The 2010 Minnesota Cricket Carnival – Day 1

By Sreekanth Bhaskaran, veteran MN volunteer

The Goliaths are Down: Blame it on the economy. Blame it on reduced consumer spending. Today, the corporate teams had no one to blame but their own lack of preparation. On Day One of Vibha Minnesota Cricket Carnival,  big names fell one by one. 3M, Boston Scientific, Cargill, Medtronic and St. Jude Medical were all casualties on a day when several dark horses raced to the front. 3M blamed the heavy balls and wanted to buy the ones used in the tournament (for next year’s practice? 🙂 Boston Scientific- Arden Hills, last year’s champions passed the test in the first round but fell to a paltry 28 against Adipoli XI in second round. In a repeat performance from last year :-), both the Medtronic teams lost in the first round. Cargill improved their run rate from 1.0 per over last year to more than 6 per over this time (thanks to  a newly constituted team) but they also failed to advance past round one. Enough about the losers.

Which team will it be? :- Tomorrow, there will be a new champion for the Grand Trophy. Will it be the Twisters? Or Desi Dragons? Or Cheers? Or is it Howitzers? I can’t wait to know the result. You should not wait either. Do show up tomorrow at 8:30 am at County C and Victoria St in Roseville for the grand finale.

Stars of the Day
Some new stars were born today. But will they shine tomorrow?  Nallappa Reddy’s heavy hitting and precise bowling  steered Cheers through three matches today.  I would also watch  the pace bowler for Twisters, Mukund.  Some stars can’t shine tomorrow because their teams lost today. Cannon Balls all-rounder Amith and St. Jude middle order batsman, Ramji won some fans despite their team’s losses.

Most Lopsided Match of the Day
Adipoli was adipoli (means  ‘fantastic’ in Mallu slang) in the forenoon but was just ‘poli’ (crushed) in the afternoon when they were all out for 5 runs against Twisters. No runs were scored, all were ‘extras’.  Twisters won the match in 1.2 overs. Ashish Rastogi braved the blistering heat to umpire in what turned out to be one of the shortest matches in cricketing history  🙂  

It really felt like a Grand Tournament for a Grand Trophy
-when the wives, kids, aunts and uncles of team members came as a large group and cheered for Cannon Balls. Like last year, they were so good, so close but were denied of a chance to play in the Finals by a determined Howzitters who restricted them to 53 while chasing 62. The Cannon ball family added fun, drama, color and noise to the carnival. The repeat feature for Cannon Balls from last year was the argumentative and ever-so-angry captain.  What they had going this year – more people to cheer.

The game is catching on
Some local residents stopped by to watch the game, try samosas and hit a few balls. Someone wanted to buy the multi-colored Vibha T-shirts and were disappointed to hear that they were not for sale.

Funny Moment of the Day
When a tired Ashish Rastogi (tired of cleaning empty bottles from stands) announced at the end of the last match:  “Arre Bhaiya, sab log apni apni botal udhaake trash mein  daalo”

What’s new this year?
– Cooler location (with six baseball fields, pavilion with tables, small park for kids and onsite restrooms)
– More trophies to win
– Draws and Results on giant TV
– New corporate sponsors

Why you should come
on Sunday Aug 1 to County Road C and Victoria in Roseville at 8am

Because the weather is going to be really nice
Because the matches are going to be exciting
Because you will have a lot of fun
And in the meantime, you will be helping an underprivileged child have access to education, health and opportunity.

What an adipoli (fantastic) deal!!

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