The butcher, surgeon and the skip!
It’s a funny kind of month, October. For the keen cricketer, it’s when you discover that your wife left you in May – Denis Norden Supernovas and scorchers reached comfortably to semifinals with great performances and fighters fell short to make it directly to semis even after a valiant innings from Mukthi during the last league game against GNCC Avengers. Mukthi’s innings inspired a few of us that hurried back to the dugout after we got out because of bad batting. Well, as you can see in the scorecard, we really didn’t play long enough to play bad. can laugh. We deserve it. After reaching the Marysville cricket ground we hardly saw any grass in the outfield around 8.45 in the morning but there were 2 guys mowing the grass to the ground! It’s like a pool table where you don’t have to worry about the ball hitting the ground and feels like it landed in water and goes nowhere in most of the grounds around Columbus. Hats off MCC team for your leadership in not just securing a ground but also to maintain it fit for the sport we all love. Thank you MCC! Bowling on that track is never easy and no score is enough to set as a target. Rohan’s decision to bat first came as a surprise initially but he was left with no choice with a couple of his players walking in late. I guess we know who paid the after-game party tab for Panthers ?? Gautaman opened the batting with Shai and Malli sharing the new ball. I know it’s been 6 months of cricket and everyone played enough but the way Gautaman started hitting the ball felt like he was batting for 3 hours already. Clean strikes all over the park mixed with some lucky edges that jet off to the third man boundary for fours. 63 of 37 balls with 10 4s and 2 monster 6s; one of which was just a lean in cover drive for a huge six towards the parking lot. It was like witnessing an angry butcher at work; you don’t really want to admire it when you are the goat, but you can’t help it. Well played buddy! Shai was the pick of the bowlers in the entire day with his brilliant out swingers. His stats show 41 for 2 in 4 overs but it’s when he bowled and who he bowled at that makes it the best spell for me personally. GNCC scored 186 runs in 20 overs. From 114 in 10 overs to 186 in 20 felt like we saved ourselves from a complete slaughter. Thanks to good slow bowling from Pavan, Abhish and Joe. Abhish was animated, excited while he was walking back to the dugout and said what we all felt after the end of the first innings. “They are at least 40 runs short”. UCC started the batting with Mani and Joe. Sai and I padded up for 1 and 2 down. First ball long hop from Khushal was dismissed for a six over square leg by Mani and set the tone. 16 to 17 runs every over during the first powerplay with some expert batting by both Joe and Mani. It was a batting paradise, but they executed it to perfection. Jose reached 50 before Mani who was on 38 with strike rate close to 300. Soon after that, Mani reached his first 50 of the season. Joe was picking the bowlers apart as well but was also supporting Mani with some very quick running between the wickets. Nothing really worked for GNCC as Mani and Joe chased 187 in 16.1 with no loss. As the WhatsApp messages in UCC group were flowing down, Mani hit a monster 6 over long off followed by Joe whipping one over deep point boundary for a huge 6. 2 runs needed with Mani on strike on 99. Mani’s batting was precise, surgical and dominant where Joe’s was dismissive yet supportive. They batted like they know we already won, and the rest of us were just watching highlights. It was a treat! 1 run to his first ever century for UCC and 2 runs to reach semifinals. Short ball towards his legs and Mani tapped it towards fine leg for 2! It’s a 100 and a win for UCC! We will meet Stars in Semi Finals. Congratulation Mani and Sultan (earlier this year) on your Centuries!! Well played. Here’s the question, What now? Competition only gets tougher for all three teams. Quality players and tougher opponents. While a few folks asked me to write this article a few others including me thought let’s not be satisfied and jinx the future and more important playoffs coming up. The answer, It doesn’t matter. If the season ends now, 2019 goal for UCC is reached. Build the club by adding players while keeping the club well known for what it stands. Diversity! We love who we are, and we belong here. We were hoping for 2 teams but now we have three! The pressure, it’s on. We are here because we belong. Let’s keep our head high when on the field, and head down while batting. My friends, here’s to a great season so far! Oh, I almost forgot, Denis was of course joking as he is an English comedy writer, but we all know what he meant. If you don’t, well, just talk to your life partner. Also, I’d recommend apologizing to her in advance for the next couple of weeks. Straight up! Praveen Bulusu
Scorecard 10/05/2019
Believe you can and you are half way there – Theodore Roosevelt
I am running out quotes from US presidents and the current one’s quotes aren’t doing me any favors.
UCC’s name was 4s and 6s back in 2004 and 2005. I remember those days and I am sure some of our alumni members do too. Driving to Cleveland at 8 in the morning and back in Columbus for lunch at 1.00pm. You can only imagine how the lunch might have tasted after getting out for 35 and the chase was done in less than 5 overs.
From that stage to what I witnessed on Sunday was quite a transformation. It was inspirational. Emerald park is well known for its low scoring games. However, historically there were high scoring games and some unreal chases too. Sunday could have been one of those. UCC fell short of 15 runs.
Sachinda (112) scored a well-orchestrated hundred. Paced it to perfection and ensured big hitters had the perfect launch pad. With the quality of DCC batting and them batting so deep in the order it was a treat to the audience, barring me and other UCC supporters on the ground.
Harsha batted brilliantly with huge hits all around Emerald fields. Harsha was followed by Sudhakar (27) while Sachinda balanced the pace by hitting a huge 6 over covers the very next ball Harsha got out. DCC never let UCC back in the game. DCC scored 285.
Momentum was completely on DCC’s side and it was time for a break. While the players were walking back into the dugout all I heard was “We will chase this target down”. Jose and Mani, arguably the best opening pair in this year’s T35 so far, believed and so did the rest of the team.
Right after the break, Mani and Jose walked into bat. It didn’t take too long for Mani to open up. A beautiful flick over square leg for a six, followed by one over long on and another boundary over cow corner. It was like witnessing marksmanship at its best.
Jose on the other hand started a little slow but caught up and reached his 50 before Mani. Pick of the shots Jose played was the cross batted whip sailing over the extra covers boundary. Unfortunately, Jose got out with Abhish walking in at 3. Mani in the meantime reached his 50 and continued his sublime form by hitting sixes at will. Picked his spots and executed to perfection. Mani got out after scoring 81 of just 61 balls. Suman took a sharp catch just off of the ground to his right.
In walked Sandeep. With brute power he looked well on his way to match Harsha’s brilliant 61 off 28. Sandeep scored 39 of 19 balls with 4 monster sixes out of which one ended up in the parking lot.
At one stage it looked like UCC may win it with an over to spare.
Every game has a man of the match and also a man that made the difference. Sachinda, with a century that well calculated and paced deserves to be the man of the match however, Phani made the difference in the game. Quick, nippy cutters made him untouchable. Phani looked to be bowling on a different track than the rest of the bowlers in both teams. He took the game away from UCC. Not the 285 runs or not the blitzkrieg from Sachinda or Harsha. It was Phani.
More than 30 6s 20 4s; a brilliant 100, a courageous 81 and 3 other super quick half centuries. Strike rate ranging from 100 to 300 for more than half the batsman that batted. In a high scoring game like that, when one guy bowls a dream spell of 3 for 3/30 in 7, it matters. Especially when more than half of those runs came off of extras.
Well bowled buddy. Congratulations.
DCC won by 15 runs but for the crowd that witnessed the game that day, cricket was the winner. We don’t often get to see 550+ runs scored in 70 overs. It was a great game and showed why the new premier league format is important for MCT’s future.
There are more matches like these to come especially when the teams are matched up and when they believe.
Straight up!
Praveen Bulusu
DCC Stars vs UCC Scorecard 08/15/2017
A Super Saturday for UCC with yet another MCT win over the loaded DCC stars

United Cricket Club registered 2 more points with a hard fought and an all-round team performance over the “Star” studded DCC stars.   A beautiful day with the weather in high 70s and as good as a ground you can get in MCT, the stage was set for yet another thrilling battle between the two teams.   The on-field rivalry between UCC and DCC is well known and both the teams very prepared to win at all costs.   

Abhish Samant, the captain of UCC won the toss and decided to bat. UCC’s in-form opening pair of Manideep and Joseph took the center stage.   DCC had a new face in their bowling attack – a young and quick fast bowler Phani started the opening spell with Suman’s medium pace outswingers.   The intent from both the teams was visible from the get go.   DCC was trying everything to get a breakthrough and the UCC openers were focused and determined to dent the bowling attack.    Runs started flowing with relative ease as both Mani and Joseph played smart and sensible cricket.   DCC realizing a need for a breakthrough, brought in Sai Ramesh and his off spin.   Joseph was set by then and in his true attacking style, clobbered Sai Ramesh for a huge six over long off.   UCC picked up the run-rate to about 4.5 at the end of 8 overs.    DCC’s hope of getting a wicket with Phani as their catalyst didn’t work.   He bowled a few quick ones but was little wayward with both the batsmen frustrating him.   Another bowling change and DCC was hoping that the spin attack would do the trick.   Mani and Joseph had different intentions though.   This time Mani joined in the party and hit a six over long-on and four over deep square leg in the same over.   DCC’s body language at that point told the story – they were on the back foot in the first session and instead of attack, the mindset was to stop the leaking.     End of session 1 – UCC:  12 overs 65 for no loss.     

UCC were looking at a score of 250 at the end of session 1.  The dug out pumped and the stage was set for another big session.    Joseph and Mani were set for a big score.    Joseph hit an effortless six over covers to Sri – probably the best shot in his innings.   Mani continued to build his innings with effortless singles and odd boundaries in between.  Joseph’s timing was easy on eyes, while Mani was scripting yet another beautifully stitched together 50.   UCC crossed 100 in 18th over and Mani crossed his 2nd consecutive 50 and a 3rd straight 30+ score.    Soon after, Joseph joined the party for what was long time coming and surprisingly his first MCT score of 50+ with UCC – a much deserved milestone!  DCC trying hard for a breakthrough brought in Sudhakar and Phani; hoping to get a wicket.    In what appeared to be a lax on concentration, Mani was beaten by a Yorker from Phani and bowled on 59.    With only 15 over remaining and the batting line up as deep as an abyss, UCC was set for a score of 250+.   Abhish sent in Sandeep – a new capped player for UCC.   Sandeep came in with a reputation of a power hitter and UCC were hoping to see a few big ones.    Joseph and Sandeep continued the partnership with Joseph trying to accelerate.   Sandeep was trying at the other hand but DCC used their bowlers wisely against the new batter.    Joseph tried to take the matter in his own hands and fell for a very well made 57.   Sandesh joined Sandeep in the middle and both started taking singles.    Sandeep got out to Chaitanya’s spin in trying to accelerate.    UCC were 146 for 3 in 24 overs.   Another session won by UCC but DCC were clinching back with 2 wickets in quick succession. 

TJ joined Sandesh in the last session and UCC were well on their way for a total of 250 plus.   Sandesh got out quickly after the break to a very well taken catch by Sai Ramesh off of Nitin’s bowling.   The captain and VC were now on the pitch.   The score started to accelerate as TJ hit a couple of mighty sixes and Abhish was sensibly supporting him.    Abhish fell victim to Phani’s cutter trying to hit yet another boundary in the over that had already seen 13 runs for UCC.   Vinay joined the party and hit a 4 and a huge 6 over long on.    The dug out was celebrating, albeit minus the cheerleaders.     Bulusu and his pom poms were missing.   TJ fell for a delivery that could have been hit anywhere for more than 80 meters – ala Bulusu style.    Last 5 overs, UCC struggled to accelerate with wickets falling in regular intervals.     

UCC ended up with a well-made 230, thanks to the wonderful opening partnership.   Probably 20 runs short, DCC must have been not so unhappy in the break, especially with the batting line up and the new additions to their roster this year. 


UCC started the bowling with Waqas’ inswingers and Sandesh bowling accurate outswingers on the other end.    In the 3rd over Sai Ramesh trying to flick the ball offered up an easy catch to his namesake (Shai).   Shai must have had some sun screen left on his palms and couldn’t hang on to a straight forward catch.   UCC continued the attack with tight bowling and constant chatter.   2 balls later – DÉJÀ VU.   Sai Ramesh offered him Shai a chance at redemption.  Shai not wanting to hold on to this one too, although the ball had other intentions and it remained stuck in Shai’s hands after a couple of juggles.   A much needed early breakthrough for UCC.     As the chatter began to intensify, DCC were feeling the pressure.    The very next over Sandesh bowled and an excellent inswinger to the left handed Vignesh and got him trapped LBW to the very first ball.   DCC were in big trouble with both their imports from Florida back in the dug out.    In walked Harsha, the captain of DCC.   It’s almost as if he was caught napping to yet another inswinging delivery, this time a full toss.   GONE – LBW straight on the pads.   Sandesh was on a hat-trick and UCC’s chatter could be heard from long on and long off.    End of session 1 – DCC were 12 overs for 50 runs at the loss of 3 wickets.    


UCC wasn’t complacent as they were aware of DCC’s prowess with batting, especially on this ground.   DCC steadied the ship with Suman and Chaitanya.   Suman with his unorthodox yet very effective batting, was quickly on to 30 runs.    Shai was brought in the attack along with TJ.   Shai bowled 3 dot deliveries and Waqas at point was constantly challenging Suman to connect the ball.   Well Suman did just that, but straight to Abhish at mid-on who took a good catch in the end to the ball that was dying on him.     4 down – could DCC do it??   Sudha joined Chaitanya and showed his intent right away.  He hit a couple of sixes and 4, scoring briskly – thanks to a couple of missed opportunities at long on and deep square leg.    UCC needed a wicket badly at this point since the partnership was looking ominous.   Abhish decided to have a go.   He bowled a few tight overs and put the pressure back on DCC.  Chaitanya trying to accelerate hit a lofted cover drive, only to find Bhavik at deep cover who took the catch of that match, diving forward.     A much need breakthrough for UCC.    Just as Sudhakar was looking dangers, TJ bowled him with a fuller delivery and DCC were 6 down.    DCC had scored 80 runs in the second session but had last 3 more wickets.    


With 100 needed in last 11, the match was still balanced.    Sri and AJ were on the pitch.  Sri hit a huge 6 off of Fahad and started to accelerate.   AJ hit a beautiful cover drive for 4 to Waqas.   As the required run-rate hit 11, DCC needed to accelerate.    AJ lofted Waqas trying to hit a 4 over covers, only to be caught by Bhavik who ran a few yards for another well-judged catch.   DCC was losing the plot here but the RRR was still below 10.    Sri was playing well in the middle.    Fast bowlers were getting hit and UCC needed medium pace / spin attack.   Waqas did the trick again with his medium pace and Sri was caught by Rana at deep point trying to accelerate.     With 4 overs and 41 needed, TJ and Shai made sure there was no last minute change in the plot.    A run out by Jose/Mani and a bowled by Shai made sure UCC won comfortably in the end by 32 runs. 

In the end, an exciting day of cricket with both the teams battling it out.   UCC had another great team effort where everyone contributed to the victory.    What is even more encouraging is that the middle order and the power hitters haven’t exactly clicked for UCC and they are still managing to win some hard fought battles.   

With this win, UCC is one step closer to Premiere league!

Man of the match – Joseph and Manideep for their 50s and opening partnership. 

Worthy mentions: Bhavik's two well judged catches, TJ's slower balls, Abhish's field placing, Waqas for his sledging and 7 overs. 

Special Mention – Ranadeep for being the 12th man and his super outfielding.




DCC Stars vs UCC Scorecard 07/09/2017
UCC scripts another low scoring comeback, UCC Vs OSU at TP Tennis (06/24/2017)

The new MCT format of grouping evenly matched teams for more competitive cricket had lot of cricketers excited in Midwest. So far the format has delivered on its promise. And the game between UCC and OSU on a sunny Saturday was no different.

OSU coming into this game with 2 out 3 wins was trying to seal their spot in the Premier League, whereas UCC had a virtual must-win situation. The game had all the ingredients of a nail biter.  

OSU won the toss and elected to field. Vinay and Joseph opened the innings for UCC, with the hope that Vinay can belt a few and give the home team a strong start. Unfortunately, Vinay's stay on the crease was shorter than his wait for the restroom on his flight back home. Mani walked on to the park and started stabilizing the innings along with Joseph. OSU kept bowling with immaculate line and length and was waiting for UCC batters to make a mistake.   Joseph had done all the hard work of getting his eye in and was looking to take on the bowlers until a lapse in concentration. His dismissal was a familiar sight to him and the UCC folks - trying to chase a wide ball and edging it out. On the other end Mani was continuing from where he left the previous game - playing positive and sensible cricket. What happened next was a debacle that UCC isn't stranger to.   Abhish, Bhavik, Ranadeep and Subodh fell in a quick succession (Or as Sidhu would say it - like a cycle stand at a B grade movie theater in TJ's town of Kapurthala).   UCC's made a very sorry plight - 12 overs 50 odd runs and 6 of the batters were back in the tent.   

Mani kept doing what he has done best in MCT so far. He was looking solid on the other hand and was joined in by TJ. Both of them played some very sensible and positive cricket and maintained a very healthy run rate. TJ hit a huge 6 onto the tennis court and the partnership was looking ominous for OSU.   UCC were 110 for 6 at the second break (24 overs).   

As the runs started to flow, it was looking as if UCC was on their of way to 175 to 185 (a score no one would have imagined after the first break).    While all this was happening, Mani was on his way to his first 50 of the tournament in a very nonchalant manner. And then from a score of 132 for 6 to 138 for 8.   Waqas, Asad and Shai stitched a couple of partnerships and with the help of Waqas' cameo of 28, aided by OSU's poor catching, UCC managed to score 166.   OSU's fielding should be blamed as well for letting UCC run away with what made a very competitive total.  

Now if you have been following UCC cricket for a while, we have been known to pull a hoodoo.   Was this going to be one of those games?? UCC bowling started well with Waqas' tricky inswingers and Subodh's pace and some off-cutters.   Although, OSU's opener were aggressive and positive in their approach.  Kalyan was particularly punitive on the offside, while Fahad Rafi on the other end was playing sensible and playing the anchor role.   UCC needed a wicket badly and Waqas with his swing provided just that.   Kalyan was trapped in front of the middle stump and UCC had their breakthrough.   In walked Moinak and he increased the tempo even more.   Even couple of bowling changes by Abhish didn't work and OSU had raced away for 68 for 1 in 12 overs. Some of the UCC folks were dropping their shoulders as the the task ahead for OSU seemed pretty straightforward.   UCC players needed some pep talk in the huddle to pump them up. Everyone was wondering why SHai wasn't in the attack so far. I guess the skipper was waiting to see some battle scars before he unleashed his warrior. Shai disturbed the furniture and Moinak was beaten by sheer pace to lose his leg stump. A much needed breakthrough for UCC.   The game was still in OSU's favor - they were cruising at 75 - 80 runs for 2 wickets with an average of 5 RPO. Shai continued to bowl with some venom and was joined by TJ on the other end.  Both bowled some good pace and tight overs. Fahad Rafi who was steady on the other end was bowled as well by Shai and now UCC started believe even more. With Asad and other middle order batsmen struggling to keep up the run rate, UCC put OSU in a chokehold. With some good catching and tight bowling, UCC allowed only 30 runs in second session and took 5 wickets.    

OSU seemed to have capitulated. Needing 67 in last session OSU didn't have the wherewithal to face UCC's tight bowling and keep up the run rate. In the end they were all out for 148 and UCC won the game comfortably.  

Another great display of gumption and fightback from UCC players. UCC will have to bat a lot more consistently and build some partnerships if they have ambitions of going far in MCT.   Another game where bowlers did the trick for UCC.  

Worthy mentions :   Mani for his 57, TJ for his 20 and 2 wickets, Shai for 3 wickets and Waqas for his 28 run cameo and 2 wickets.

Man of the match:  Manideep for his well made 57

Sportsmanship – CCC Strickers Vs. UCC 6/3/2017

Sportsmanship, I think, is the best way to sum up this game. Lifting a team from its knees to give it a fair chance, shedding the light of brilliance in the field by taking a blinder and bowling with an attitude of anything you can do, I can do better; to fight the darkness of a loss, putting the game before everything else, playing for the team because the team needs you even though you are injured.

Amit Jain was injured, TJ was sick, Bhavik is recovering from a knee surgery yet they showed up. They fought hard. It’s what you’d do for your team in any sport that you love.

Sportsmanship is often thought out as a fair and generous behavior on the field. While that is true, sportsmanship also means the skill of a player and what a player is willing to do just to play the game.

One of the best days yet to play cricket this year provided an awesome stage for a good contest between CCC Strikers and UCC. Sunny, pleasant and an absolutely gorgeous day to play cricket.

UCC won the toss and elected to bat first. The drama started with Jose getting runout without facing a ball. Mani and Sandesh tried to get UCC back on track but the change of format from T20 to 35 overs version hasn’t helped. Slow run rate lead to risky shots, bad judgement of runs and as a result, a collapse. Abhish was fighting alone until TJ joined him. TJ was a little sick but had to play since there was no replacement.

38 for 5, 62 for 6 and 87 for 7. Madhav (3/9) and all CCC bowlers bowled a tight line and made it very difficult to score with good fielding and some direct hits. Madhav was the pick of the bowlers for CCC. Gentle swinging deliveries from him put UCC batsmen on check and he was spot on with his line and length.

A few of us sitting in the dugout, waiting for lunch just so we have something to do, started talking about how this has happened before and how some of us started planning a 9-hole golf round. We started to hope for 120 target to make at least a game out of it.

Crack! A huge six over long on from a guy that is sick. It was so big, it was sick! A few of them followed right after from TJs willow and within no time, we wanted to know what the score was. Can we make it to 120? Oh wait…we can even make it 130. It was a barrage of sixes and fours and the chatter went down but the whistles and screams went up in volume.

TJ (54 from 44 balls) was absolutely brilliant! 6 sixes and a 4 in partnership with Abhish (26). UCC finished at 148 for 9 in 35 overs. It was a relief. Sportsmanship was at display while the ball travelled all over the park.

During the break UCC was getting ready for what may be a very familiar site for those who pay against CCC. We know they have big names. They are a good team. A team that all of us would love to beat because it’s tough to beat them. Definitely one of the most disciplined and talented teams in the Midwest region and of course everyone wants to beat them because they are the 2016 Champions!

CCC started their innings. Gowtham got out early and Vishal joined Deepak. Both of them looked like they will take the game away from UCC but Mani’s presence of mind helps get Deepak stump out off of TJ’s bowling. TJ just couldn’t do anything wrong on that Saturday. CCC batted deep with the likes of Bharat and Amit walking in at 5 and 6 down followed by the ever energetic Sunny bhai.

It was a tough ask especially when you see the back of one good batsman and a better one comes along. While Vishal was building an awesome innings in chasing the target, Shai bowled a peach of a delivery at Bharat..took a faint nick and Mani caught it. Umpire didn’t hear a thing!! As we appealed hard Bharat turned away and walked without waiting for the umpire’s decision. Sportsmanship. That was an awesome gesture from one of the veterans in MCT. Well done buddy!

Amit Jain walked in after Bharat with UCC still hoping to make a game out of it. Still recovering from his web split from our last game against strikers, Amit still looked in good touch with a beautiful flick over backward square leg for a six. Then the moment that changed the game. Vishal after a well-deserved half century that had a gorgeous six earlier over extra cover tried to hit one out of the ground and mistimed it. Jose took off with his eyes never leaving the ball ran for about 20 yards and caught a blinder!! Sportsmanship!

Shai (3/9) was amidst a brilliant spell again along with Fahad (3/34) and brought UCC back into the game. CCC needed 13 runs of 18 balls. Dheeresh tried to pull a short ball out of the park took an edge and Bhavik takes an easy catch. 5 runs needed from 8 balls with one wicket to go. With Amit still there, major threat still existed for UCC. 
Another short ball from Shai on to Amit Jain’s ribcage bottom edged it, flew to square leg area and Bhavik took a good catch diving down to his left.

We won!! It was the best of the games for some and worst of the games for some.

Straight up!
Praveen Bulusu

Facebook Posts 06/06/2017
Let it go, let it go, Can't hold it back anymore – Frozen
April 25th, 2017

I thought a lot about how the game on Saturday can be described the best. This song kept playing in my mind and I don’t blame me. It was not funny, not pleasant and definitely not a day to play cricket. In fact, the best part of the day was when we got back in car after beating CCC Strikers; turned the heat up and drove away to Yogis.
CCC won the toss and to my pleasant surprise elected to bowl first. Not sure if the whole team felt that way but I certainly did, holding on to the hot coffee in my hand, sitting on a heated car seat hoping I don’t have to bat.
Jose and Bunny walked into bat with the wind blowing from North helping the batsmen’s end. Both of them picked up where they left off from the previous game and looked in awesome touch. Bunny’s six over long on and Jose’s stylish flick over the backward square leg area were a treat to watch. They scored at a brisk pace and made it look very easy before Bunny got out to a good delivery from Senthil.
Mani got out soon after and Abhish joined Joseph in the middle. Joseph scored freely while Abhish settled in eyeing a big one. Just as things were looking dangerous for CCC, Senthil bowled a beautiful in-swinging delivery catching Jose right in the front. I put my hot coffee in the cup holder, walked in to bat and came back and enjoyed the rest of my coffee before it got cold. Don’t judge me, you weren’t there!
Sandesh followed me back to the dug out after getting out to a cleanly struck ball but was in 2 minds and didn’t finish the follow through. He was caught on Long on.
So as the song “let it go, can’t hold it back” still plays in my mind, Abhish played a full blooded shot straight to the man at short covers. Amit Jain tried to catch it while I was thinking, let it goooooooooo. Soon after, he rushed to the ER because of a web split. I have known the man for almost 10 years now; he went through a lot of injuries, almost comical yet inspiring, just to play the game he loves. It’s amazing how passion for sports makes people want to come back. Kudos Jain saab!
Very soon, it looked like the very well known CCC come back was inevitable. TJ, on the other hand, had a different idea. He joined Abhish in the middle nudged around for a couple of singles. Scoring rate drastically dropped for the next few over’s from 50 for 1 in 5 overs to around 72 for 4 in 12. Bunny walked up to the dug out form his car and looked at the scorecard and said, *$%$%#$% TJ scored just 3 from 9 balls and that’s when we heard the willow crack. A huge six over long on from TJ and Bunny goes, ok that’s better. It got better and better after that. Before Bunny could run back in to his car, TJ bludgeoned a few more out of the park. Probably what all fielders were wishing at the time, if you hit it, let it go...hit it far. Abhish hammered a couple of his trademark shots for huge 6s over the cow corner.
TJ got out after a brilliant 60 from 34 as Vinay walked in with just 2 balls left in the innings. Abhish and Vinay finished the innings off. UCC scored 168 in 20 overs. Abhish finished at run a ball 32 not out.
It was time for us to field. It was still cold. “Let it go if the ball is coming fast and straight at you and at an uncomfortable height” were the words from our skipper during the pre-innings team huddle. No wonder we like him!
Skip picked a combination of a lefty and righty swinging out in Waqas and Shani. It was pretty tough for the right hander’s to handle. Senthil tried to get the scorecard moving quickly and hit Waqas over long on area only to find Bunny waiting for it. Waqas was unplayable. With the medium paced left arm in swingers to the right hand batters and the ball dipping earlier than expected due to the oncoming wind. Shani (1/12) gave Waqas (3/9) good support by bowling tight and not letting anything get away from UCC.
Fielding was impressive!! Even with the cold wind blowing in our faces the team was pumped up to restrict CCC to as little as possible.
Lokesh and Sunny Patel put up a fight but it was too late for CCC with slow run rate. Lokesh got out to a brilliant and super quick stumping from Mani. CCC batters had an off day in the middle and the always in form Amit Jain had to sit in the dug out with the six stitches to his hand. That didn’t help CCC. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him in a couple of weeks at Tuttle Park for our next encounter. I am sure that will be an exciting duel.
Manas (2/11) finished off things for UCC. The game was done in 19.1 overs. TJ was the man of the match.
It was not a cricket friendly weather. However, both teams were excited and played with passion. It was great to see that! Well done both teams and to all cricket teams that played on Saturday. It wasn’t easy. Although there were a few light moments when a couple of players couldn’t hold it back anymore and took off to the rest room in the North east corner as soon as the over was done. Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore……
Straight up!
Praveen Bulusu
Facebook Posts 04/25/2017
The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back.

Weather: - Perfect day for cricket.

Pitch Condition: - Good and decent bounce.

Toss: - CCC white won the toss and opted to bat.

The stage was set. Two teams trying to make a point in this league, CCC white to register their first win ever and UCC trying to do justice to the talent it has.

CCC white batted brilliantly with a lot of temperament and good stroke play. With 3 to 4 good partnerships CCC white kept the scoreboard ticking and also played some big shots. They ended up making 181 in 35 overs which is a daunting task for any team to chase in Emerald fields.

After the lunch break, UCC start couldn’t have been worse. With the score at 4 in the second over, Ravi Kiran played a well-timed shot on the off and it looked like the ball was going to go above the fielder’s head in to the boundary line but Sri running backwards with his eye on the ball timed his jump to perfection and took a one handed blinder of a catch. Another example of the CCC white’s improvement and their commitment in the field to win the game.  Soon after that it was like Navjot Siddhu’s infamous “cycle stand example in the Patiala movie theater”.  One falls and the rest follow. UCC was 39 for 6 in 11 overs. Bhavik and Chandru were in the middle after the first break was done.

CCC white were spitting close to their first win ever and a huge one at that. Chandru and Bhavik went back after the break with determination while the rest in the dugout were busy, some planning for a quick 9 hole at the near by Dublin Golf course and the others praying.

The wind across the ground was the only pleasant part at the time for UCC. The tunnel was pretty dark before the 13th over was bowled and then there was a light. First ball after the break there was this sweet noise of the willow hitting the cricket ball hard when Chandru hit a 4 over long on with impeccable timing.  Although still a daunting task, that shot got the players attention back to the cricket field. Chandru put the next ball sailing over the long off boundary and then things changed. Bhavik at the other end was slow initially but started rotating the strike and Chandru hitting those big blows. A 59 run partnership without a loss was exactly what the doctor ordered and what Chandru and Bhavik delivered in the next 12 overs. UCC needed 84 runs of the last 11.

In the meantime, Zulfi turned to his Skipper and said, “aur thode se run banne do…..main match  khatam kardoonga". Don’t know how many he meant by "thode Se" but here is what happened.

Right after the second drinks break, Bhavik pulled a short ball straight into the dugout for a six and UCC was right back in the game, with a couple of big hitters still to come. CCC white were fighting hard during this time although there were a couple of drop catches that would easily have been the knockout punches for UCC. With UCC needing 7.5 runs an over Chandru got out falling just 4 runs short of a well-deserved half century. Zulfi walked in when Bhavik was on 46 when UCC still needed 65 runs off 46 deliveries. Bhavik played two back to back cut shots over the backward point area for 8 runs and a very well deserved half century and brought UCC closer to Victory. Suddenly, UCC needed just 22 of 21 deliveries.

In the 33rd over, with run a ball needed, Bhavik took a single and gave the strike to Zulfi. UCC still needs 15 runs. 2 dot balls and then 6, 6, 6. UCC won! Zulfi scored 31 of 13 balls and won the game along with Bhavik with 2 overs remaining. Bhavik was rightly awarded the man of the match for carrying his bat. 

A perfect example of “It’s never too late, in cricket”.

“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back”.

CCC white played amazing cricket and I am sure they will surprise quite a few in this group. Watch out teams! They can ruin your party!

Straight up!

Praveen Bulusu

Play Cricket in Columbus Ohio - New Members Welcome!!!

UCC (United Cricket Club) founded in 2003, is one of the premier cricket team in Central Ohio (Columbus).UCC has been successfully conducting 20/20 tournament with participation from 24 teams for last 2 years,starting in the month of April. UCC team conducts its practice in Rhodes Park (West of Columbus downtown at West Broad Street)

United Cricket Club is one of the oldest Cricket club in Central Ohio, started by cricket enthusiasts. UCC is a professional, fair, impartial, unprejudiced and unbiased Cricket club and the fastest growing Cricket club in  Greater Columbus area. UCC is dedicated to the promotion of the sport of cricket among the local communities. The club membership is open to anyone with an interest in the game of cricket.

Proceeds from the UCC T20 Cup tournament goes towards paying for tournament awards, upkeep of ground  facilities and promotion of the Game of cricket in Central Ohio.

UCC T20 Cup is a twenty over format cricket tournament game organized by UCC by inviting best teams in and around the mid-west region. The tournament has approximately 70 games and spans 2-3 month. Games are played on weekend’ (weather permitting) in over 10 cricket grounds located in Columbus, Dayton,    Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Indiana and Kentucky. The first stage of the tournament is a round robin where each team plays against every other team within their group.

UCC Hard Tennis ball tournament – Fall 2012
Date: September 22, 2012
Time: 8.30AM - 9PM
Venue: Anheuser Busch Sports Park
4990 Olentangy River Road Columbus, Ohio

1. One Day, 7 a side, 7 over per inning tournament
2. No Sudden knock out, minimum 3 games including forfeit.
3. Minimum Cash prize of $300 and $150 per winner and runner up resp.
4. Registration fee of $80 per team
5. Trophy for winner and runner up
6. Full refund in case tournament is cancelled.
7. Limited number of teams on first come first serve basis.
8. Registration deadline September 15, 2012

Contact Information:
Uday Nama

Bhavin Desai

Krishna Chaitanya Addala

Ravi Kiran
“You can sum up this sport in three words, You Never Know” – Lou Duva

Weather - It was colder than a room full of ex-wives.

Pitch Condition – No bounce, not even if a cheer leader is jumping up and down.

Toss – CCC Blue won the toss and elected to field.

While the Pre-game huddle speech from the skip is fresh in memory, 6 batsmen were back in the dugout. At 15 for 6, 5 of the 6 batsmen that got out were still cold and were hiding in their cars while Chandru was steaming with anger as he was adjudged LBW. The only justification for a raised finger from the umpire is that perhaps he was trying to stretch it because of the cold but it just happened at the wrong time.

CCC bowlers were on a roll. They couldn’t do anything wrong. UCC gave away 5 wickets to Madhu.

Meanwhile audience started leaving the field. It’s no lie, there was one cricket enthusiast who wanted to see how UCC was doing and wanted to come out to watch a game of cricket and left in less than 5 minutes after he checked the score when UCC was 15/6.

Back at the pitch, Skip and Vice played sensibly and put a partnership together with a little bit of luck and a lot of patience. Skip got out in the 13th over with the score at 64 for 18 runs. Mayur joined Bhavin and brought the score to 120 with some miss shots, big shots and quick singles.

Lou Duva was of course talking about boxing but this is true for any sport. Cricket is no different. This is a perfect example.

From 16/5 to 120/8 gave a fresh hope and confidence to the team. CCC found the key to success but UCC gave everything and changed the lock.  Here’s what happened.

A barrage of quick, nippy short pitched deliveries from Subodh started off UCC with a wicket in first over but Pawan and Ravi Darbha put up a very good partnership and made sure CCC is sitting pretty. Spinners were introduced by UCC and wickets fell at regular intervals with Mayur doing the trick every time the ball was handed over to him.

Subodh, Mayur, Manas and Praveen finished off the last few over’s for UCC and made sure CCC didn’t reach the target and won by three runs.

Overall it was a great game of cricket on a cold day. With lots of passion, love towards the game, I will sign off.

Straight Up!

Praveen Bulusu

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