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Nail-Biter Wraps Up Fund Raiser Cricket Challenge

July 2005
Nail-Biter Wraps Up Fund Raiser Cricket Challenge

Why is it that Vibha Cricket produces last-ball thrillers, year after year, tournament after tournament? Is it the "never-say-never" attitude of some players or the nerve-racking pressure taking its toll on the others? How does one explain this year's last over, which required 20 runs quickly and then ? for a thrilling victory ? a boundary off the last ball? After bringing it to a cliffhanger like that, how could the Chattanooga team fall short by one run? Just one run?

We could not explain this amazing turn of events. All we could do was enjoy the excitement and hope for more of it next year!

The Invincibles Pyramid team, after being very close to winning the championship over the last few years, finally enjoyed the sweet taste of success. This was the result of a firm belief in their own strength and a great effort by the aging warriors ? Saibal Ghosal, Rahul Ray, Prabir Das ? in building and nurturing this team to a victory that has been much delayed! They have been extremely consistent over the years, so this victory was just waiting to happen.

For the Chattanooga team, runners-up from the previous tournament, and the team that always displays the best sporting spirit on and off the field, it was one more year, one more tournament, one more finals, and the ever-elusive cup. Our hearts go out to them. Radha Thalaimalai, Bali Subramanian, Bindu Madhav, Ravi Bachala, Uma Mahesh are the true ambassadors of this great game.

The best match of the tournament was undeniably the final between these two teams. Batting first, Rahul Ray led the attack and scored 41 with 4 sixes, and with the support of Ajay Kaimal (21) who scored a brilliant 58 in their semi-final victory, took the Invincibles to a respectable score of 95 for 5. Chattanooga started steadily and scored 56 at the end of seven overs. Requiring 39 runs from 3 overs, with Bali on strike, they scored 12 runs off the eighth over. Then with some great bowling, Prabir restricted them to just 7 runs in the penultimate over, setting the stage for 20 runs required off 6 balls. Bali put Azim under pressure, resulting in 3 wide-balls, and then heaved a huge six, bringing the game to an absolute nail-biting finish. A boundary was required off the last ball! Bali hit it hard to the mid-on area and ran for two?the fielder collected it cleanly and threw it back to the keeper?the keeper hit the stumps?the umpire said not-out?the batsmen went for an overthrow?. and the drama ended right there. A final difference of just one run!

The Andy's Grill Vibha Super-16 challenge was full of excitement, from start to finish. Sixteen teams that were invited from the very best of the recently concluded FutureTech Vibha Cricket Cup battled it out for supremacy once again. The initial rounds were organized in a round-robin format. Several teams were so close in their relative strength that the winners of two pools had to be decided by Net-Run-Rate. What is special about this tournament is that the players, rather than Vibha volunteers, conceived this format. This shows the spirit of cricket-loving enthusiasts in Atlanta and their un-ending support of Vibha and the cause of underprivileged children in India. "Vibha made a lasting impact amongst the cricket enthusiasts of Atlanta with the hosting of the annual cricket championship in May and now the Super 16 Challenge," said Saibal Ghosal, the captain of the Invincibles. "The tireless and selfless volunteers of Vibha have created a unique brand and an icon of pride and recognition."

The Man of the Tournament was awarded to Gagan of Team India (5 wickets & a brilliant match-winning innings of 54). The Best Batsman award went to Shyam of Alpharetta Monsters who scored 110 Runs (54 NO & 56 NO). The Best Bowler was awarded to Ajay of Alpharetta Monsters who took 8 wickets from 4 matches. The Man of the Match for the Finals was given to Bali for his valiant effort with the bat (32 runs) and the ball (3-0-22-2).

Special thanks to Mr. Gurva Reddy of Andy's Indian Grill, and Mr Sravan Vellanki of FutureTech for sponsoring this event. The resources raised from this event will be used to support child development projects in India.

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