Oct 22, 6 months ago

DCL 2018: Finals – Glads Vs Knockers – Match Report by Viju Zachariah

DCL 2018 – Glads conquer the DCL World – Report by Viju Zachariah
The match that all of DCL was waiting with eager anticipation for the last several years is over. If ESPN had their say, they would call it an instant classic and the game held everyone’s breath till the penultimate ball of the game was bowled. Without much ado, here are the brief details:
Toss: Glads won the toss and elected to Field
Knockers 60/10 in 21 Overs
Gladiators 65/8 in 24.5 Overs
MOM: Arjun Ajbani
Result: Glads won by 2 Wickets

The epic 2018 DCL Finals has been done and dusted and when it was all said and done, Team Gladiators stood alone on top of DCL’s Mt Everest as the last team left standing. Now that everything is all said and done, it is time to recap the finals for the benefit of those who were not there and to celebrate the achievements of the Glads team for die hard Glads supporters living all across the world.

The Toss:

Cricket and weather are intrinsically linked. It is a game played outside, in summer, on a living surface and the condition of the pitch has a profound impact on the outcome of the proceedings. Cricket curators around the world try and get as much moisture as they can out of the ground, and that’s what gives a cricket wicket its bounce. Too much rain is bad for pitch preparation because it can make the wicket too soft which can kill the bounce in a pitch. But counter intuitively, water is actually used to dry out a pitch. Funnily enough in cricket, almost always the curator of a cricket pitch actually sprinkles water on it to get the water out of the wicket, which is an unknown fact but that’s how it is done and that is a fact that most novices do not know. It is a well-known fact that hot, dry conditions favor the batters while conversely humidity and wind assist the bowlers. On game day, I walked in and observed in horror that the pitch on Field #2 in NPP was damp and the wicket was soft and crumbling and even after removing layers of top soil, everything underneath was damp. The conditions were slightly overcast and the weather forecast said it would get better as the day progressed and that would mean the team batting second would have a slight advantage if the sun had a remote chance to shine in its glory. Our ace hitter Hardeep Singh who struck fear in bowlers hearts stated the obvious to me and one of things in this business a good team manager must do is to not let the negative get the better of your team, so I vehemently brushed aside his observations and tried to put a brave face and put a positive spin to it by stating that once we really broomed very hard the wicket will be peach perfect though I believed what I confidently stated about as much as Kyrie Irving’s ill-advised and foolish “The earth is flat theory.” Privately Kishan told me “Viju this wicket is nothing like the wicket on Field #3 where we had beaten Pokiris by a landslide margin the previous week.” Incidentally Glads had set a DCL Record for a SF on that pitch when they scored 167/5 in 25 Overs and the same Hardeep Singh had scored 61 runs in just 36 balls with 7 maximums with pretty much all but two of them deposited well outside the park. I just nodded at Kishan and did not dwell on the obvious as the ground was set in stone and Glads had a winning unbeaten record in Finals on Field #2 and I did not want to tempt fate by putting in a request for moving the ground. Nobody in their right mind should tempt fate if they can help it has always been my mantra and I certainly was not changing my principle. Incidentally Glads had always won in a chase on that field in several finals and once again when we won the toss – we were not going to tempt fate and the pitch conditions as described above made the decision to bowl a no brainer. Of course if one listened to the biased commentary (more on that later in the report why it was biased) by Ghanta Rao in the YouTube video of the game (just do DCL 2018 Finals search in you tube), one can see that the so called expert Ghanta Rao waxed eloquently that in finals teams winning the toss should bat first for myriad reasons that he could rattle off and was surprised that guys like Arjun and Anoop did not push for it. If we had batted first then we would be going against all the cricketing logic of reading a wicket that I stated above and the Glads think tank of Tayef, Kishan, Sathya and I were not going to let someone else’s half-baked logic trump what we believed was the right course of action for our team. When one also takes into account that the Glads team trusted in their batting and had won all games in the playoffs except for the Semi-finals in a chase – we definitely knew what we were going to do come rain or come shine. Considering that the Glads team won the game and in the final analysis that is the only thing that counts in the big scheme of things – Obviously the Glads think tank team got this one right all the way when we decided to bowl after winning the toss. For all the pundits (with the exception of Sandeep Gopu) who predicted that Glads would bat first if they won the toss – Well they got it wrong because the toss decision was based on past history, comfort level and analysis of the wicket (things Ghanta Rao knows nothing about)!!!

The Great Game between these two top rated DCL Teams failed to materialize in 2014 after Glads reached the 2014 DCL Finals but Knockers fell to Pokiris in the Semi-Finals and failed to keep their end of the bargain. In 2015, Knockers kept their end of the bargain by reaching the DCL Finals but Glads failed to show up to defend their crown. Both teams won the DCL Championship in 2014 and 2015 respectively and all of DCL waited longingly for a day when these two powerhouses would show up in a DCL Finals and put on a show. Glads have always been known as a batting team and most pundits who know a thing or two about T Ball cricket will admit that Glads have the best batting unit in all of DCL. After MegaBytes left the scene most pundits who know a thing or two about T Ball cricket will admit that Knockers have one of the greatest bowlers in DCL History in Lord Giriyappa and have the best bowling in all of DCL. It all came down to – Glads batting vs Knockers bowling; In the Lords battle – Lord Ajbani vs Lord Giriyappa; In the Fearsome Hitters battle – Hitter Hardeep vs Blaster Milan; In the All Rounders Battle – Brilliant Bhokare vs Scintillating Bangera; In the Skippers Battle – Sedate Sathya vs Amiable Arun; In the Spinners Battle – Destructive Aditya vs Devastating Sandeep; In the Keepers Battle – Invulnerable Kishan vs ”The Rock of Gibraltar” Ganesh; In the Warriors battle – Champion Tayef vs Firebrand Suyog; In the Class and Elegance Battle – “Run Accumulating Machine” Ronak vs Explosive Prabhu; In the Legends Battle – “Best Left Hander in DCL” Udit vs “Mighty Mountain” Matta; In the “Game Changer” Battle – MVP Sudhir vs Pacy Puneeth; In the X-Factor Battle – “Big Man of DCL” Muned vs “Timeless Wonder of DCL” Dilip; In the Team Head Honcho’s Battle – Viju vs Sanoj. Both teams had peaked at the right moment and came into the finals with great self-confidence. Both had been tested by worthy opponents in the earlier rounds and both had players who wanted to win this one above all else. Everybody loves the matchup of the best batting unit in DCL taking on the best bowling unit in DCL i.e. offense vs defense to add to the Gladiators – Knockers rivalry and everything that goes along with that. As the ratings pundits would later claim; “It makes for good TV and makes the game a “Must-See” Game and it is good for business as in increasing DCL popularity. For good five hours – the teams took one inch off the other only to see that inch taken away by the other in a jiffy. After five long hours, after five months of pressing towards the mark, after 53,135 balls had been bowled – Glads ended up as the Champions of 2018. In the end I felt Glads were deserved winners (not because I support Glads), mostly because a team who squanders four fairly simple chances, as Knockers did when Glads chased a measly total, do not deserve to win anything let alone the Finals of T-Ball’s biggest tournament – You got to get the basics right and a team that does not get the basics right has no one else to blame but themselves for their shortcomings. In the end both teams fought hard and gave it their all and lay it all on the line but the Glads team fielded out of their minds and did not drop a single catch that they could get their hands on while Knockers dropped some of the basic regulation catches which they had no business dropping. Catches win matches – So goes that good old all-time classic quote and in the 2018 DCL Finals that old adage was once again true. If those catches were taken maybe we have a different outcome but the beauty of this game is that we will never know what might have been as the Knockers fielding let their team down big time and the pressure of the occasion got to their fielders and the end result was that the Glads team walked away with their second championship.

Knockers Batting and Glads Bowling: The Glads think tank met together in Lansing over dinner and when we walked away from the meeting, I felt very comfortable with the game plan we had put in place. We discussed all topics and as far as I was concerned between that discussion and the several one on one discussions I had individually, for the first time in a Finals I felt Glads had all bases covered. Even so on Wednesday night, I found it difficult to sleep as I really felt Glads needed to capture the key wickets of Milan and Bangera early and on the cheap if we wanted to put a stranglehold on the game else once those two get going, one can only hope to contain them as stopping them was out of the question. Clearly both those gentlemen can take the game away from you in a heartbeat and can make even our best to end up way short. Arjun felt Ganesh was the key as did a few others though I felt Ganesh can be a thorn in the flesh of the Glads bowlers yet I did not fear him as a guy who could take the game away from Glads all by himself as in the past he has always been a thorn and not a earth shattering difference maker. Many pundits felt Arun was going to be key but again I felt we had the bowlers to keep Arun in check but the two guys who gave me nightmares disturbing my peaceful sleep were Bangera and Milan.

Knockers opened with Prabhu and Matta while Glads countered with a former MVP and a current MVP in the form of Arjun and Sudhir. Sudhir had been brilliant with the ball in the Glads SF win but unfortunately was unable to recreate that same magic in the Finals. Arjun on the other hand was a forgotten entity as no pundit talked about Arjun possibly bowling as he has not bowled for Glads in a competitive game in the last two years after wrecking his shoulder about two years ago. But the big stages bring out the competitive juices and he had offered to Sathya and I that he was willing to bowl if an opportunity provided itself. We were going to try him in the SF game against Pokiris but that game was so out of reach that we did not feel the necessity to use him and so we unleashed him in the 2018 DCL Finals. Well Arjun turned back the hands of time as he proceeded to take four Knocker wickets to put Team Knockers on the back foot. The man who was an afterthought from a bowling angle by all DCL pundits alike became the biggest bowling menace in the Knockers batting lineup as three of the four Knocker batsmen who fell to Arjun all perished in the very same twenty first Over. For Knockers their Openers did a fantastic job as Knockers piled on 24 runs for no loss in 5 Overs and both batsmen were looking ominous giving more fake credibility to the chameleons in the commentary box who blindly parroted the bat first in finals theory. Both Openers batted brilliantly and hit one maximum each and both were absolutely fantastic strokes that absolutely thrilled my heart from an execution perspective while thrusting a sharp dagger at the same time. But Arjun finally had Prabhu playing uppishly to Tayef at Point and with that the Glads team got a miniscule foothold into the game. For the next three Overs, Glads bowlers kept Milan under check by bowling a line that he was not comfortable with and then the Glads Skipper Sathya produced a peach of a delivery that was slightly off speed that yorked Milan all ends up and just like that Glads were back in the game. The next three Overs saw Matta who had batted brilliantly and was the best Knocker batsman on display in the DCL Finals throw his wicket away by trying to force a shot on to the onside only to see the ball balloon to Sudhir for a simple catch. Matta was brilliant while he was in the middle yet I felt that while Glads earned 9 wickets, Matta gifted his wicket to the Glads team by trying to force something that was simply not there. With that as the DCL President Jagan in the commentary box aptly and expertly stated – The game had tilted towards Glads. At the break the Knockers scored read 44/3 in 12 Overs with Arun and Lord Giriyappa at the crease. Despite how Jagan felt, I still felt the game was still tilted slightly in Knockers favor as Arun, Bangera and Ganesh were all still in play and those guys can change the narrative but at the same time I felt that the 125 runs target that many pundits felt must be set by the team batting first was a little bit out of reach and if we could limit the damage to 85 to 90 runs then we had a “Battle Royale” on the cards.

At the break the Glads team talked about seizing the moment and raising the level of our play. We challenged Tayef to give us something if there was some way he could block out the pain and numb his senses as the Glads bowling was running on fumes. We started the thirteenth Over with Muned who had been bowling fiery dart after fiery dart before the break and with his second ball he got Arun to give a simple catch to Hardeep at Shortleg and the score read 44/4. With that the man who had kept me awake on Wednesday night came to bat in the form of Bangera. At the fall of Arun’s wicket even Parthiv and Vaibhav in the commentary box felt that the narrative had tilted in Glads favor. When one great man comes to bat we felt we had to give the ball to another great man and so we gave the ball to Tayef in the fourteenth Over.

At this point, I believe it is fitting that I digress away from cricket and take the reader of this report to the 1970 NBA Finals where an injured Willis Reed inspired the New York Knicks to their first NBA Championship in franchise history against Wilt Chamberlain and the LA Lakers – It was Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, and nobody knew if Willis Reed would play. The center and Captain of the New York Knicks had suffered a torn muscle in his right thigh during Game 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers, and had not played in Game 6 when Wilt Chamberlain’s 45 points and 27 rebounds enabled the Lakers to tie the series at 3-3. When the teams took the floor for pre-game warmups, Reed was not with his New York teammates. He remained in the locker room, deep in the bowels of the building. “I wanted to play,” Reed recalls. “That was for the championship, the one great moment you play for all your life. I didn’t want to have to look at myself in the mirror 20 years later and say I wished I had tried to play.” Reed took an injection to dull the pain in his leg, and just moments before tipoff he limped through the tunnel and onto the court. Waves of cheers cascaded down from the Garden stands as fans caught sight of the Knicks’ captain, a sight that was not lost on New York’s opponents. “I saw the whole Laker team standing around staring at this man,” said Knicks guard Walt Frazier. “When I saw that, when they stopped warming up, something told me we might have these guys!” Reed lined up against Chamberlain for the opening tap and scored the Knicks’ first two baskets of the game. Those would prove to be his only points, but his presence was more than enough to inspire the Knicks to a 113-99 victory and the franchise’s first NBA Championship. Overshadowed by Reed’s emotion-charged effort was one of the great playoff performances in NBA history by Frazier, who led the Knicks with 36 points and 19 assists.

Glads got a Willis Reed repeat as our ace bowler Tayef had suffered a debilitating shoulder injury that had left him even unable to throw the ball after fielding a routine drive. He had to throw under arm or throw left handed. For the last few games of the regular season we shut Tayef down hoping we could use him in the playoffs if he had sufficient rest. We even rested him in the PQF game against Legends and then we made the mistake of extracting three Overs from him in the QF against Warriors. The only reason we used him against Warriors was because we felt threatened that Warriors could beat us if we did not give it our all as they are a good team with a lot of experienced campaigners. But that was a mistake as that action against Warriors had left Tayef with internal bleeding that had spread across his front right shoulder that was visible for one and all. We did not use him in the SF as he was simply an absolute no go. Tayef is a warrior and when I challenged him if there was something he could do in the finals, 24 hours before the Finals he went to his Doctor to see if he could get a steroid shot so that he could bowl in the finals. But the Doctor refused the shot and in fact told him he should not bowl and he needed complete rest for the next few months. But the DCL Finals do not come calling at anyone’s beck and call and he had played so many years for so many teams and was still chasing the holy grail of a DCL Championship. He was not to be denied and when you think about it – Willis Reed got a shot to numb the pain but Tayef bowled his heart out with no steroid shot to numb the pain. In fairness to Tayef, he did tell me that he was willing to sit out the finals than be a liability for the team because he was unable to bowl but there is no way that is going to happen on a Glads team where I have a reasonable say in the decisions taken. Instead I challenged him to give us everything he had and also what he did not have – the mantra being “Just believe and want it so much and it will happen.”

Well the fourteenth Over started with Tayef bowling two wides to start proceedings and then two more wides. The experienced campaigner that Bangera is, he just took what the bowler offered as five came off that Over but both Kishan and I could observe that despite the wides Tayef was generating good pace and the ball had serious action on it and so Tayef was asked to bowl the sixteenth and the nineteenth over. Over #16 was a maiden and 2 runs came off Over #19 and with that we decided to rest Tayef as he had done his job and had given us all that he had and then some.

Meanwhile in Over #15, Muned got Lord Giriyappa to nick one to the keeper and the Knocker camp was on the backfoot as the score read 51/5 in 14.4 Overs. In the eighteenth Over Anoop’s nagging line and length caused Bangera to go for it in a futile attempt to break the shackles only to find RUP take a simple regulation catch. Boy was I elated and on Cloud 9 to see Bangera’s back as it meant Glads now had the two men I was eager to see off resting in the Knocker dugout while the score read 53/6 in 17.4. The runs had dried up, the Glads much maligned bowling attack was bang on target ball after ball as the combination of Tayef, Muned and Anoop with their deadly precision had made scoring runs a nightmare and the only way runs were going to come was by taking chances and when one did take a chance then the wicket fell like clockwork as the Glads fielders were all at the right spots where they had hardly to move to effect the out. By the twentieth Over, the pressure to score runs got the better of Ganesh Kutty Murugan as the Knocker batsmen went for two – It probably is two against most DCL teams but the Glads fielding was top notch on this day and an alert and charging Hardeep with some precision throwing caught Ganesh short by a yard at the non-strikers end. The score read 58/7 in 20 Overs. For some inexplicable reason the Knocker batsmen failed to apply themselves as Suyog, Sandeep and Dilip all fell in the next six balls to Arjun. Maybe things happened too fast for the Knockers to react but I certainly would have advised the Knockers to make sure Suyog and Dilip batted a little higher in such a low scoring affair to maximize the value they bring to the table and also to make sure the team bats 25 Overs but the Knockers disgust was the Glads delight as we were very happy to bundle the Knockers for their lowest total of this season and that told us that our detailed planning, strategy and work put in had paid off but in the end the Glads playing 11 deserve all the accolades for going out and executing to perfection on the field. After the break the Glads bowlers led by Tayef, Muned, Anoop and Arjun had conceded just 16 runs while picking up 7 wickets and if the pundits want to call them weak – Who are we to argue? We liked our weak bowlers on this day as they had delivered results too good to be true.

The stats of the Glads bowlers read as follows:
Arjun 5-1-10-4 Wkts
Sudhir 2-0-12-0 Wkts
Aditya 2-0-8-0 Wkts
Sathya 1-0-8-1 Wkts
Anoop 3-1-5-1 Wkts
Muned 5-0-9-3 Wkts
Tayef 3-1-7-0 Wkts

Glads Batting and Knockers Bowling: We knew that Knockers will unleash Lord Giriyappa and negating his first spell was key as in every game in the playoffs he had taken key wickets in bunches in his first spell. We sent Tayef and Anoop to face all the hostility that was to be unleashed and were determined to negate the Lord at all costs. Well determination is one thing and actually executing the plan is a different kettle of fish. With the very second ball of the innings, Lord Giriyappa had Tayef trapped LBW. I thought that was plumb in front as soon as the ball struck the leg and just like that the score read 0/1 in 0.2 Overs. The Knocker faithful and the neutral crowd erupted in joy as this was just what the Doctor had ordered. We had a game on hand and if I had no beef in this outcome I too would have been happy to see the Glads lose a wicket as we need a battle and not a rout. Lord Ajbani walked in to join his partner in crime Anoop and the pair tried to steady the ship before Bangera got the better of Anoop and the score read 12/2 in 4.4 Overs. Adi joined Arjun and the pair started to rebuild the innings. Both were looking in good touch and played very confidently. Arjun punished anything bad and made sure both Sandeep and Arun saw bad balls being dispatched for sweetly timed boundaries. The Knockers Skipper Arun who bowled the eighth Over was attacked from the very first ball and in a low scoring game – Arun committed the cardinal sin when he gave 12 runs in the eighth Over to make it the costliest Over of the match. But Arun did get Arjun to loft one for a simple catch but the pressure of the situation got the better of Sandeep as he floored the sitter. Glads took the Power Play in the ninth Over with the intention being we wanted to stay positive all the way but tragedy struck in the tenth Over when Arjun was declared runout going for a nonexistent run and the score read 35/3 in 10.2 Overs.
Was it a run-out – I did not think so as I did not feel the keeper had collected cleanly nor was it a direct hit. Sure the Knocker faithful and the neutral crowd wanted it to be out but fact and fiction are strange bedfellows and stating the throw was a direct hit is fiction as both Kishan and I were positioned 10 feet behind the stumps and the throw came from behind the stumps and neither of us who had absolutely fantastic vantage points saw a direct hit. But if one were to listen to the biased commentary in the YouTube video the so called Biased Pundit-In-Chief Mr. Ghanta Rao says it is a direct hit – more on the crappy bias later. Two balls later Aditya got runout when he left the non-strikers end for a run which clearly existed but the striker Udit was simply not running come what may. Aditya never even bothered to try and come back after he had slipped and fallen when trying to reverse course when he was pretty much at the Strikers end. The score read 35/4 in 10.4 Overs as RUP replaced Aditya and three balls later Udit went for a slog only to miss the line and be bowled by Suyog and the score read 38/5 in 11.1 Overs. Sudhir replaced Udit and thankfully we exited at the 12 Over break with the score reading 40/5 in 12 Overs. Thanks to the two needless and foolhardy runouts, Glads had brought Knockers back into the game.
Once the target of 61 runs was set in stone; Glads, Knockers, the spectators and the live audience watching at home all knew the obvious – If Glads bat 25 Overs then we are winning this game come rain or shine. With five key wickets falling and needing just 21 runs in 13 Overs we knew Knockers had to go for the kill. We just had to survive this onslaught, preserve our wickets and we felt the runs would take care of themselves. Things were going as per plan as the thirteenth from Sandeep went for 1 run, the fourteenth from Bangera went for 3 runs, the fifteenth from Sandeep went for 2 runs and the score read 46/1 after 15 Overs. Given that we simply did not want LG or Sandeep beat us, we were extra careful against them. RUP expertly played out LG in the sixteenth Over and despite everything LG tried there was absolutely no chance given as all risky shots were cut out. Sure the over was a maiden but this game had turned into a waiting game and the Glads could afford to wait to allow the bowler to make the mistakes. The only problem was that under severe pressure the Knocker bowlers raised the level of their game and were making hardly any errors and the errors the Glads batsmen were counting on simply dried up. Suyog struck Gold in the seventeenth Over with his first ball to get rid of Sudhir and that was a big wicket as I had fully expected Sudhir to finish the game and come back. Hardeep came to bat at the 16.1 Over mark when the score read 46/6. We felt good about it as Hardeep had been our best batsman when one took the entire DCL season into account. He is capable of handling pressure and can play an offensive game that he is widely recognized for but he is more than capable of batting defensively if the situation called for it. With 14 runs to go and 4 wickets in hand the need of the hour was for Hardeep to play a defensive game – In the end none of us cared if he hit a six or not as the only thing we needed was for Hardeep to get us over the finish line. Hardeep is also very good at shepherding the new comers and old timers through the quagmire and trickery of the last few Overs and generally when the other batsman batting with Hardeep sees him in the middle it has a calming influence as we all know that if push comes to shove, Hardeep can finish the game with one humongous hit but on game day the need of the hour was having Hardeep play the waiting game and following the script because against a top notch attack like what the Knockers have in place we do not need to take unnecessary risk especially when the winning coast is clearly visible to the naked eye. It is a different matter that when RUP walked in the biased commentary box stated that the last recognizable batsman from Glads had just walked in and the Knockers just needed one more wicket to get to the Glads tail. The commentators even wrongly commented that Hardeep has never played a big innings in a chase – I guess when we won the TANA Cup last year and Hardeep had hit the bowlers all around the park – That was not a chase. They probably need me to send them a link to my match report from last year. I guess Sudhir (how quickly people forget that he was the MVP of the league last year), Hardeep, Kishan, Muned and Sathya all do not fall in the recognizable category but who are we to argue against the wisdom being parroted out on the audio waves. We knew our team very well and we know very well what they can handle and despite the slight to our so called tail, we had confidence our guys can get the job done. LG turned up the heat and bowled a great eighteenth Over to RUP where he gave just 1 run but RUP by playing out LG had made sure that LG’s quota of Overs were done and Glads just conceded 1 wicket to LG so we were quite happy with that. The score read 49/6 after 18 Overs. Glads delight at seeing of LG came crashing down as Sandeep bowling the nineteenth Over got RUP caught behind on the very first ball. Kishan then played out Sandeep to make sure Sandeep was also done with his spell and Glads by conceding only 1 wicket to Sandeep made sure that between LG and Sandeep – The guys Knockers were counting on to get the Glads wickets only got two wickets combined. The damage was limited from that perspective and with the score reading 50/7 after 19 Overs – We fancied our chances as we had three wickets in hand and the two most threatening bowlers of Knockers could now only stand and watch. Suyog gave up three costly runs in the twentieth Over to make the score 53/7 in 20. For Knockers, they gambled and brought Bangera and Suyog for Overs # 21 and 22. They were dagger Overs as Bangera bowled a maiden to Hardeep and Suyog bowled a one run (in the form of a wide) Over to Kishan and now the score read 54/7 in 22 Overs. With that LG, Sandeep, Bangera and Suyog had finished their spells and three Overs were left and this was the moment the entire Glads team was waiting for – Who will bowl Overs 23, 24 and 25. Arun had lost all his confidence after a 12 run disaster and that ruled him out. I was told Dilip raised his hand and asked for the ball and Dilip got to bowl the twenty third Over. Two runs came off that to make the Glads score 56/7 in 23 Overs. From here on out – One Hardeep maximum and the game would be all done and dusted. In Over #24, Puneeth gave two runs off his and the Knockers shoulders drooped as the score inched to 58/7. Puneeth then bowled four great balls to Kishan that did not yield a run and he did one better when he got Kishan stumped on his last ball. The score now read 58/8 in 24 Overs.

The Last Over: Parthiv in the commentary box expertly stated that if the game came down to three runs in six balls then the game will be really interesting. KK wondered if Dilip can deliver and Parthiv stated if Dilip delivers then he would be the talk of the town. Dilip came to bowl the last Over with the weight of the entire Knocker team on his shoulder – He could be a Hero or a Zero!!! Azeem in the commentary box expertly stated that “Who would have thought it that it will all come down to this – Dilip an Ex Glads player now stands between Glads and victory.” That was a great statement and one that was 100% accurate. If one were to juxtapose the bowler with the batsman – Once could say they both faced immense pressure and this would be a moment every cricketer worth their salt would love to be in where you have the opportunity to be the hero and finish the game (mind you not any game rather the it is the Finals of the DCL 2018 Championship) – The three most important people on the ground were Dilip, Hardeep and Muned. You can score zillions of runs or take zillions of wickets but the game when distilled in all its essence came down to this great equation and Parthiv got his desire. Muned now joined Hardeep at the crease. Three runs needed of six balls but we felt confident as we had two clean hitters of the ball at the crease. First ball from Dilip was right on the money and Hardeep plays him out very sensibly and as Parthiv stated in the commentary “Dilip has been exceptional so far.” The second ball from Dilip was a rank bad ball and Hardeep dispatches it and there was two runs there for the taking but Hardeep runs the first one slow negating any chance of a second run. Dilip then bowls two very good balls – One which Muned tried to whack and made no contact and the other was a peach of a delivery which just missed the stumps and the edge of the bat. The equation boiled down to two runs in two balls and the advantage had now shifted to Knockers. Throughout the Glads batting, I had been asking various batsmen like Arjun, RUP etc to just stay at the wicket and felt they were being too aggressive. I have never done that in all the years I have played DCL as we never had a situation where I felt we were too aggressive and I like aggressive batting but chasing 60 against a formidable bowling attack, I preferred that we dial back on the aggression and just play out the Overs. With the equation stating two runs in two balls – I walked out to the middle and asked Muned to go for it. I had always told Muned that I did not need halfhearted shots from him and if he hits a ball then the ball must stay hit and he must throw it out of the park as he has that kind of power. We did not need this game to go to the Super-Over as I felt that would be a huge letdown for us and I frankly did not fancy our chances if we went to a Super-Over. Two runs needed in two balls and from the commentary box – Parthiv Mehta made one of the all time great calls that will stay in memory for a long long time and it went this way – “Ok this is the ball guys, this is the ball, how many balls have been bowled guys? 50,000 plus?” – Well the accurate answer would be 53,134 balls had been bowled and it all came down to the fifty three thousand one hundred and thirty fifth ball – Everyone and everyone’s brother had an opinion on what the field must look like – The two biased expert commentators in the commentary box in the form of Ghanta Rao and Vamsi Kanneganti even took it upon themselves to ask for field adjustments and they actually got their say and after all the adjustments, moving back and forth – The moment had finally arrived and as Parthiv stated “this is the ball that matters now ….” – For those watching on you tube … it is the 1hr 53 min and 37 sec mark – In came Dilip charging in to bowl to Muned after what had seemed like an eternity of time with changes back and forth on the field – It was an overpitched ball and it was pitched juicily on middle and leg and Muned thrust his leg out and with one almighty swing he made clean contact between bat and ball and the ball screamed “get me out of here – I have been whacked mercilessly” and the ball was deposited well outside the park. In Parthiv’s words “And he has hit it out of the ground and it is a Six. What a finish! What a finish! Wow!!! ….” What made Parthiv’s call amazing was the ball had just been launched and he stated it had been hit out of the park well before the ball left the park (it was still climbing at the time of the call) ….. A great instantaneous call in the commentary box. The shot in itself was a phenomenal shot that was hit to absolute perfection. I had David go and pick the winning ball (I love these kind of collectibles and I am a history buff) and he told me the ball had traveled a humongous distance and it took him quite some time to locate it as the ball had traveled a ginormous distance from its launch point. Hardeep with his classic bat drop in the middle of the pitch after the shot launch put the icing on the cake as the Glads team stormed the pitch in celebrations.

Fielding: Glads fielding was exceptional as everyone played with passion and vigor and gave the Skipper no chance to call their number out for substandard effort or for standing in the wrong spot. The Knockers fielders dropped four easy chances and in the end that probably cost them the game while the Glads fielders took all the chances that came their way.

The Umpires – Legends Satish Kumar Bellamakonda and Blazers Imtiaz Md Abdul did a very fine job as Umpires and called the game to the best of their ability. We appreciate the same. We could not have asked for better Umpires to call a DCL Final and the fact that both teams trusted them to do a good job in a DCL Finals speaks more about their ability, fairness and temperament than any other thing. Both Umpires were on time and made sure they communicated well in advance so that everyone was aware of their status. Hats off to their professionalism and we give both of them a glowing report for a job well done.

Team Knockers: They put on a great show in the Finals. Reaching the DCL Finals is no piece of cake and they really pushed us to the very extremes and out of our comfort zone. I personally thought the Knockers bowling led by Deepak, Sandeep, Bangera and Suyog did a phenomenal job of containing and restricting the Glads batting and Dilip deserves credit for being willing to take on the challenge of bowling the crucial two Overs at the fag end of the game. Matta batted very well and Arun played all the cards he had as well as he could for a first time Skipper. I am sure he would have learned a few things he could have done differently and will be the wiser for it. In the end Knockers will always be Sanoj’s team and Sanoj once again did a masterful job by making sure key players like Bangera, Deepak and Suyog played for Knockers in the DCL Playoffs. Without those three guys there is no way Knockers get past the PQF against an unbeaten GLCC team. Many of our guys play with many of the Knockers players in the leather ball league and we have a very healthy respect for what these guys can do on a cricket field and while in T Ball we ended on opposite sides yet we knew that beating the likes of Bangera, Deepak, Suyog, Matta and others on a cricket field would require us to be on top of our game and we could not rest a moment against those guys without paying a hefty price. We feel fortunate to have pulled this one out on T Ball’s biggest stage against a quality opponent like Knockers.

Team Gladiators consisted of the following (In Alphabetical Order):

1. Aditya Bommaraju – From adjusting flight tickets and flying from the West coast to Detroit on Friday evenings to play a Glads game and then flying back to the west coast, he did it all. He opened most games for Glads with the bat and the ball. More often than not he gave us solid starts in the batting department and he was one of our most successful bowlers and the only spin option we had on our team. He was a model citizen throughout the year and he cut out his audacious shot making when needed for the benefit of the team.
2. Anoop Bhokare – With the DCL Powerplay changing, Glads opened the batting with Anoop whenever he played a game for us. He had one of the most successful seasons with the bat in T ball this year and his bowling was always peach perfect in line and length. He does all things well and Glads is not Glads without the great Anoop Bhokare. He is a fantastic teammate and with many new players joining us, he made everyone feel at home with his warmth and friendly nature. A treat on and off the field.
3. Arjun Ajbani – He did not play many games for us this year as leather ball was his focus but played enough to qualify for DCL playoffs. When he played he made his mark as he came into the playoffs with a batting average of 100. He batted only four innings this season in DCL – Once he remained not out, two times he was run out and once he did get out. One more DCL Finals and once more he walked away with the MVP of the Finals. He has two Championships and two MVP of Finals next to his name. He made an incredibly rapid adjustment from Leather Ball to T Ball and further cemented his status as a “Big Game” Player as he usually plays his best in the Finals – The higher the pressure, better the performance. I am not complaining.
4. Divya Prakash – He was qualified to play in the playoffs but having not played enough games with us, it was a tough ask to play in the playoffs. When he played, he played hard and we are thankful for the same.
5. Fahimul Islam – In my opinion he is the best Glads player yet to be discovered in T ball. This year he made his mark in leather ball and his fun loving nature and infectious smile rubs off on others. He is a great team player and his biggest challenge was to crack open the playing 11 on a consistent basis. He is an aggressive batsman and if he can develop a bit more patience, I feel he will end up carving the T Ball world with the bat. He is young, he is hungry and he has loads of talent and that according to me is a deadly and dangerous combination. Respect!!!
6. Ganesh Selvaraj – He played 8 regular season games and he was the man on whom Sathya leaned the most to fill up the gaps, holes and deficiencies. Winning the Championship requires a steady helper who works silently in the background yet is always doing what is best for the team and Ganesh was that man who made the Glads train to stay on the tracks and not get derailed.
7. Hardeep Singh – This is no hyperbole – Hardeep Singh was our best batsmen in DCL 2018. If you don’t believe me then at least believe the stats. For the most part we gave him the license to go up the order and demolish the opposition by batting with reckless abandon but when the chips were on the line in the Finals we asked him to stay back as we needed a guy who can play offense and defense and when needed wait for the opportune time to launch a blitzkrieg on the opposition. He was our most consistent player with the bat and the show he put on in the DCL SF game against Pokiris was an instant classic and was a treat to watch – He was on fire and there was nothing all the fielders positioned at the boundary could do as ball after ball were deposited with unfailing regularity outside the park.
8. Hari Kurada – We were always short on players in the regular season but one player who always made himself available was Hari. We did not have the best record in Pool A as Indus Thunders had that but we did have the second best record in Pool A and it is unselfish, team first guys like Kurada who made that happen. Guys like Kurada are the unsung heroes who did just enough to allow us to have a decent record while supporting and cheering hard for the team when they were not playing. Easy guy to get along with – We got quite a few golden nuggets from the Bridges unit and Kurada was a gold nugget that proved himself over and over.
9. Jeet Nirban – When he played, he was absolutely fantastic. His availability was the only thing that held him up else he was an automatic shoe in for critical games. First Michca and then an injury prevented him from being available for any playoff game till the Finals. With Glads winning the SF big, the team that played the SF remained unchanged. He batted, bowled and fielded very well this season and his positive team first attitude was appreciated by one and all.
10. Kishan Kanneganti – Glads do not win the Championship without the Bridges key players joining us and Kishan was instrumental in that happening as he took the initiative to start a conversation with me to get the ball rolling. The great chemistry Kishan and I had meant that the same vibe percolated all through the team. This is a real fact – 95% of the time, Kishan and I saw the exact same thing and we reached the same decision individually. His keeping was exceptional but it was his key role as a sounding board and trusted confidant that helped us pull off an incredible Championship in the very first year we got together. Playing numerous tournaments together also meant we had great chemistry built up over the years. He did not get as many opportunities as a batsman as he would have got if he did not join us but he only cared about the Cup so all else was secondary. He is one of the easiest guys to work with and in the finals he took charge of the field adjustment when he felt strongly about it – something I was pleading with him to do from the PQF stage.
11. Mahi Masud – Like DP he played three games to qualify and was available for us if we needed him. We appreciated his willingness to make himself available whenever we needed him.
12. Mehang Patel – He played a T ball game whenever he did not have conflicts with the leather ball schedule. When he played he gave us all that he could give us. He has played with us since he came into this League and he has always been a quiet, get you job done kind of guy who plays hard and we appreciate his services to the team.
13. Muned Ahmed – The DCL website says 926 maximums were hit before the penultimate ball of the 2018 DCL season was about to be bowled. The loudest maximum hit in DCL 2018 was the one that went down as #927. That was the shot heard loud and clear all around the DCL world and the one that caused celebrations by Glads supporters watching all over the world. That was the one that captured the imaginations of those watching. He was an unknown commodity and some in the commentary box like KK and others even wondered why we sent him to bat when Kishan got out. All of them got the reason handed to them outside the park. He had disastrous outings in the QF and SF as both Warriors and Pokiris took him to the woodshed yet we knew his potential so we kept him on the playing 11 as we knew he can be a difference maker. In the Finals he was the biggest difference maker first with his bowling, then with his fielding and now the shot heard around the world will remain in DCL folklore till time immemorial. What can I say – DESTINY – He was destined for that moment and that shot and what God has decreed no man can put asunder. Muned’s middle name is “Allergic” as in he is allergic to BS and if he is fed BS balls then it will be “Bedlam, Hullabaloo, Pandemonium, Hungama” in the Glads camp and “Silence, Khamoshi” in the opposition camp. He is an hourly worker if I am not mistaken and when he does not work he does not get paid and he put leave for 4 weeks in a row so that he could play for Glads in the playoffs. Talk about passion and sacrifice – That is passion and sacrifice. We requested that he be available and he made himself available – His word was his bond. His good karma paid off big time in the end.
14. Ronak U Patel – This was a down year for RUP from a batting perspective but his fielding like always was exceptional. He missed a few games due to being out of town and then injuries kept him off from even playing for us till the SF. In the Finals the way he played Lord Giriyappa and Bangera out and that made Arjun, I and many others proud. In the Finals he did what was needed for us to win – He had to curtail his attacking instincts and buckle down against a quality bowling attack. He helped us win the game by his defensive effort. Often we praise him for his ridiculous offense but here it is was his outrageous defense that won us the game.
15. Sathya Velayutham (Glads) – He played most games and picked the vital wicket of Jasneet in the QF, Prasanna in the SF and Milan in the Finals. In short he picked all the big wickets and by winning DCL on his very first try he ended up joining a select group of Captains in the form of Hariharan (MB) and Raghu Tadi (MB) who won DCL in their very first attempt as a Skipper. That is rarefied air and company to keep and pulling it off means he was fortunate to have a very talented unit at his beck and command. He now becomes the only Skipper to have both the Indoor and Outdoor Championships in the same year next to his name – I guess even more rarefied air. The best thing about Sathya is he is willing to listen and never assumes he knows everything and he is super easy to get along with and the entire team backs him up as they know he does not do politics behind their back and makes all the sacrifices necessary for the team to win. He also was fortunate to have the best think tank in all of DCL advise him and available to help him. His wife supported him to the hilt which also meant he had a clear focus and had no distractions in getting the job done. Appointing Sathya as Skipper was the best decision I ever took last year and winning the DCL proved me right and all who doubted the decision now know why that decision was the right decision.
16. Shahriyar Hussain – He is a very young player but one that holds immense potential. He played exceptionally well against Avengers. He is an all-rounder who held his own against many other stalwarts and having him on the team gives us so many options. He will be in our top 15 on any given day and being in the top 15 on a Championship team is no laughing matter.
17. Sriram Narayanaswamy – He is an incredible line and length bowler and an even better person off the field. He got injured during the season and missed a number of games towards the end of the season and on a competitive team it opened the door for others to put in a claim for a spot in the playoff 11. I honestly believe he can bat very well and deserves to go higher up the order but the guys who are in the upper order need to fail for it to become reality and that was the only thing that held him back. We used him a lot Indoor as well is in other tournaments but the competition will make him stronger but he is a rock solid talent who will burst through in course of time.
18. Sudhir Paka – Last year’s MVP had a down year by his lofty standards in DCL. Somehow despite him trying very hard he kept getting dismissed on strange balls but he came up big against Pokiris as his very first Over put Pokiris on the back foot from which they never recovered. Paka was absolutely great Indoors and in other tournaments and hopefully he will come very hungry next season to re-establish his loft MVP credentials. He is an absolutely fantastic teammate to have as he is one guy who will even rebook his India tickets if the team asks him to do it – Such guys are tougher to find than a blood diamond in the RUF diamond fields.
19. Syed Rehan Ahmed – He played enough games to get qualified and we used him in the PQF game against Legends. He brings a lot of experience to the table and his lights out fielding in the PQF got us a few runouts. He was always available if we needed him in the later playoff games and we feel happy that when we won a Championship he was on our roster as he has played many years in DCL and it is only fitting he got a Cup.
20. Tayefur Rehman – What a terrific person and what an incredible talent. I never expected Tayef to play for us as he was the Skipper of the Arsenal team. If leading a team, or being MVP or Opening the batting was his main goal on the cricket field then we did not have anything to offer but he wanted to win a Championship and he wanted to be challenged and pushed to his limits. Well he was pushed to his limits and when he bowled in the QF against Warriors and in the Finals against Knockers we pushed him beyond his human limits and we subjected him to excruciating pain. On a team lacking in the bowling department, he was our best bowler when he was on full song and in the finals he dazzled with the ball. In his three Overs he just conceded two runs off the bat and five were wides as he had trouble controlling the ball with the adjustments he had to make to the bowling action to allow him to bowl. When I look back on the 2018 Championship game, along with the Outside the Park Muned Ahmed shot, I will remember those three Overs where he did a Willis Reed and he too should remind himself of that if he ever finds himself short on confidence. He was part of the Glads Think Tank and I valued his inputs and frank opinions. My guess is he learned a few things in the process because he got to see the inner workings of the Glads team and got to see how Kishan thought, how Sathya evaluated things and how I analyzed things. In the end most people will say Glads added the cream of Bridges and I will agree with that but I believe it was the addition of Tayef that put us over the top because we added a guy who had instant chemistry with us. We always had great chemistry with the Bridges guys but adding some elements from Arsenal that Tayef brought with him who had instant chemistry with us put us over the top. In the end we only wanted to add players who will jell well with us and we got just that.
21. Udit Parikh – In the batting department he is the best left hander in the League and if you ask me he was our most consistent batsman in the 2018 DCL Playoffs. His chanceless innings against Warriors was a treat to watch and just when you thought he cannot bat any better he turned on the jets and put on a hitting clinic along with Hardeep against Pokiris. In the past it was my private opinion that he often got out caught at the boundary but with the ball change and the well knocked Glads bats to power his shots, the balls were flying effortlessly well beyond the boundaries. I saw him bowl against Warriors and I almost fell off my rocking chair as the bowling left much to be desired and was at best pedestrian but on the batting front this is the best I have ever seen Udit bat and if he played all 12 regular season games, I would have bet a good amount of money that Glads would have walked away with the best batsman award.
21. Vaibhav Iyer – 2018 was his best year in DCL with the bat and I felt he was so good at batting and that he had nothing to prove that we did not even send him at 1 drop against Warriors as we felt we needed others in form before we faced Pokiris else Vaibhav will finish the game against Warriors and we won’t get a chance to try others out before a crucial game. Then he had to go out of town when the SF came and then none of us in the Think tank wanted to bite a bullet and change a team that had won big in the SF. He is a class act on and off the field and we felt gutted that we could not play him in the Finals.
22. Viju Zachariah – As the Glads owner, I did what I had to do to win the Cup for my group of guys. In the end I do not believe in half measures and firmly believe he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not worthy of the task at hand. There were plenty of cheers for the opposition and 75% of those guys probably cheer for the opposition because of their animosity towards me and honestly I could care a rat’s fanny about it. I am glad that I can bring out that passion in both my team and opponents alike so have no regrets. I made that trip from India to here to just attend the DCL Playoffs and I wanted to win the Cup for the guys who joined us this year (many times more than they wanted it for themselves) – I felt we were close and we just needed a push and some solid resolve to make it happen. Until my critic can match my intensity they should sit quiet and worry less about criticizing our team and more on improving the play of their team. Jo Jeetha wohi Sikander. I took the task and finished the task and now it is time to move on. After 2017, it was a tough off season for us. I took the decision to revamp the team and appointed a man as Skipper who many labelled as soft and inexperienced but I believed he was the right man for the job and in the end that decision worked out very well as he now lays claim to the fact that he is the Skipper on record that has won both the Indoor and Outdoor titles in the same calendar year. I could not have done it without the wisdom of the guys in the think tank (Kishan, Tayef and Sathya) but together we were an elite combo and no trick in the book or strategy eluded our thought process. I feel fortunate to have worked with these guys.
23. The Glads Gang – In the end every team needs a solid cheer-leading squad, players who play when we have no one to play for us. Guys like Ankush, Arif Al Rahman, Kamran Chowdhury, Pratik Patel, Salman Ahmed, Sasidhar Jannu all played small but vital roles as and when we needed them. Guys like Hariharan “Dollar” Dhanasekaran, Swarup Patel and Chetan Thakkar(Who is also Glads Co-Founder) were our biggest cheerleaders and constant sources of encouragement that allowed us to plow ahead when things went wrong or someone needed some extra motivation or simply needed a kick up their fanny to get going. The guys from Lansing like Naeem Afridi (He was more involved in the game and was probably the most excited person to win the Cup), Suresh Puvaada, Vishwa, Mahi and the man who has played the most games in playoffs without winning a Cup aka Phani Gundamraj (Yup he was on the Knockers roster 🙂 ) were all there in person for the DCL Finals to support their buddies in their quest for the elusive Cup. Our better halves like Bijal, Jaspreet, Swati and Shruthi were all on hand the entire game to cheer their respective husbands and their team and the Glads family along and it meant the world to us. We were bowled over. Guys like Sankar Melethat (another Glads Co-Founder), Rakesh Boeana, Satish Chidura, Srinivas Bodhan, Ankur Doshi, Ophir Massey, Praveen Tirunagiri, David Zachariah (I am positive I forgot someone but my advance apologies if I did) and Ford Sai (who does a lot for Ford Cricket League and is a lover of the Game) were there to cheer us on in some way, shape or form – Be it a thoughtful word, encouragement or best wishes – Their heart was with us and we appreciated that.
To all the brightest minds in DCL whom we consulted (You know who you are) – Thanks for all the advise. We did take most of your inputs and combined it with our own reading and perception of the game. We valued your feedback immensely and would have been poorer without it.

In the final analysis in DCL 2018 – Glads as a team beat Pokiris in SF, Knockers in Finals and Indus Thunders in the Regular Season. All three of them are top notch DCL teams having some incredible players who are all the creme-de la-creme of DCL. It is not too often we can claim that we got all three scalps in the same DCL season. I guess we were lucky but then again we had to be reasonably good to be lucky in the first place. For Sathya, Tayef, Kishan and the Glads team – All the chips fell in the right places.

DCL Committee and DCL Commentary team:The DCL Committee deserves credit for conducting yet another successful tournament. DCL ratings went through the roof with the DCL Finals sporting the dream matchup between Gladiators and Knockers. With live video streaming, many viewers all across the world got to see the game from the comfort of their living room. The video of the Glads batting has already crossed a thousand views as the compelling match held the attention span of all followers of DCL. All four committee members – Azeem, Jagan, Parthiv and Vamsi were at the grounds for the duration of the match and that was much appreciated. The Committee however needs to do a better job of who gets to do the official commentary as it is important that those doing the commentary adopt a neutral stance while commenting on the game – It is in poor taste and leads to needless ridicule when the official video and commentary is biased. I personally thought Azeem, Parthiv, Jagan (the few times he came on), Vaibhav all adopted a neutral stance and while they sure wanted to see an interesting game yet were calling it as they saw it. That is what a neutral commentary team is supposed to do. We are extremely thankful to Vaibhav for taking the pains and the effort to do a live video feed. It was much appreciated. However the biased duo of Ghanta Rao and Vamsi Kanneganti were something else and let me point out the issue the Glads team had with their crappy commentary. First Ghanta Rao according to me is no expert in T ball cricket. If he is an expert in T Ball cricket then my dog is smarter than Einstein. Second he is on the Knockers roster and did not make the cut to make the playing 11 and yet here he is sitting and acting as the expert pundit and he went on an on from shore to shore till moons shall wax and wane no more regarding the Glads mistake of opting to bowl after winning the toss. If you thought that was happenstance, humor me and follow the narrative for then came the Arjun runout. Mind you – Kishan and I stood 10 feet away from the stumps and we did not see a direct hit rather we saw a fumble by the Keeper who disturbed the stumps a fraction of a second before the ball got there yet the Great Great Ghanta Rao sitting a good 90 to 100 yards away outside the ground and is seated behind the bowlers end saw a direct hit from that far away. “Absolute Chamatkaar!!!” Please donate his eyes to the Smithsonian because even the eyes of an eagle cannot beat Ghanta Rao’s eyes – I promise I will visit the Smithsonian to view this “Chamtkaar”. Parthiv in the commentary box can be heard saying that it was probably not a direct hit yet the amazing Ghanta pummels Parthiv into submission (Poor Plain Parthiv became Poorest Pummelled Parthiv in the process”) by stating over and over again that it was absolutely a direct hit. Direct hit – My foot. Trust me Ghanta Rao knows squat and knows a direct hit from an indirect hit about as well as a blind man knows the difference between night and day. They are both alike to him. If a Muned Ahmed fast ball directly hit Ghanta in the noggin and hit him on the noggin off a rebound from the fence – He still would not know whether it was a direct hit or an indirect hit. When Arjun who was in front of the wicket raised his concerns with the Leg Umpire that the runout was not effected cleanly and he was safe, Ghanta Rao makes the narcissistic sarcastic comment “When does Arjun ever say he is out.” That comment did not sit well with me as the simple question that arises is – Does Ghanta Rao play every game with Arjun to make such a groundless, baseless and ludicrous statement? In the end, one should not believe the word of Ghanta Rao or Kishan or I. All we have to do is look at the circumstantial evidence – The Keeper goes dead silent after the initial instinctive appeal which tells that even he had his doubts and the third Umpire also felt the ball was not collected cleanly (so the question of a direct hit is not even in the equation) but rather felt it could have been out or not out. Tough to say without the benefit of a Television replay. The third Umpire is not confident yet Ghanta Rao is super confident that it was a runout. Regarding Vamsi KK – One just has to listen to all the Radio shows in the playoffs and if you listen to that the bias becomes obvious. In his questionable analysis of games – He will state the various areas and Glads will have all the check boxes next to every area identified and he will also say that we just a bunch of superstars yet he picks us to lose the game – In other words if the Glads players sat for a test of second grade math, the Glads guys would get check marks next to every area be it addition, subtraction, multiplication, division etc, and it would also be pointed out that we are college graduates sitting for a second grade exam yet when asked if we will pass the test – The answer is we will fail the test individually and collectively – That is why it is garbage and I will call an analyst who does that kind of carp; “A Garbage Analyst.” We of course were thrilled with that as he never picked us in any playoff game and we won the Championship – Some Analyst he turned out to be. He was at his mendacious best when he went on the Radio show and stated that I bullied him by calling him a junk analyst. That was certainly not bullying because he then does not know the meaning of the world bullying if that was bullying – I just called it as I saw it. I certainly did not call him a junk analyst. I will tell you what I called him – I called him “A Garbage Analyst” and I did not do it behind his back rather I told him face to face as many in the Glads team felt betrayed by him. When he is forming a team for some local tournament he approaches our players and wants some of our players to play for him yet when the tournament is over we have noticed over and over again that he openly roots against us irrespective of the setting. We felt used and abused by him where we were used as hired guns to achieve his purpose. In the end none of us are dumb and this time around our players said a polite no and gave some cock and bull excuse because we had enough of the abuse. He is well known in Glads circles as a Glads hater. When one hears the commentary the bias was so great that even those who were cheering for Knockers in the comments section requested the commentators to be neutral but these guys only have a positive and a negative phase – no neutral phase to be grounded in their observations. The icing on the cake happens when Dilip starts bowling the last over of the game. These two biased analysts try to outdo each other as they go from actively giving instructions from Mankading Muned to adjusting the field for Knockers – I guess they did not have a whole lot of confidence in the ability of Arun to Field-Marshall his troops or the Knocker think tank led by Sanoj to cover all bases. In the end these two biased commentators acted as the Judge, Jury and Executioner and you bet I was ticked off about it. I was not going to let this one slide and I just evened up the score. They want to publicly do a hit job; well that is fine – The score has been evened publicly. They should know that freedom of speech runs both ways and is protected by the Constitution of the United States so both sides are on solid ground. It is perfectly alright to support the team of your choice but doing it from your position as a commentator who is supposed to call a neutral game simply stinks and hopefully DCL can put an end to this type of biased nonsense next year. In the end Karma turned out to be a bitch because all the field adjustments by the two biased commentators came to naught as the incredible shot executed by Muned meant no fielder had to bother to move an inch from their awesome set positions. Bite me, someone please bite me – What a reply to shut the biased commentators down for the day. It sure made my day. The incredibly popular video that has been seen over a thousand times can be seen below:

The Glads-Knockers Scorecard is as posted below:

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