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The evening before the SM-VIIKKO finals (31st Jan-1st Feb '20)

Updated: May 21, 2020

After arriving on Friday afternoon to Joensuu, we faced three teams on the day one. Empire CC, Joensuu Team 1 and Club 71. We lost by a good margin against ECC but managed to steer the ship by confidently beating Joensuu and Club 71. Our team was significantly tired from the 4-hour drive from Helsinki yet we managed to pull through to the semis.

The night was young; all of us were looking forward to spending some quality time with our mates and explore the night-life and discover the best pool player among ourselves. We dined at Amarillos, a US-based restaurant chain. The burgers were adequate, to say the least and we chatted about politics, tourism, and cricket.

We headed to the Sokos Vaakuna hotel where the main party was happening. In contrast, the place had few people among the cricket community. Most of the lads were probably tired and in need of a good night's sleep; not us, however, we were keen to have a few beers and socialize. The pool contest was rather intense, the team of Qaiser and Areeb dominated the games and swept everyone aside. There was some heated moments between the batting pair, Areeb and Ponniah, as Areeb tried to be cheeky with one of his 'failed' attempts. All was good and fun in the end.

The young lads sneaked down to the night club (Mano was kicked out rather soon), but Areeb managed to blend in with the crowd and a got nice taste of Finnish rap music. Everyone returned to their hotels at around 2 am, buzzed for the semis. Mano and Areeb were found chatting and analyzing the umpire's decisions up late, almost until 3 am. Areeb kept telling Mano, "If we beat Bengal in the semis, we are gonna win the title, bro. I can sense it". Who knew his gut feeling was right.

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