MSUCC Matches/Events:

UGA Tour Report: Comprehensive Once again!

Organized by UGA Cricket Club

Date: May 14, 2005
Venue:Intramural Grounds, Athens, GA

By Vikram Venkatesh

We always wondered about what it was like to be a Georgia Bulldog. We always wondered how different it would be to be a bulldog and NOT be loyal to Mississippi State. We always wondered who is the top dog in this region, is it the Cricket Dawgs of MSU, or the Dogs of UGA?

The MSU Cricket Club is currently in a state of transition. In the 3 years that this club has existed, it has never seen a transition such as this. We have had changes in the team regularly, but our current phase leaves us with almost none of the senior players in the team. While we are happy that they are all progressing in life with jobs and higher studies, this challenges the bench, which we always thought was a strong one.

To further our quest for regional domination in cricket, we traveled to the beautiful town of Athens, GA to take on the UGA cricket team in a 2-match series over the weekend of May 14, 15. We had so many questions that needed answers, but most importantly we needed to see how our young guns would perform in real-match situations. This was also a debut series for Arun Paripudi, who has shown time and again in practice sessions that he has enough skills to be a prominent figure in the team for years to come.

So we set off on a journey, a journey to rediscover ourselves and recognize where we stand after all the transition. At the end of the journey, we are glad we came up trumps in all respects, after once again completely dominating the 'dog-fight'. We showed that in spite of all the transitions, we still are and will continue to be the best in the region, be it in tape-tennis cricket or season-ball cricket.

The match itself was a one-sider, but a challenging one at that. We had never played UGA before and so were not aware of their strengths and weaknesses. In some respects, we were foraying into unknown territory. But cricket is cricket wherever it is played or with whoever. The basics of the game never change.

UGA won the coin-toss and elected to field first, putting to test our famed batting line-up. Dipesh Patel and Dakshesh Shah opened our innings and got us off to a flyer. We were cruising along at about 10 runs an over when a dubious leg-before decision brought an end to Dakshesh's innings. This brought Gaurav Marwah in to bat and he showed why he is still a force to reckon with. In his company, Dipesh raced to a well-deserved 50 and Gaurav too was building a good innings. UGA's captain Sampath was bowling a trying line and length which was frustrating the batsmen. He got rid of both Dipesh and Gaurav, both bowled by good deliveries. This brought the debutant Arun to the wicket and he settled down very well, in spite of wickets falling at the other end. Satya Ananthaswamy and Harpreet Singh were once again victims of questionable leg-before calls. MSU's captain, in an effort to up the tempo was bowled by the great delivery by Reddy. Vish Sankaran, the other leftie on the team, tried the same, but was out for a naught.

This brought Vikram Venkatesh onto the wicket and he, in the company of Arun put up a vital partnership that stabilized the innings. At one stage we were looking to be all out for around 140, but Vikram and Arun made sure we get as close to the magical 200 as possible. Arun was out trying to go for the big one for as well-made 19 and Vikram got out after a decent 20. A final slog by Suraj Somnath was the icing on the cake and Kotesh Padamati made sure we were not all out. This set up a challenging score of 197 in 30 overs for UGA to win the game.

MSU's bowlers are considered the best at what they do. They bowl a great line and length and test the batsmen. Only a very skilled batsman who has the patience to wait for the rare loose delivery, will be able to play them. Which is why MSU's bowlers are the most feared lot in the region. They did not let down their guard in this game too. They started off well and completely dominated the UGA batsmen.

Dipesh and Kotesh started the bowling attack and never let the batsmen make more than a single. This meant that the UGA batsmen had to go for risky shots and it did not pay off. They were mostly out to some great deliveries that should've been left alone. They meddled with these deliveries and this brought an end to their innings. None of the batsmen looked comfortable playing the testing lines and lengths. At one stage the UGA team was 6 wickets down for a mere 29 runs. The MSU captain Krish then went into experiment mode to test all his bowlers. As many as 8 bowlers bowled for MSU in this game with mostly equal success. Dipesh was his usual accurate self. Kotesh was the most economical of bowlers, bowling his overs and giving just 5 runs and taking a wicket. First change bowlers Suraj and Dakshesh too did not let down on the barrage of great deliveries and both came away with almost identical bowling figures. Dakshesh bowled 3 overs, gave away 8 runs and took 2 wickets. Suraj bowled 3 overs, gave 7 runs and took 2 wickets.

Gaurav took most of the wickets. He has always been a very wily bowler with his elusive spins and fast deliveries mixed-in. he almost came away with a hat-trick too! He ended up taking 3 wickets off 4.3 overs. Satya justified why he is a good all-rounder and bowled well in spite of some slog hitting by the UGA batsmen. Arun and Vish too bowled very well in their first games.

Vikram did a good job behind the stumps and did not allow but one delivery to race to the boundary behind the wicket. He took all the catches that came by him and also executed a smart stumping. He has settled down into the slot of the wick-keeper well and is performing quite consistently.

UGA was all out for 76 runs, giving MSU a victory by a margin of 120 runs. This is a victory which will be cherished by all who witnessed the game. In hindsight, the opposition was probably not the best we have faced, but victories such as this give us assurance that we are on the right track for regional domination. We know we can be the best on any given day, against any level of opposition.

So, who is the better of the Dogs? Very clearly, it is the Cricket Dawgs of MSU. Go Dawgs!!!

The MSU Cricket team consisted of the following players:

  1. Dipesh Patel
  2. Dakshesh Shah
  3. Gaurav Marwah
  4. Arun Paripudi
  5. Krish Chandra (C)
  6. Satya Ananthaswamy
  7. Harpreet Singh
  8. Vish Sankaran
  9. Vikram Venkatesh (WK)
  10. Suraj Somnath
  11. Kotesh Padamati