[quote_simple]Glads vs Pokiris – 2014 DCL Finals!!![/quote_simple]
It is Championship Season!!! Championship Saturday dawns with a match most anticipated. No Team in DCL has anticipated this match more than Team Gladiators who had to wait one full year for a chance to make their dream come true. After last year’s heartbreaking loss to Falcons, Team Gladiators and their skipper has been doing everything for one whole year with only one goal in mind – Championship or Nothing!!! A quest to find a way to win the DCL Championship has consumed the Glads Skipper and his mates and to say that they are pumped up for the DCL Finals would be an understatement. T Ball’s biggest obstacle – The pressure to perform in the DCL Finals stand in their way while a resilient Pokiris team look to find a way to stop the dream of the Glads Skipper and his mates. A mouthwatering matchup awaits DCL Fans as Glads and Pokiris battle each other at DSP in the DCL Finals!!!
The 2014 Pokiris team has won three games in the Playoffs chasing a target and no matter how big the target, they have made the target look easy. They blazed past GLCC’s target of 105 and then made Indus’ target of 99 look like child’s play and then stunned the DCL World by thumping the Knockers with relative ease and impunity. Next up team Gladiators!!! The Glads on the other hand after opening the season with a 2-3 record have been on an absolute tear once they got their full team back as they have won the next 10 games with astounding margins as all 10 games have been won with bonus and then some. Many times Glads have won with bonus, double, triple and quadruple bonus if there was anything that was quantifiable as double, triple or quadruple bonus. Both teams are coming off very impressive semifinal victories and both teams are high on confidence. Pokiris have caught the imaginations of many in the DCL world with the way the poise they have shown in chasing down daunting targets down while the Glads unit put on a display against Bridges best of breed bowling attack and made that attack look toothless.
The DCL Finals will be called by Warriors Abhishek Rai and Falcons Sainath. It is an honor to be requested to Umpire the DCL Finals. If you cannot play in the DCL Finals then the next best thing that can be achieved is to be requested to call the all-important game. At this stage of the race only Umpires with proven track records and highest pedigree will be called upon to adjudicate the game and these two guys are best of breed and more importantly got the nod of approval from the management of both teams.
A quick preview of both teams shows the following:
1. Viju vs Ravi Narala: Both teams are led by Leaders who are legendary no nonsense guys. Both these gentlemen are not the best players on their respective teams but they are the best leaders of their respective teams. Both teams will not be the crème de la crème of DCL without their respective leaders. Both leaders are consumed, passionate and stubborn individuals. The Pokiris under Narala has gone from entering the DCL record books for conceding 219 runs to Glads in 2011 in their very first DCL match to being in the 2014 DCL Finals. That is a super quick turnaround from being horrible to being the best of the best. No Narala then the chances of Pokiris reaching the 2014 Finals is lesser than the chance of finding a man-made colony in Pluto. Ravi wins this matchup in a cricketing sense but the Glads skipper is one of the best when it comes to reading opponent batsmen and making in game adjustments on the fly. It is no secret that the Glads give much fewer runs to opponent teams when the Glads skipper is managing the team than when he is not on the field. The Glads skipper is legendary for keeping copious notes on all opponents and having a game plan for any batsman he has seen play. Every advantage that Narala gets from his personal batting and bowling skills will by and large get negated by the chess moves and countermoves that the Glads skipper will put in play. This matchup will end up in a draw.
2. Arjun vs Prasanna: Both can bat when needed to win the game on their own and both can bowl lights out. Both are the best players on their respective teams. AAA has more experience at this level as he has the best batsman awards from 2011, 2012, 2013, best bowler award from 2013 and the MVP of 2013 season next to his name and that should tip this matchup in the Glads favor – Advantage Glads.
3. Hari vs Shan: Both are the heart and soul of their respective teams. Hari has all the stats to prove that he is the far superior bowler while Shan has had several good innings with the bat to prove he is the better bat. Both are terrific fielders and both are team first kind of guys who will sacrifice an arm and a leg for their respective teams … This is a draw all the way baby!!!
4. Anoop vs Ravi Teja:These are the quiet assassins and the BIG-GAME Players for their respective teams. Any team in DCL will take Anoop with their eyes closed as he is that good. Every team that plays Glads is always worried as to what Anoop will do. Anoop will create lots of headaches for Pokiris but on the other hand Ravi Teja has been easily the best player in the DCL playoffs by a mile and then some. Ravi Teja has performed in every game and he has willed Pokiris to victory in every game and since the Glads skipper has never seen Ravi Teja play other than a few balls it will be hard to game plan for Ravi Teja and that bodes well for the Pokiris – On current form, Advantage Pokiris!!!
5. Ronak U vs Ranjith:This will be a showstopper as this duo will go all out for their respective teams. Ranjith has iron will and is a proven fighter and if this was a battle of wills then Ranjith wins this matchup. Ronak U on the other hand is one of the most exciting players in the league and has oodles of talent who has now learned how to harness his immense potential for the betterment of the team. RonsRons strikes fear in the heart of every bowler as every bowler worth his salt knows that one bad ball and that bad ball will be deposited outside the park – In the Semis Bridges Amit Koul despite his express liquid pace delivered two back to back bad balls and bang bang (pun intended keeping the Bang Bang movie in mind) the balls went for a Six and a Four. The slightest error by the bowler will see the bowler paying a hefty price. Advantage Glads in this matchup!!!
6. Glads Rest of the Gang vs Pokiris Rest of the Gang: Since both teams will not reveal their final playing 11 until game time, we shall do a generalized comparison. Glads have a better overall bowling unit as per DCL stats and it is generally acknowledged that Glads have best of class fielding of all DCL Teams. The Glads fielders are some of the best in business. Pokiris have tremendous resilience and to a man will not deviate one inch to the right or to the left of Narala’s commands so they have tremendous discipline. Glads on the other hand are known to have too much Masti and often are guilty of losing track of their plot and goal and that has been the bane of all their playoff aspirations – A lack of single minded focus on the task at hand has time after time derailed Glads from accomplishing their goals and objectives. Will that ugly trend rear its head once again on game day – The Glads skipper hopes that his mates have learned from their past mistakes and will be focused on the task at hand. If the Glads skipper cannot get his team to do that then this will be Game, Set and Match Pokiris else this will be advantage Glads. Since I am biased – I will give the overall edge in the “Rest of the Gang” matchup to Glads.
Some interesting facts in the Glads-Pokiris rivalry – Glads are 2-0 against Pokiris. Glads have always won the toss against Pokiris and elected to bat and have scored 219/5 and 147/7 in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Glads 202 runs margin of victory in 2011 is the largest margin ever recorded in the history of DCL. Pokiris are the only team that has lost the toss every time in the Playoffs and have successfully chased down the target set by the opposition. The only other team to win chasing every game they played until the finals was the 2005 Zups team and in the 2005 Finals BT who always batted first whenever they won the toss took on Zups who always chose to field and had chased down every target. In the 2005 Finals there was no need for a toss as everyone knew what was going to happen – If BT won the toss then BT was going to bat and if Zups won the toss then Zups were going to bowl. BT won the toss and chose to bat and won the DCL Championship also that year. On a separate note, Hariharan makes his sixth consecutive appearance in a DCL Final and that is a new record and if Glads win then Hari get to join Raghu Tadi, Binodh Singh and Harish Chava as the only 5 time winners of the DCL trophy.
On an all time basis – Glads have never lost to Pokiris. But this is the Playoff and Glads have never run into Pokiris in the Playoffs so this will be a totally different ball game. The Glads skipper will look to keep his team’s recent complete mastery of Pokiris intact. Can he? Well we shall find out in about 48 hours’ time and if the teaser above seems promising then why not come down in person to DSP (Drake Sports Park, Field #3)and watch these two teams go at each other with everything they have…. A mouthwatering matchup of a match made in cricketing heaven awaits one and all….
The game will be played at DSP – Field #3
Address: 6801 Drake Road, West Bloomfield Township, Michigan 48322
Date: October 11, 2014
Time: 1 PM