the event.

Semi Finals 1

Clevland Patels 54 Harsh 23 Kunal 15 Hanif 16/4/3 Vijay 13/2/3

Blue Panthers -1 58/4 Tarun 19 Vijay 18 N O Keyur 14/1/3 Ravi 12/1/3

Semi Final 2

Purple Bulls 68/6 Raghav 27 Ashish 14 Ajay 3/24 Naushad 3/30

Alpharetta Monsters 79/7 Sanjay 37 Ajay 12 Ravi 3/25 Raghav 3/9

FINALS SCORE

Blue Panthers 1 90/4 Ashok 33 N.O Vijay 18 N.O Sanjay 3/31 Naushad 3/16

Alpharetta Monsters 87/3 Shyam 37 N.O Rajesh 15 Vijay 3/13 Hanif 3/33


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