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Sunday, March 12, 2006 

Well this is my first blog so don’t think I would quite get the hang of it right away. I hope there are few people who do read my blog and post comments because after all that is more or less the whole purpose. So where do we go from here. Let me start with the engaging tale of the dawn of my karakoram cricket team. What could anyways be more apt for me to talk about but cricket. Those images of karakoram batting making a joke of itself have made great impact to me and to come out of it has been a journey worth living.

So we go to 2001, I was a great cricket enthusiast and till then my contribution in the hostel through participation was negligible. I used to be there all the time but never had the chance to represent, apart from a slick narrators role in the ever famous facha skit which sparked great enthu in my batch. So there I was at the nets bowling at alien batsmen and enjoying. Come the eve of the match slot P strikes and I get the first blow of t, I was not included in the 14 selected to play vindy. But I still sat there on the ground hoping someone would want to rest for a while and I would get a chance to take the field. Didn’t happen. Then for the next match I got a place in the playing eleven. It was the most miserable and embarrassing start to a good enough stint. I fell first ball and went in the history books as the fifth of amit gupta’s 6 bunnies. Amit gupta had taken 6 wickets in six balls and we had our heads hanging in shame. Ara rode over us and chased a good enough target of 141 with ease. It all started from that day and I always wanted to take 6 wickets in an over to make my revenge. Well that didn’t happen but I have no regrets on that.

For the nest 2 years kara gave shameful batting performances one after the other and completed a string of ending last among 7 hostels for 4 years. The last match against nil in my third year gave me some strength as kara fought hard trying to dismiss nil for 54 to enter the second round and had them reeling at 9 for 5 but a certain Mr. Khushu spoild our party and took nil to victory. I took five wickets in the match and ended a disappointing year in cricket both for the hostel and the institute. With me was rajat who had now seen 2 years of finishing last. Though we had had a consoling victory over ara in the previous year but could not qualify for the next round. Defeat had become inevitable, I had a horrendous year in sports then, my goalkeeping studdapa is no secret but anyways I would not elaborate. Lets just say kara lost to nil 5-0.:P

Come 2005, we had a an average inter iit, and I personally had a bad one. As of me not much had changed but a lot else had changed. Three names that changed the whole outlook of kara cricket for the next two years came into the team. These were roushan singh, nikhil bansal and rounak bhandari. While roushan is an experienced high level player the other two were very much like any of us having played gulli mohalla but their performances seemed much better. With a great mix of experience and fuchas( I wont call them youth hehe) kara set out to do the unthinkable……. Victory! Our first match was against vindy where roushan singh on his debut took 5 wickets and we wrapped them up for 92. and I thought that we have made a good start, but it wasn’t gonna be easy. We lost a lot of wickets and it was down to 34 runs from 8 overs with 4 wickets in hand. Duda and me were at the crease. We took the innings to within 7 runs when duda got out and then when 3 were required I got out. We barely scampered through winning by 2 wickets with 2 balls to spare. But we won and did the unthinkable. The second match was against nil. We batted first and slumped again this time to a poor 43 for 7 in the 12 over or so. But a gutsy inning by utpal jain and the partnership between him and me saw us get upto 121. we defended well but not well enough. We lost the match in the last over by 4 wickets or something. But it was a good fight and good things were sure to come.

Then came the match of our times. Karakoram vs. kumaon this match will be discussed amongst cricketers for as long as kara and kumaon play cricket. Well maybe not that long but it was some match. 26th January 2005 it was kara and kumaon playing a virtual quarter final against each other. Kara had a bad start with the unavailability of Balaji our terror fast bowler. I think kumaon won the toss that day( they must have if I had gone for the toss) and elected to bat.

the very first ball we had a chance of winning the match when a run out chance on gopal went a begging, and after that gopal just tore the attack apart. that innings to me is the most delightful any opponent has ever played, i was virtually clapping my hands everytime the ball went to the boundary, i have seen only one more person play a knock like this, it was just around the corner. i had a sore index finger in that game from an injury that i had had against nilgiri while fielding, towards the end we pulled kumaon back from a huge total ,gopal skied on in the air and i took tha catch conscious all the time about the finger, i do remember actually applauding gopal for that inning as he was leaving. as the inning ended kumaon got 165 in 25 overs a target many thought was beyond us including me.

during the lunch break i started feeling sick, i had some temperature and was coughing non stop. i remember our lunch had not arrived and our kumaon counterparts in great sense of sportsman spirit and a touch of arrogance about the 165 offered us thier food, well i ate it because i thought if we have to lose i'll be a good loser. the inning started with the normal dismisal of manna cheaply. what happened next was a treat of every cricket lover in iit delhi. roushan singh came out at 3 and played the most brilliant innings that i have witnessed in my 5 years of cricket in this institute. he showed no sign of pressure or tension and played with impeccable control and finesse, he didi not concede a single chance. supported on the other end by farshad bahmed who got 33 in a partenership of 96 runs. farshad's dismissal however meant that we only had one recognised batsman. as i walked in next i didnt know if i was ready to take up the challenge, but i had a few runs under my belt in the previous matches so i went in and just rotated the strike. roushan made 84 unbelievable runs and we won with 3 balls to spare, a victoy clinched from the jaws of the early celebrations of kumaon. samir srivastava till date has no clue as to how they lost that match.

karakoram cricket life was never to be the same since that day, we won the semi final easily against shivalik, but lost the finals to ara very closely. but that certainly wasn't the end of the road.

defeat is an integral part of victory and defeat makes the victory every bit sweeter. there has not been any sporting team aur player who hasnt suffered defeat, its how you take it and work to your advantage that makes you a better player.

-shreyas dhamdhere 13th march 2006

Nice post..why didnt u write about the euphoria of vistory this year around. And you could have had also elaborated on the Kara - Kumaon match a bit more. It was legendary to say the least.

Well I remember tht Kara-Kumaon match like it happened yesterday.Initially after Kumaon's huge total and our batting reputation only handful of Karaites among them me and sohit were left to see the 'formality' being completed and being defeated by Kumaon in another of supposedly no contests.But what traspired led to the moments tht I miss most abt IIT and make these events something spl and make you fight tooth and nail for.Because tht was the wee,if I remember tht heralded the change in fortunes whose repurcussions were to be fully heard not untill the next yr when we won RCA and cricket finals.I still wish I was there but you cant have it all.....

I really enjoyed reading your blog? But what's the title?

Casa Mara Hostal

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