Not that this was in doubt – given that the team comprised of a judicious combination of youth and experience, debutants and veterans, exuberance and maturity, with players spanning close to four generations - from Batch 50 to Batch 12, yet all of them endowed with the trademark of IIMC - an abundance of energy and enthusiasm.

The finals of the TecMan Alumni Cricket Carnival was played on Sunday, April 26, 2015 between the alumni of IIMC and the combined team from PAN IIT + IIMB + ISB. The match (25 overs a side) started at 1 PM – when it was 36 degrees (that’s Celsius) in the shade, combined with humidity levels in the 90s. The heat was no deterrent for this band of Joka(ites) / Joka(ns) in its quest to win glory for the alma mater (except when we had to bowl/field, or run between the wickets – meaning, when we were lounging in the cooler depths of the pavilion)!

Throughout this narrative, I am going to be using numbers, within brackets, next to the names of our guys. These numbers, as I have shared in earlier narratives, are not Age, Waist Size or IQ, but Batch Numbers! Jaggi (20), our captain, had an easier task, this time, in the selection of the team, since only 11 had turned up. We lost the toss and were put in to field (though, in our pre-match strategy discussions we had advised Jaggi that he should win the toss and elect to bat as that would make sure that we can continue to sit in the shade of the pavilion for a couple of hours). In true IIMC spirit, with no complaint that the toss of the coin had gone contra to our advice, and with no murmur, we paraded out into the hot sun, to do our duty.

Bala (50) and Nithin (46) quickly got into their stride, generating fiery pace. Nithin got us the breakthrough in his very first over, getting their captain (Ramanan) out, clean bowled. Nishant (IIMB, had scored a century during the qualifying rounds the previous Sunday) used the pace of our bowlers to gather some quick runs. The wily Jaggi, shrewd and street-smart that he is, smartly introduced his slower bowlers – JK (12), with his gentle medium and Arvind (PGPEX 2), with his off-spin. The two of them were able to tie the batsman down and restricted the scoring. Arvind foxed Nishant, their star batsman, into an uppish drive and Hari (27) took an amazing catch at covers. Wickets fell at regular intervals and their team reached 154 for 8 in 25 overs. Prakash Rao played a steady innings for them for a well-compiled 38. Jaggi was the pick of our bowlers, bowling an accurate and nagging line, and took 4 for 20 in 5 overs. Arvind got 2 wickets for 20 runs.

Going in to bat, Arvind and Natty (44) gave us a splendid start, combining caution with aggression. Arvind got into his stride, drove and cut with ease, sending the balls repeatedly across the boundary line. Natty kept pace, punishing the loose deliveries. The opening pair amassed 99 runs, off a mere 11.2 overs, before Natty fell for 24. Arvind was out soon after, having made 57 runs off 45 balls (9 fours and 1 six) – a truly masterly innings. In the pavilion, JK convinced Jaggi that he should go in ahead of the youngsters (“to show them how it is done”, he said) and joined Hari in the middle. Hari got out soon and the score stood at 113 for 3. Rajesh (45) joined JK and the two of them took IIMC across the finish line, in style – JK displaying his vintage elegance (with a couple of authoritative cover drives and a lofted on-drive to the fence) combined with vintage energy (ran quick singles, converted singles into twos), and Rajesh pummeling at will, getting the ball to go across and over the boundary with ease. JK was 22 not out (3 fours) and Rajesh was 25 not out (2 fours and 2 sixes) as IIMC reached 158 for 3 in 19.4 overs, to record a convincing victory.

Terrific teamwork, great individual contributions, astute captaincy and leadership, amazing energy, enthusiasm and camaraderie – overall, a truly satisfying and fulfilling alumni activity spread over the last two Sundays. Many of our alumni (including, our Chapter President Mali (22), Ajay Jain (18), KK Raman (8), Manohar (11), RPG (19) and others) were at the grounds over the two Sundays to cheer the team.

During the prize distribution function that evening, apart for the team receiving the coveted Winners trophy for the inaugural edition of the TecMan Alumni Cricket Carnival, Suresh Shankar, Gokul and Arvind received Man-of-the-Match Awards for their excellent performances in the qualifying rounds/finals.