May Madness Gets Crazier At Vibha Cricket
Blame it on their youth, or their superior technique and skill ? the dominance of GT Playboys at Vibha Cricket has always been on display over the last few years. It is surprising then, that this is only the first time that they have actually won the Vibha Cricket Cup! The Playboys from Georgia Tech convincingly defeated the defending champions ? Blue Panthers ? in the quarter finals, and another strong team ? The Invincibles - in the semifinals before finally trouncing the Chattanooga Titans in the final match of the 7th Annual FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup.
May Madness at Vibha Cricket was crazier than ever. All the elements characteristic of Vibha cricket - 400+ players and their cheering families and friends, last-ball deciders, tied-matches, grand-upsets, stunning sixes, heartbreaks, sweet-pains, and yes, the rain - were in full attendance this year as well. The year-long wait was well worth it for all the participants and the volunteers because it was all for a good cause ? to support underprivileged children in India. The money raised at this tournament will be enough to support two child development projects in India.
"46 teams, 45 matches, 4 days of great cricket and plenty of great cricketing moments! Vibha's Cricket Cup is one of the most sought after in Georgia with teams coming from all over. It felt great to be able to organize and participate in this event and I feel its the best combination of a game (cricket) and a cause(children) everyone is passionate about," said Kiran Nadgir, the coordinator for the tournament. The tournament started on May 7th under perfect weather conditions. Mr. Sanjiv Thirath, the CEO of Pyramid Consulting started the tournament and in his opening remarks, highlighted Pyramid's long-term partnership with Vibha, and the dedication and professionalism of all the Vibha volunteers in promoting the cause of less fortunate children in India.
The tournament got off to an exciting start with a number of close matches in the first two rounds on May 7th and May 8th. Needing four runs off the last delivery, Samir Amte of Martin Maniacs sent the ball flying over the fence to win their first round match that paved the way for his team to go on to the semi-finals. In another match, the team from Terrell Mill held their nerves in executing a last-ball run-out to win their first round match. Team-India, a new entrant to Vibha cricket made history by scoring 161 runs in their allotted 10 overs ? equivalent to sending every other ball to or over the fence! In their second round too, they knocked out the 2003 champions and last year's runners-up - Alpharetta Monsters ? in a tense match. But, their dream-run ended in the next round in possibly the biggest upset of the tournament against Cool Guys-B.
The Pre-quarter final round was played on Saturday, May 14th, and the stage was set for a great day of cricket for the final rounds. But then, something was missing in the air. It hadn't rained so far, and what's Vibha Cricket without a rain delay? The rain finally came on Saturday night and continued well into the day on Sunday, delaying all the matches till the afternoon. As soon as the rain stopped, a different kind of thunder and lightening struck the Astro-Turf field at Georgia Tech ? from the blades of the Georgia Tech batsmen.
Batting first, GT PlayBoys scored 102/6 against Blue Panthers in one of their quarter finals. Their two star batsmen Srikanth and Ganesh hit 41 with four sixes and 29 with one 6 and two 4s, respectively. The Blue Panthers gave a spirited fight-back, but fell short by 15 runs. In their semi-final match against the Invincibles, the PlayBoys started off slowly scoring 36 runs in the first 5 overs, but then went berserk scoring 31 runs in the 6th over. They continued their blitzkrieg scoring 126/3 (Ambareesh 60, Srikanth 54) in the allotted 10 overs, virtually ending the contest with their batting alone. In the process, Ambareesh became up the Delta Infosys Man of the Tournament and got the cash Prize. Srikanth picked up the Pyramid Consulting Best Batsman trophy, while Azim from Invincibles bagged the Pyramid Consulting Best Bowler trophy.
From the other half, the Chattanooga Titans, a team that is known for sticking to the basics, reached the finals by collecting their victories without much sweat or fireworks. But, in the end, nobody seemed to have any answers for the prowess of the Playboys from Tech. Batting first, Chattanooga were restricted to a score of 52 runs (all out) which the GT PlayBoys scored quickly without ever being in any danger. Their captain, Ganesh scored a composed 26 runs (Not Out) and earned the Delta Infosys Man of the Match prize for the finals.
The trophy for FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup 2005 was presented by Sravan Vellanki, the President & CEO of FutureTech Consultants (http://ftc.bz), the title sponsors of the tournament for 2004 and 2005. He declared amid cheers that Future Tech will be the title-sponsor for Vibha Cricket Cup for at least another 4 years. He commended all the players for playing the tournament in the spirit of sportsmanship and also helping the cause of Vibha.
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