My first impression of Vizag is that of a poor cousin of the Gold Coast, for those back home it is the Sunshine Coast. A holiday destination for Indians, the beach is packed with lots of people but none actually venturing in the water. See I am a typical Indian, love being at the beach, but I am happy not to enter!
Due to contracting the flu from my last roommate (thanks Julie Hunter) I have been placed in isolation. It isn’t as bad as it sounds as I actually get my own room which is nice for a change.
With the tight playing schedule our first of 5 T20’s was played the next morning and by the time we tossed the coin at 9.30am the humidity was becoming unbearable. I can now understand why we are playing matches in the morning and our last two at 6.30pm. I think we would all die if we played them in the mid afternoon.
In keeping with their form in the ODI’s both Meg Lanning (34) and Jessica Cameron (67) gave us a perfect base to post a score of 138. Even though the wicket was a batters paradise, with a slow outfield and the fact we could build scoreboard pressure put us well and truly in the box seat and as a result, we kept the Indians to 8/109. I chimed in with 3 wickets at the end, the joy of coming on late in the innings when they are going for it. Either you get hit for a six or get a few wickets and I was on the lucky side.
Oh one thing that I have forgotten to mention is that this hotel has a few power outages, so everyone hopes that they aren’t in the lift when it happens. Also Fitz has befriended a pregnant cat whom she has named as Julia and religiously feeds 3 times a day (god knows what the cat will do after we leave).
With the first 3 matches being played in the morning means that we have the afternoon/evening off so there has been a few that have ventured out to hit the shops. It would appear that Vizag doesn’t seem to mind how many you can fit in a tuk tuk with the norm being above 8 people.
Whilst walking around we arrived to this huge roundabout with cars coming every direction, so I decided we should all play chicken where we have to walk at the same pace into the middle of the roundabout. So mature aren’t I? We did however make it, the joys of India where they will go around you, don’t think that I would try it at home!
During our shopping expedition Midge did find a bee bee gun and with that the games were on back at the hotel. What started was simply firing at empty cans rapidly escalated into open warfare between 5 of us over a number of levels. Biggest kid, Richard, followed closely by Julie Hunter!
Our second T20 we lost the toss and found ourselves in the field. The bowling group has done an extremely good job over here on wickets that don’t give a lot of assistance and today wasn’t any different. Despite not picking up many wickets, 3 in fact, we were able to keep the Indians to 111, which wasn’t ever going to be enough. Again Meg (40) and Jessica C (68) formed the winning partnership as we passed their total in the 18th over only losing 2 wickets in the process.
With a rare day off there were three different groups that tried to entertain themselves.
1) Alex, Jak and Julie S (manager) decided to make the whole day trip to the caves, only to travel 2 hours and hit a road block due to the locals not happy about coconut prices! So back they came another 2 hours in the car, so much fun.
2) Our Doc, got a group together to head out to a temple that was an hours drive away. As soon as I saw who was going it was always going to be a flop, as Jessica Cameron and Shaz had put their hand up. Without fail they arrived and weren’t allowed into the temple as there was a services taking place
3) The final group were the ones who didn’t making any plans and chilled out in the room, by the pool and facials, threading and studied. I had strategically placed myself in this group and had a lovely day off!
To top off the day I hit the shops again with Midge, Pez and Shaz. Whilst I was purchasing a little Indian outfit for my nephew a very enthusiastic sales assistant proceeded to start throwing clothes in front of Midge and Pez. It just so happened to be sexy laundry. The girls managed to stop the entire store when they went to try it on and came out to show Shaz and I.
Today was our final morning T20 match and with Julan Goswami accepting her Padim Shri award in Dehli our new opening combination of Meg and Midge took full advantage of the bowlers putting on a 112 run opening stand. Meg finished just shy of 50 and Midge blasted the ball to all parts of the ground to make an impressive 90 runs. A feature of her innings was when she continually went to switch hit against Bisht who kept stopping, in the end Midge won the battle as she nearly hit a 6 left handed!
With a handy total of 151 our bowlers were impressive again restricting the Indians to 88 with Sarah Jane picking up 3 wickets and Pez picking up 2 in 2 balls. It was the biggest margin that we have won a match and gave us a series win in the T20’s.
Two more to go that will be day/night matches and hopefully a clean sweep of the series. It has been great to see our young players absolutely dominate the Indians.
Finally I hope that everyone wore some orange today to celebrate Harmony Day! I wonderful day that celebrates our multiculturalism with sport playing a huge role in accepting everyone!