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Stories. 
Super Six
by K. Amoghavarsha


It was a chilly December morning when I started for the school with my friend Kunal. As soon as I reached the school, I got equally chilling news that the Super Six tournament is starting tomorrow. Oh I am sorry, I have not yet introduced myself and explained why the starting of this Super Six tournament was a bad news for us.

Hi! I am Amogh of class VIII and I study in Delhi Public School, Rourkela. Few days back we had registered our team for a cricket tournament called “Super Six” in Rourkela club. We had Rahul as our team’s captain. And the team comprised me, Rahul, Adi, Akash, Rahul Sudhakar i.e. Rahul (2), Bunny and Varun.

On the day before the tournament we had zero practice and were still brainstorming whether we should squeeze in some practice during our recess period or not. Rahul said that we must go to the tournament without any practice because it would be a waste of time if we practice today. He got even more dirty looks than an eve teaser in a bus. Bunny said that we must withdraw from the tournament because it was obvious that we would lose the game. We said that he has gone nuts and needed a doctor’s help. He got angry and started sulking. We soothed his nerves by saying that he was a key member of the team and our Dhoni (not really) in the team. He became cheerful again and started thinking of new ideas. Then our monk Rahul(2) said that we must practice today evening. I also added my bit by saying that we can practice tomorrow morning too because it was a holiday for us. But unfortunately Akash didn’t have a holiday so he would not be able to come for the next day. Finally all of us agreed to this plan.

In the meantime our school ended and as I was leaving Varun came up to me and said “Would we be able to win?” My instant reply was, “yes” and I bid goodbye to all my friends and returned home. During lunch, I was discussing the game plans with my father. He told me not to worry about last year’s results and play a natural game since I was thinking about last year’s defeat by “team Harman” by just one run. That defeat was really painful and I was dreading another defeat tomorrow. Just then my thoughts were halted as I got a phone call from Rahul. He was talking in a worried tone. I asked him what was wrong. He said that the match was today. Well, that was enough to unsettle even a calm character like me. I was both angry and worried. I thought how could they change the schedule without any prior notice. We started discussing over phone on how to solve this new problem. Finally after a heated debate we decided that we should reach the venue early for practice. The captain gave me the responsibility to inform all the team members about this change in schedule. Though it was a shocker for all of us, everybody agreed to come early and do some practice. Rahul said that he would pick Bunny, Adi and Varun and I decided to go along with Rahul (2) and Akash.

We were tense but tried to cheer each other up while going to the club but, Akash spoilt my mood by saying that it was because of me that our team lost last year. That was enough to make me angry. I said, “Akash, either your memory is bad or your eye sight is, because it was Sourav our captain last year who was smashed for 21 runs in one over and incidentally, I was the one who picked up both the wickets that fell.” After I made my point clear all of us decided to just be silent and we proceeded to the club.
As we reached the club, we absorbed another shock. It was declared that we will be competing with boys above 15 year. This was the last thing we wanted since none of us was even 14. Thus nothing seemed to be going for us. No practice, competing with guys much older than us, and to top it off, we had a demoralized team. Rahul regrouped all of us and told “Boys, lets enjoy the game and not concentrate on winning or losing”. This cheered us up and we had our first and last bit of practice.

Finally, the tournament kick started. Luckily or unluckily we had our fixture with the same team that defeated us last year - “Team Harman”. We decided to keep our team’s name “Avengers” for obvious reasons.

We lost the toss and they elected to bat first. I was bowling the first over. It was a mediocre over and I conceded 10 ten runs. The next two overs were good and the pressure was building on them. I was given the fourth over and Rahul came up and said that if don’t bowl well, he would kick my butt then and there. The fear of getting my butt kicked changed the course of the game, as I picked up 2 wickets in the same over. Everyone congratulated me. That was indeed, the moment that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Their innings ended at the score of 27 all out. This score looked achievable but with the bowling attack the Harman’s team had, this was a tough target. The openers were Rahul and Adi. Rahul was living dangerously by taking wild swipes at good deliveries. His stay in the crease ended quickly as he got out cheaply for just one run. He was our star batsman and we expected him to fire but the reality was that he was out and we were in a spot of bother. We sent Rahul (2) to bat and stabilize the conditions. The next two overs were even more difficult as both were living dangerously at the crease. But, some miracle happened at the end. In the penultimate over, Rahul (2) scored a boundary which released some pressure and brought some cheer to our otherwise gloomy camp. Though the match was still not over, some pressure was building on the opposition.

The final over was bowled by their finest bowler. The first four balls were Yorker length dot balls. Two balls left and eight runs were required. Odds were stacked heavily against us. We were all so tense that we could hardly feel the chill around us. At this juncture my father came up with a pointer. “Since they have taken off the wicket keeper tell Adi to stand out of the crease to counter the Yorker length the bowler is bowling”. I relayed the message and Adi complied by standing 2 feet outside the crease. This action by Adi, unsettled the bowler and a chain of interesting events followed. They conceded seven runs in one ball, three off the bat and four by virtue of an over throw. Our opposition had literally thrown away the match. We were all jumping in our places and the opposition team looked totally shattered. So, we had finally tied the score. From 0 for 1 to 27 for 1. What a way to progress! All of us thought. Just one run away from avenging our defeat of last year. This was the moment when all of us prayed hard and for once our prayers were heard. Adi was on the strike and when the final ball was delivered, he coolly glided the ball for one run to victory. We were overjoyed and ran to congratulate our batting heroes Rahul(2) and Adi. We were dancing in the middle of the field and after the short celebration our captain reminded us that we still had two playoff matches left. We had to concentrate even more because both were quality teams.

The first playoff was with “Supernova”. They are our class 9 seniors in the school. We were confident but still cautious as their team was having very good bowlers. But, we won this contest easily. I was once again the pick of the bowler and Adi was the top scorer.

Our next match i.e. you can say the final match of the Super Six was versus the “Invincibles”. They were the strongest and the oldest team as they were much senior to us; most of them were studying in Class 12. We were bit shaken at the beginning but my father and Bunny’s father encouraged all of us to just play our natural game and this advice brought our spirits back. We won the toss and decided bowl first. They had formidable openers, Sibasis and Saswat. We had decided to bowl loose balls so that they would hit the ball in the air so that we could get them out either caught, or by hitting six. In this game of Super Six, hitting six was equivalent to getting caught. So, anybody who hits a six has to go back to the pavilion.
But, our game plan backfired as we were hammered to all the places available in the ground by their openers. None of the bowlers proved to be successful against them and they reached 85 runs without openers being separated.

So, we had a challenging target of 85 runs in six overs. But, due the kindness of the team “Invincibles”, our target was reduced to 50 runs as we were in class VIII i.e. much younger to them. Here, I would like to clarify that the boys over 15 years of age were supposed to play with adults, but since this team was too good, adult club members put them in junior group. Still 50 was a stiff target for us.

When we went into bat, we decided to change our batting order as per the advice of my father. So, we decided to send Bunny and Rahul as our openers and for a change Bunny took the first strike. Our openers gave us a good start. Bunny was scoring quick runs as he was swinging the cricket bat just like a tennis racquet. On the other end, Rahul also supported him well. Going was good till both the openers lasted. The way they played scared the hell out of “Invincibles”, who thought they would easily overpower us. Even after the wickets of openers fell, rest of us also took the fight to the Invincibles camp. But, our best was not enough and we were all out at 39 runs. Though we were disappointed at losing the match, we were proud that we at least put up a brave fight. For Invincibles, all other matches were a cake walk. The final moment of glory came when Invincible’s captain, Sibasis came up and said “Well played, you are the true winners.”

After the match, all congratulated us and echoed the same words as Sibasis said that we were the true winners of the tournament as we played with a great fighting spirit against all the teams and especially the “Invincibles”. It was one of the greatest compliments received by us. Though we emerged as runners up of the tournament but we felt that we were the true “SUPER SIX” of the tournament.

5-May-2013
 
Views: 8018
Very nice article
Ramesh K
Jun-15-2013
Excellent story my boy. Keep it up and continue to write. I am proud of u.
From
Mummy
smitha r athreya
May-06-2013
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