N K ASHOKBHARAN

english blog

When the dreams were shattered by ‘their’ grit….

Posted by nkashokbharan on May 5, 2010

This article was published in the 131st Battle of the Blues (2010) Royal College Souvenir.

One long year has passed, yet it sense like yesterday… a haunting set of days for any Royalist who was present there, especially for us; prefects! Last year’s ‘Battle of the Blues’ still stand in our memories and every time the thought re-sparks we could feel the warmth. The Royal team last year was simply astonishing. It had a good run for the whole season and capped it with winning the award for the Best School Cricket Team of the season on the hand the Thomians weren’t that impressive that any layman who watched both play throughout the season would simply predict a ‘massive’ win for Royal! Everyone was confident including many Thomians & media that Royal will regain the D.S.Senanayake Shield.

In the first Inning, Royal demonstrated why they were tagged as favourites. With an amazing performance the Royalists pushed the Thomians into struggling trench. When it was the Royalists to bat; the ball was airborne to score runs, when it was the Royalists to field; the ball was either kissing the stumps or the fielder’s palms.  It was an amazing first inning fully dominated by the Royalists and the besieged Thomians were forced to follow on with their second innings. We could see vacated seats and empty stands in the Thomian den and Celebration & cheer in the Royal den.

The second Inning started. It was an ‘almost’ won match for Royal in a spectator’s perspective but for the players and cricket maestros they know anything can happen at any moment in cricket and there was more to go. ‘Cricket’ is a great game, not for the lumps & lumps of money involved but for the uncertainty and excitement. Only ‘real’ gentlemen can play cricket, because you need patience and mental strength equally as the physical needs. Slowly the second inning moved on as slowly as the wickets fell for Thomians. No one knew why, but this time the ball refused to kiss neither the stump nor the fielder’s palm as frequently as in the first inning. Apart of controversies the Thomian wickets stood steady and slowly the runs were collected. As the second day of the match was near to an end it rang an alarm in both Royalists & Thomians. For us; Royalists it gave a warning and for Thomians an invitation to restore their ‘almost’ lost game.

The Third day was more exciting for both. We could see the stands getting filled up before the lunch and cheers coming from all over SSC. But still the wickets fell very slowly and in long intervals. It was after the tea the Royalists managed to dismiss the Thomians and had a total of 198 and Royalists had just 21 overs to touch the winning line. It was an average of 9.42 needed for Royal to clinch victory. It might sound possible for the Aussies against a weaker team but in school level such a run rate is clearly unachievable, yet the Royalists dared to try – that is the spirit! But in the Royal Boys’ Tent our minds were not calculating this arithmetic, we knew our team could do it, but our concern was different. Nature – is always unpredictable, we promise on nature’s order at any point, but we were all hopeful and praying that the sun should not set too soon and even hardly praying that clouds should not start spitting. How many prayers of ours have come true? Well, not this time… ‘Bad Light’ was offered by the Umpires and without much of a reality option left, Royalists were forced to accept it.

Heat! That is what which was pouring through the Royal blood, it was a draw match but for us; Royalists it was like a mere defeat. In sportsmen’s perspective it was a great match, may be some critiques might pen this as the best battle of the blues match of the past decade or may be in the whole history yet for Royalists; we couldn’t believe the fact that the match ended as a draw. The D.S.S shield was given to the Thomians after they showed their grit and succeeded a draw, just after the ceremony, may be because of the unbelief of the result the clouds started to pour rain. Yet, we; Royalists gathered in front of the Boys’ Tent along with the mighty Royal College Team and sang the school song as loud as we can, with total feel. It was a very touching moment for all of us and we all vowed for a comeback soon and prove ourselves.

Last year was a shattered dream, yet we are all proud of our mighty team. Because it is not victories & defeats which define Royalist, but the passion and commitment. We were passionate, ambitious and showed our fullest commitment last season but missed the big prize. This year it is a very special year for us, mother Royal is celebrating her 175th Anniversary and this 131st Battle of the Blues is more special for us. With a great team fully prepared at Royal under the captaincy of a great player Bhanuka Rajapaksa, I believe that this is the year for us to pluck the sweetest fruit; the D.S.S Shield! We not only learn from books but from men too, and every time we come out with a more sophisticated and better game. Royal was successful for 175 years so far due to this noble attitude and we shall continue for more & more years forward.

When the dreams were shattered by ‘their’ grit, we did not feel lost but we learnt more with sweat and passion and now we are ready to prove ‘our’ moxie!

Gimmea ‘R’……………………………….

It was unfortunate that we couldn’t win the match this year but we deserved to win. We played well. Fate screwed the big match & rain screwed the T20, we deservedly won the One Day! Welldone guyz! Let’s fight even harder next year!

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