Prague Trip 2017: Prague Cricket Club Vs Munich Lions.
Day decided! Teams ready! Airbnb and vehicles ready! Well, all set for Prague, but wait, how can a tour plan be so smooth? The news comes in that 2 key players have injured themselves while driving in the rain, and we are back to player hunting. Luckily and soon, we find 2 good players and we are back on track.
A batch leaves on Friday night, with the Ravi’s alternating behind the wheels. The fun ride to Prague was as expected – beer, merrymaking, item songs, only to be slightly interrupted by air turbulence induced by unknown forces. The second batch started on Saturday morning and with a couple of Bollywood experts, the journey was pretty filmy. Only at the end, with the driver blindly trusting apple maps instead of google maps, the batch ended 5 kms away from the designated ground. Because of which, the 40 overs match had to be curtailed to 35 overs. The map mistake has duly been reported to Apple and thus, maps have been upgraded to iOS 11 release.
Prague team had been practicing hard at the Velvary Ground trying to impress the visitors, but we had our own tricks to warm up like a bhangra jig. The astro wicket looked strange, but Rutwik and Rohit had already made up a plan and passed it on to batters. We won the toss and elected to bat on an unknown pitch, primarily because we don’t like chasing. The pink ball did swing early on and was duly negotiated by the top order batters, only to be reminded by skipper that we also had to score. Came in our new joiner Shahzad, and boy did he bat! He brought the run rate back on track and missed by 7 runs to a half-century. Meanwhile, Satya had steadily moved on to 50. In the quest for 200, we faced a middle-order collapse, but duly prevented by late hitting from Akshay (30) who ensured we reached a respectable 192 in 35 overs.
During the lunch break, which I must say was very well arranged by the hosts, we were not sure if we had enough runs. But the fiery opening spell from Rutwik and Rohit ensured that we got wickets without giving away many runs. The match was effectively over with the 5 top order batters cleaned up in the opening spell itself. But the finishing job still had to be done and it was well done by rest of the bowlers getting them out for 105 in 25 overs.
Next day we were quite skeptical if we could have a match after all the overnight rain, but kudos the host team and the jolly groundsman to get it in some shape for a T20 match. This time, we were put into the field first and it turned out to be impossible for fast bowlers to bowl on a damp mat. Somehow with the reduced run-up and reduced pace, we still picked up wickets and did not allow Prague to settle down. All the bowlers – Rohit, Rutwik, Satya, Utsav, Akshay got wickets. Only for their skipper who decided to play the whole innings, Prague made a near 100 score. It was never going to be enough to win against our batting line-up, but recently we had not been good at chasing. In our chase, we lost few wickets early on, which brought Rutwik (48*) to crease, and he played brilliantly with Shahzad (19) by keeping up the run rate without taking too many risks. With good company from Akshay later, there were no further hiccups and fittingly we reached home with a big SIX in the 18th over.
2 out of 2 wins on a tour is indeed awesome, great camaraderie and teamwork. I wish we have more such trips.
It was not just the cricket, but the time spent in the van, dinners, night outs, gossips and to top it all – an Oscar-winning performance from our military strong man.
We all look forward to the next trip.
Team: Rohit Goyal (C), Satya Sahoo, S.R.Sharma, Eliah Beresford, Utsav Datta, Akshay Bhat, Ravi Patel, Ravi Mehra, Sachit Varma, Shahzad Qureshi, Ashutosh Sharma
T-Shirt Ceremony - Prague Trip 2018
We hope to playing soon as Utsav on behalf of Munich Lions invited PCC to come to Munich next season. We too hope to be back again.
Prague Trip 2018
The lions from Munich were back again in Velvary, so were the opposition from Prague. And lots of “Welcome Back” indicated that many players from both sides had loved the outing last year so much, that they had again decided to come back. Any why not: PCC are such a wonderful host.
Munich Lions had put up a strong team of 14, with the right mix of youth and experience (ages ranging from 15 to 55), which resulted in a spectacular partnership between Waleed (eldest) and Eliah (2nd Youngest) that won us the T20 match.
Lions started on Friday afternoon and made sure with frequent reload and release of golden liquid, that we just reached on time for the party at Prague. Prague is an amazing city and after exploring the happening night joints, the lions were back to party in the den. It was noticed that few lions had brought generous amount of vegetation and were rolling it up to keep the den fresh and high. It was also noticed that one of the lions got some strange marks on the face, after stepping out into the streets, but we promised “What happens in Prague, stay in Prague“.
Surprisingly on Saturday, everybody could make it to the ground. With the sun shining hard, PCC decided to bowl first and make use of the early moisture, but Lions openers were up to the job. No early wickets lost, run-rate of 5 well this is what we had been looking for the whole season.
Rohit went on to make his 52* and Rupayan continued the tempo with yet another 52* in the middle order. Some healthy contribution from Satya, Waleed, Akshay ensure we scored 247, which we believed was sufficient to win. However, PCC openers had other ideas and they went off to flying start. Munich Lions fast bowlers did try hard to hit the toes (their own) every ball, and this prompted the skipper to introduce spin bowling. This dried up the runs, wickets fell and Munich Lions knew they had won well before PCC folded up for 208.
After another night of frenzy partying, the team returned back to den at 3 AM and it was reported that some members had their breakfast before hitting the bed. But like true Lions, each member was up for the game on Sunday. For T25, PCC decided to bat first and Surya played another fine knock to take his team to 117. That’s all PCC could make, because Munich Lions fast bowlers had their mojo back, some say because of the excellent lunch and beer that the host had arranged both days. Akshay, Rohit, Manav got 2 wickets each. Munich Lions achieved the target without much fuss in 19th over, primarily because of the excellent partnership between Eliah (35) and Waleed (33), appreciably supported by Rutwik (20).
2 days of excellent Cricket that was not only enjoyed by the players but also by the few spectators who had gathered to watch the international fixture at Velvary. Credit also goes to the single camera man from Regensburg (Vineet Bhola) who was literally omnipresent at all the corners. It ended with a nice gesture from PCC skipper to hand over a PCC club T-Shirt to Munich Lions skipper. For those who were focused on the liquor that was subsequently gifted, here is the picture of the T-Shirt ceremony.
Team: Akshay, Ahsish, Eliah, Habib, Manav, Levi, Rupayan, Rohit, Rutwik, Satya, S.R. Sharma, Utsav, Vineet, Waleed Bhai.