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Teks Offsite 2014 (Installment I) – When IT Professionals Turned Cricketers


Hussain Fakhruddin - December 3, 2014 - 0 comments

‘Edged, and taken!’

 

‘Need a couple of boundaries this over…’

 

‘That went like a tracer bullet!’

Hipsters vs Geeks

You do not associate sentences like these with a mobile app company, right? Well, it was that kind of a day – when the developers and designers of Teknowledge Mobile Studio forgot about their iMacs and Android projects, and donned their cricketing whites. The result? A match to remember!

 

In a bid to encourage the off-the-job bonding among the Teks employees, a 12-over-per-side cricket match was organized on last Saturday, the 29th of November. Each side had 10 players – and each of us was raring to go on the day (to be frank, from a week in advance!). The admin head of our mobile app agency had already checked out the ground space at Kolkata Maidan (we like doing EVERYTHING efficiently!). Everything was sorted out, balls and bats and bails and wickets were arranged, and the teams were all set to show off their cricketing skills on the field.

 

A bit about the teams that faced off on that winter morning. The first team were called ‘Hipsters’ – and comprised of our graphic designers, animators, PHP experts, content and PR executives, and the chief admin/project coordinator (that’s right, they had landed the big fish!). The team name had been selected after due deliberation – and was apt enough, considering the creative nature of the team-members.

Team Geeks

And what about the quite formidable opposition? They were the ‘Geeks’ – and don’t run away with the assumption that they were typical nerds who would be mere pushovers on a sports field. They were the team of Android and iPhone app developers of Teknowledge – and at least half of their team were fit enough to…well maybe not take on the Kohli-s and the Raina-s…at least hold their own. A couple of them were not over the moon with the ‘Team Geeks’ name, and were eager to prove that their brains were not the only agile part in their bodies!

A slight nip in the air, the prospect of an exciting cricket match to kickstart the weekend, and a full Sunday to follow – what could have been a more enjoyable package for us Teksians? Well, there was one point to ponder on. Barring a couple of players from either side, all the others had last touched cricketing gears 5, 7, even 10 years ago. Match-practice and fitness levels were not the highest for most…but hey, enthusiasm can conquer all! It might have been just another fun outdoor session organized by our mobile app development company, but we were determined to make it one of the most exciting intra-company corporate cricket matches of the year. And boy, did we succeed or what?

Now we all know that women’s cricket is neglected in our country and all that – and letting our lady colleagues a chance to get involved in the game was a priority of ours. There was one snag though – we did not have enough females in our ranks to make a cricket team (let alone two!). The way out? The ladies took up the responsibility of being the umpires for this all-important match. In case you were wondering, there was a third umpire too – Yours truly!

Teams lining up for the match

Proceedings started sharp at 8:15 am at the Maidan, with the toss – presided over by the umpires and the two captains. The ‘Geeks’ called correctly, and somewhat surprisingly, elected to field first. Perhaps it was their confidence in their fast bowlers (okay, medium-pacers – but you get the point!), perhaps they did not want to bat first on an unknown surface – any which way, they were ultimately left to rue this decision. After all, there is a golden rule in limited overs cricket – ‘always try to put runs on the board first.

 

The openers of ‘Team Hipsters’ took the field after 10 minutes, and they put the team off to a mini-flyer. 12 runs came off the first over, with a couple of boundaries. The ‘Geeks’ hit back soon enough though, with a wicket-maiden next up. Runs were nicely choked up in the middle overs, and it was a quickfire 17 from our chief UI/UX designer (who knew he could wield the long handle so effectively too?) that propelled the ‘Hipsters’ to a somewhat respectable score of 7/106 off their allotted 12 overs. The general feeling was, it was a slightly below-par score. What happened next was somewhat unprecedented.

V. Prakash - opener - Team Hipsters

After a decent enough start, the mobile app developers (a.k.a ‘Team Geeks’) started losing wickets at regular intervals. The fielding standard of the ‘Hipsters’ was not the greatest – misfields and byes were rather frequent – but the overall tight line and length of the bowlers did the trick quite nicely. The icing on the cake was our UI/UX designer (yes, once again), who chipped in with 3 quick wickets. A valiant rearguard effort from a couple of the senior developers ultimately came to no avail – as the ‘Geeks’ finally ended up a good 29 runs short. One of the iOS app developers, playing for the ‘Hipsters’ hit a frantic 34 – the highest score of the match.

Team Huddle after the 1st innings

Okay, you might by now be wondering which team I played for in this Hipsters vs Geeks mega match. Oh well, I turned out for neither – and instead, donned the mantle of official scorer-cum-commentator. During the match, I had to attend a couple of calls from clients asking for free app quotes – but overall, I ensured that I did not miss out on any action. Yes, we had a (manually-created) official scorecard too!

 

After the match was over, we had a proper presentation ceremony too. The winning and the defeated captains came up with short speeches – and both of them lauded the efforts put in by their respective team-members. Given the number of…let’s call them ‘silly mistakes’…that happened on the field – a bit of leg-pulling was in order. That bit was reserved for Monday though, we don’t make fun of each other in front of others!

 

The best thing about this Geeks vs Hipsters match was the spirit in which it was played (I would have loved to say competency, but that would be a stretch!). A minute’s silence was held before the toss, in memory of recently deceased Australian cricketer, Phillip Hughes. There was plenty of…ah…wild, wayward bowling (c’mon, we did not have any match parctice), but no sustained, short-pitched stuff was dished out.

UI/UX designer

And what about sledging – that integral part of modern-day cricket? We did have more than our fair share of friendly banter. Our mobile app designing head (the man with runs and wickets) was at the thick of things regarding this as well. He constantly chirped away at the ‘Geek’ batsmen – which made the latter thoroughly irritated. The other ‘Hipsters’ were, of course, doubling up with laughter at the man’s wacky offers and verbal music to get the opposition batsmen out.

 

Last but certainly not the least, our lady umpires carried out their responsibilities beautifully. Yes, there were wides and no-balls missed, and a couple of times they did lose the ball-count – but on the whole, they presided over the proceedings efficiently enough. Let’s be fair here too – players from either team kept playfully pressurizing them into adjusting the scores marginally in their favor – but they stood firm!

PHP Developer at Teknowledge Mobile Studio

A full morning’s cricket can make you ravenously hungry – and our mobile app development experts, designers, and the others were living proof of that on that day. After a bit of on-field euphoria from the ‘Hipsters’, we headed to Arsalan – that Park Street haven for biryani-lovers – for a grand Saturday lunch. All of us filled ourselves as much as we could. I do have a sneaky feeling that the food seemed tastier to the ‘Hipsters’ than the ‘Geeks’ though!

 

All is not lost for ‘Team Geeks’ though. Last Saturday’s match was the first in a three-match series. The next couple of matches would be held over the coming weekends – and everyone is confident of putting up an even better show the next time round. It’s high time we proved that Cricinfo blogs and armchair discussions are not the only things about cricket we are really comfortable with.

Team Hipsters

This was the first installment of the series of year-ending Teks Offsite tours in the offing. Apart from the 2nd and 3rd cricket matches, we have a office tour to Piyali Island, Sunderbans, lined up. Reports on those will be coming up in the next installments of Teks Offsite 2014.

 

Most of us – me included – are in the habit of checking match scoreboards first on Cricinfo, before reading the full match report. Why should the first unofficial ODI between ‘Team Hipsters’ and ‘Team Geeks’ be any exception? Here’s the scorecard from saturday’s match:

 

Teks’ Tour Of Maidan

The Geeks Vs The Hipsters Cup 2014 – 1st ODI

(Hipsters won by 29 runs)

 

Hipsters Innings (12 Overs Maximum)

Batsman Mode of Dismissal RS (BF) Strike Rate
V. Prakash c: J.Rout+ b: J.Agarwal 10 (5) (2×4, 0x6) 200.00
K.K. Dipak b: G. Srivastav 8 (5) (1×4, 0x6) 160.00
S.Ghosh+ b: A.Saha 34 (14) (3×4, 2×6) 242.86
Z.Ahmed b: G. Srivastav 14 (13) (1×4, 0x6) 107.69
S.Goswami* c: G. Srivastav b: J.Agarwal 8 (6) (1×4, 0x6) 133.33
P.Poddar b: A.Saha 12 (7) (2×4, 0x6) 171.43
A.Manna not out 17* (8) (2×4, 0x6) 212.50
D.Nandi run out 1 (2) (0x4, 0x6) 50.00
A.Karak not out 2*(1) (0x4, 0x6) 200.00
Total (12 overs)        7/106 (RR → 8.83)

 

Geeks Innings (12 Overs Maximum)

(Target: 107 runs off 72 balls)         

Batsman Mode of Dismissal RS (BF) Strike Rate
M.Agarwal c: S.Ghosh+  b: A. Manna 2 (3) (0x4, 0x6) 66.33
R.Kolli c: A.Karak b: V.Prakash 1 (2) (0x4, 0x6) 50.00
G.Srivastav c: S.Ghosh+  b: A. Manna 19 (13) (2×4, 0x6) 146.15
J.Rout c: S.Ghosh+ b: S.Goswami 3 (4) (0x4, 0x6) 75.00
J.Agarwal  run out 16 (8) (2×4, 1×6) 200.00
A.Saha* b: S.Goswami 9 (7) (1×4, 0x6) 128.57
A.Roy Chowdhury not out 16* (11) (2×4, 0x6) 145.45
S.K.Jhunjhunwala run out 9 (7) (1×4, 0x6) 128.57
P.Das run out 0(1) (0x4, 0x6) 0.00
K.Reddy b: S.Goswami 0(1) (0x4, 0x6) 0.00
Total (11.2 overs)     77 (RR → 6.75)

 

 

Toss: Geeks, who chose to field

 

Umpires: D. Banerjee & D. Chatterjee

TV Umpire/Reserve Umpire/Match Referee: H. Fakhruddin

 

MOTM: A. Manna (17*, 3 wickets, and plenty of friendly sledging!)

 

Hipsters lead 3-match series 1-0.

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