2011 Turku Indoor Tournament
Empire again was invited to play in the traditional Finnish cricket summer curtain
raiser, the 2011 Turku Indoor Tournament, which took place on Saturday 23rd April
After an early start out of Helsinki, 7 am (the time we wake up to play the sport we love
we made our way on the highway looking for a Neste service station that was almost
never found. We eventually stopped at a service station for breakfast about 20 km
outside of Turku. I think it was a Neste after all, but I can't remember. I was too busy
counting the tunnels. My count was 10. After filling our stomachs and taking some
team pictures, with some stylish Carlsberg's hats, we made it to the indoor stadium and
the location of one of Empire greatest triumphs. But the excitement did not end there.
11:00 vs VANTAA - Vantaa 70 for 3, Empire 45 for 5. Vantaa win by 25 runs.
The umpires and organisers somehow failed to agree on the rules, and as a result,
what should have been an "OUT ROOFED" became a 6, and the batsman went on
to score 30 runs off 7 balls. The correct roof rule was then put back in place for our
innings, and of course, one of our batsmen was duly given "out" in exactly the same
circumstances as the Vantaa batsman scored a 6. C'est la vie, as the old folks say.
13:40 vs TURKU EAGLES - Empire 38 for 1, Turku Eagles 37 for 4. Empire won by 7 wickets.
After losing another toss (I hope Nitin will win one of these this season, though it does
not matter if we win all our matches), we were sent in to bowl against the hosts. After
some tight opening bowling from Mani, Bupi and Phil, Turku were down a wicket with
a under par score. After a solid over bowled by Nitin and some great death bowling from
Nipuna we had Turku on the ropes with a below par score.
With Nipuna and Zahed opening the batting, we had high hopes that we could notch up
our first victory of the tournament and this was indeed the case. After a solid opening
partnership of 30 odd after two overs, we had it in the bag with Bupi coming in after Zahed
holed out and we reached the target with over 2 overs to spare.
15:40 vs NEPALI UNION - Empire 56 for 4, Nepali Union (Ghurkars) 69 for 3.
Ghurkars won by 13 runs.
With a position in the semi-finals almost completely in our own hands we went into
the final match of the group round against the Ghurkars full of confidence. In hindsight
maybe with too much confidence, since completely underestimated the fight of our
opponents and with some poor bowling the Ghurkars were able to post a daunting
score of 69 in their allotted overs. It could have definitely been worse if not for once again
some great death bowling from our own Slinga, Nipuna, who bowled a scary impressive
last over taking two wickets and bowling a number of unplayable deliveries.
With the high that Nipuna's last over gave us and our impressive opening partnership of
Nipuna and Zahed we were hoping we could give the target a running for its money. But
it was not to be. Due to some good fielding by the Ghurkars, which led to the fall of wickets
at regular intervals and the pressure of the target we fell short of the target by 13 runs, meaning
we were out of the tournament barring a miracle in the final match between Vantaa and Turku.
However with Turku batting out their overs by losing only a couple of wickets our run rate
was not good enough to surpass Turku's, which means we were going home dissappointed.
Empire Cricket Club want to thank Turku CC again for organizing such a great tournament,
which already is a pre-eminent fixture on the Finnish cricket calender. We hope to be
invited again next year