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Tri-Angular Tournament Champions
26-27 April Taichung Base Ball Stadium (The Cauldron)
Formosa CC vs. Colommbo CC vs. Kaohsiung Community CC

 Friday night saw most of the team head down to Taichung for the clubs first official tournament. Things got a little raucous on the way down with everybody hitting the turps and a few of the lads getting a bit out of handthanks to the chairman again for finding us a smoking bus.

 Another highlight of the trip was Sunnie declaring, he was a batsman, mun! More on that later

 On arriving in Taichung at around 1am the team proceeded to head out to inspect local conditions

 Anyway the remaining members rocked up Saturday morning at the Taichung baseball stadium or the cauldron, as it later became known.

 GAME 1: Off to a flyer

Game 1 was against the KCCC who fielded a strong team from down south. We lost the toss and were sent in to field much to DJs chagrin.

 Kaohsiung came out firing with Andy and John giving them a good start. Both batsmen were given chances early on with some regulation catches going to ground.

 Our bowlers however, were up to the challenge with big Christian capturing some very valuable wickets. The skipper followed taking the prize scalp of John who was starting to take control of the innings with some big hitting.

 Kerri and Vinay provided some superb second-string bowling restricting the batsmen to 130 from the allotted 14 overs.

 Our openers got off to a flyer with the first ball from John being dispatched to third man boundary by the skipper. With the skipper lashing out and DB guiding the ball into the gaps it looked at one stage as if the virgin FCC would win their first game without losing a wicket!

 Then things went pair shaped 

 On around 80, the skipper tried to tonk Piers out of the park again for another six only to have his castle knocked over. DB continued with a gutsy knock until succumbing to SARS (nothing to do with the trip to the Pig Pen the night before) and retired hurt to get his breath back.

 After a mini collapse in the middle order DB returned to the crease to carry his bat and end up with a fine 43 not out. Christian hit the winning runs with 2 balls to spare, to further improve on his average (3 matches, 3 not outs) for FCC.

 It was an excellent start to the tournament with a gutsy nail-biting victory.

 Game 2: CCC beat K.C.C.C.  in another close-ish game 

Game 3: Formosa vs. the CCC..  "Shock & Awe"

Always a tough match up with the accomplished boys from Colombo. After winning the toss and electing to bat the openers met with nagging line and length from the Sri Lankans, restricting the batsmen to pushing runs rather than playing their natural game. The top order crumbled with DB managing to ground out 15 before throwing his wicket away.

 But help was on the way

 Sunil and Ettienne joined forces to form an inspirational partnership that provided our bowlers with a reasonable target to defend.

 Both players found confidence and the middle of the bat at the perfect time. Sunil with his delicate cuts and Ettienne with his superb cover drives - combined with their exceptional running between wickets - formed a memorable partnership.

 With only 70 runs to defend, the FCC had no choice but to attack with aggressive fast bowling and attacking field placements. I think George W. Bush calls it shock and awe.

 Christian started on song again claiming vital early wickets with the skipper supporting him with a tight spell and a return of 1 wicket for 2 runs off 3 overs. The CCC had no answer to the thunderbolts being launched from both ends.

 After the first 6 overs we had somehow managed to make a match of it with the game evenly poised.

 Charl and Cilliers then came into the bowling attack and maintained good pressure. It was coming down to the wire and a fifth bowler was required.

 The skipper threw the ball to the Punjabi Prince (Vinay) who bowled tight medium pacers to keep us in the game. With two balls remaining in the match the CCC needed 8 runs for victory

 The gritty Sri Lankans hammered the next ball for a boundary.

 4 runs required off the last balland the difference between a sleep in on Sunday morning or an early morning game hanging in the balance.

 Well the Punjabi Prince was having none of the early morning game and produced a corker yorker (in the parlance of Richie Benaud) to send the CCC packing pulling off an impossible victory. The Prince had picked up 3 wickets in the final over.

 And with his crucial 19 runs, Sunil had almost earned the right to call himself a batsman

 Having secured our place in the Final on Sunday a sleep in was in the offing. This was like a red rag to a bull for the Formosans and their hundreds of adoring fans.

 We celebrated in style, first at our hotel, and then later at a great bar called Sound Garden where we soaked up a fantastic atmosphere created by the surroundings and the wonderful camaraderie and friendship of the FCC family.

 Semi-final: CCC v. KCCC

The Semi final between the KCCC and the CCC was another close game with the KCC running out of wickets, failing to reach the CCC total of 120.

 

The Final:

 FCC vs. CCC       "digging deep again!"

 We won the toss and elected to bat. We again faced some good bowling which frustrated our openers and again the skipper was the first to hole out from a wide full toss. Darren and Kerri soon followed and we were teetering on the brink of complete embarrassment at 4/14.

 Sunil came to the rescue again after finding form the day before. Playing stylish strokes and running hard. Vinay soon joined him at the crease and after playing himself in and rotating the strike soon found his own form.

 The pair continued to play their shots and staged a remarkable middle order comeback added some 70 odd for the 5th wicket great stuff from the Indian duo.

 After Sunils dismissal, Jimmy (VC) stepped to the crease and took up where Sunil left off, playing some powerful shots and running like a greyhound between the wickets. We managed to break through the 100 run mark and finished with 106.

 We decided the only tactic was all out attack against the batsmen.

 Big Christian claimed the vital wicket of the dangerous Tenhil who skied an attempted pull shot behind the stumps where Andrew accepted the catch.

 The skipper then continued to intimidate the batsmen rolling through the Sri Lankan top order to claim 5 wickets off his 4 over spell.

 With eight overs remaining, the CCC were still on track to make the target however wickets were their only problem. With Charl out injured our pace attack was finished and we had to rely on Kerri and Vinay to continue to apply the pressure.

 The fielding was superb with Jimmy leading the way putting his body on the line saving runs and taking an incredible outfield catch on the run.

 Kerri produced a classic first up slower ball to send the last recognized batsman back to the pavilion, this following on from his classic caught and bowled the day before. 

 The boys were fired up, however the CCC were still in the hunt with their captain Prasantha warming to the task and batting with the tail.

 With only 2 wickets in hand Shantha pulled a powerful shot into the deep midwicket boundary straight into the waiting hands of the Skipper.

 It was going to go down to the wire. Prasantha was playing intelligent cricket, placing the ball perfectly to retain the strike and continue applying his own pressure. In the penultimate over there was a horrible mix up with the batsmen misjudging a run to the nimble (reflexes of a startled gazelle) Christian at midwicket. The big fella whipped it in to Andrew who had the bails off in a flash.

 Victory was ours.

 Vinay, The Punjabi Prince , was rewarded for his excellent work with both bat and ball to claim the most valuable player of the tournament award. The skipper earned the MVP of the final.

 Nimble Christian, or the Chairman, gleefully accepted the winners prize money of NT$6000. When the champions trophy was finally located the Skipper gratefully accepted it on behalf of the entire team.

 Aside from the obvious success of claiming the Champions trophy and MVP for the series and final our greater success was layed in how the entire team pulled together in times of crisis.

 The never say die attitude and team spirit that saw us bond together when the chips were down was surely unforgettable.

 We were very fortunate to have a fantastic group of supporters that helped keep our spirits up on the field and made the evenings and celebrations even sweeter. Without them we could not have wrested the trophy for our new clubhouse. They are as important as the players to the new FCC.

 To all - a job well done!

 Notables:

         Vinays fielding in all 3 matches, his batting and bowling in the final and bowling in the 2nd game saw him a deserved winner of MVP of the tournament

         Dwights game one opening stand with Darren and great fast bowling in game 2 and the final great captains performance in each game. Great bowling changes!

         Sunils timely return to form with the bat in game 2 and the final was a classy display of shot making and ball placement

         Darrens gutsy 43 not out in game one and always maintaining a positive attitude

         Kerris tight bowling and timely wicket taking under pressure as usual!!!

         Charls game 2 debut with the ball was awesome and gutsy body on the line fielding.

         Ettiennes impressive batting in game 2, without which we would have had no chance of winning

         Jimmys cameo batting in the final and inspirational fielding setting a great example

         Christians opening bowling in all 3 games set the platform for the rest of us to successfully defend any target

         Marks great cover fielding (especially the final) and admirable sacrifice in game 2 which proved to be a match winning decision.

         Andrews glove work improved throughout the tournament and his gutsy final performance (carrying a nasty ankle injury) saving crucial runs was inspirational.

         Cilliers never say die attitude, his fielding and commitment by coming back from Taipei Sunday morning was pure class.

PICTURES : http://www.pbase.com/formosacricket/taichung_triangular

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