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Adrenaline-charged Cricket Tournament for a Noble Cause

September 2004
Adrenaline-charged Cricket Tournament for a Noble Cause

Vibha, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding underprivileged children, organized the Omnisoft Double Wicket Cricket Tournament at Georgia Tech on July 31.

Following the success of the cricket tournament in May, Vibha put together this second tournament. Once again, the love of the game and the sensitivity to the cause attracted the cricket loving fraternity. The matches began on schedule at eight o'clock in the morning. As the day progressed, the harsh sun in the cloudless sky sent the mercury soaring. Memories of playing gully cricket on hot summer days in India came alive! The competition heated up as well. The tournament came to a close by nine o'clock. The four teams that played the final round were exhausted, but thrilled to have participated. There was a sense of accomplishment in the floodlit, astro-turf arena. Amit Bhatnagar and Navneet Narula won the tournament with a flurry of sixes and fours. The runners-up team of Anubhav Jain and Sravan Vellanki reached the final round comfortably before being outscored by the winners.

Since each team comprised of only two players, the entire tournament was played in an exciting format. Each pool consisted of four teams that competed against each other at the same time. This meant that an opponent in one over became a partner in the next over. It was quite exciting to watch the changing dynamics.

There was no concept of getting "out" ? every team lost six runs for each wicket. All the batsmen swung wildly throughout the day, resulting in a barrage of sixes and fours. In the 216 overs bowled in the tournament, the ball crossed the fence more than 450 times! Sure enough, there were negative scores ? the runs scored were not enough to make up for the number of times they got out!

All the four teams to reach the finals displayed tremendous effort and skill. Pawan and Ravi played an unbelievable 96 overs by the end of the day. Vijay and Arpit made the highest score of the tournament with 97 runs from six overs in their second round match without loosing a wicket. Sravan Vellanki took the only hat-trick of the tournament with his mix of medium pace and off-cutters. Anubhav Jain, winner of the 2001 Vibha cricket tournament, proved that he was getting better with age with his huge pulls over mid-wicket for a number of sixes, taking his team's net score to 64. But the final round was completely dominated by the ultimate winners Amit and Navneeth, who did a terrific job both with the bat and the ball, scoring a net score of 84 runs in six overs.

"I cannot thank the players enough who stick to the schedule and make the job a pleasure for Vibha volunteers organizing this tournament year after year," said Srinivas Vemulapalli, the main coordinator for Vibha Cricket. Narayana Rekapalli, the president of Omnisoft, the title sponsor for the tournament, noted that the reason his company sponsored Vibha's efforts was because it aligns with his personal intention to help the underprivileged in India. The Vibha volunteers thanked all the players and sponsors, including the food sponsor Amrutha Restaurant, for making the event a huge success.

Ultimately, the day belonged to the children of India, for whose benefit Vibha continues to organize fundraisers. For a complete list of projects supported by Vibha, visit www.vibha.org/projects.

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