The Aditya Birla Memorial Cup 2019
15th March | Mumbai,india
The 2019 edition of Mumbai Polo Season progressed with The Aditya Birla Cup which witnessed a series of intense battles on the league days.
The 2019 edition of Mumbai Polo Season is in action at the Mahalaxmi Race Course. The first tournament of the 2019 Mumbai Polo Season, Silver Stick Tournament, winded up with Carysil/Mumbai Polo lifting the cup. The second tournament of the season, The Aditya Memorial Birla Polo Cup kicked off on 11th March 2019 and witnessed an interesting battle between Carysil/Mumbai Polo and Piramal Polo.
Carysil/Mumbai Polo played with the likes of Abhimanyu Pathak (+5), Siddhant Sharma (+4), Shyam Mehta (0) and Chirag Parekh (-1)/ Rohan Sundesha (-1) while the Piramal Polo team stepped on the field with Dhruvpal Godara (+5), Gonzalo Yanzon (+4), Harsh Piramal (0) and Nimit Mehta (-1) on their side. The match kicked off as soon as the umpires, Jason Dixon and Simran Singh Shergill, blew the whistle for the match to start. The first chukker saw Dhruvpal Godara and Abhimanyu Pathak involved in an intense hustle which was won by Dhruvpal Godara as he scored a fantastic goal to open the scoring for the chukker. Shyam Mehta quickly responded to the threat and score the first goal for Carysil/Mumbai Polo and levelled the scores. Dhruvpal Godara, carrying forward the attack line for Piramal Polo, scored one more goal to wind up the first chukker with a lead of 2-1.
The second chukker witnessed a total of 7 goals scored. Siddhant Sharma and Abhimanyu Pathak handled the defence line of Piramal Polo quite nicely and scored a total of 3 goals in the chukker. Dhruvpal Godara scored two goals for Piramal Polo in the chukker while Gonzalo Yanzon and Nimit Mehta scored a goal each to end the chukker. Piramal Polo was leading by 6-4 after the second chukker. The match was quite intense and was a no winner throughout and the third chukker increased the intensity of the match. Dhruvpal Godara scored the only goal of Piramal Polo in the chukker while Siddhant Sharma and Abhimanyu Pathak scored a goal each for Carysil/Mumbai Polo in the chukker. The chukker winded up at 7 - 6 with Piramal Polo in the lead.
The early minutes of the last chukker saw Carysil/Mumbai Polo trying to decrease the imbalance on the scoreboard as Siddhant Sharma scored a goal for the team. Dhruvpal Godara was there to handle the attacking play for Piramal Polo as he scored two goals for the team in the last chukker. Shyam Mehta, keeping the intensity of the match intact, scored a goal for Carysil/Mumbai Polo. Team Carysil/Mumbai Polo lost the match as Gonzalo Yanzon scored a goal to end the match at 10-8 in favor of Piramal Polo.
Bake House Cafe - 7 vs Carysil/Mumbai Polo - 4.5
Madon Polo - 9 vs Strikers - 4.5
Match 1: Strikers vs Cavalry/Krishna POlo
|Strikers||Cavalry/ Krishna Polo|
|Maj RK Gautam 0||Dfr Iliyash Ali -1|
|Mitesh Mehta 1||Ashwani Sharma 0|
|Col JS Shekhwat 1||Lt Col Vishal Chauhan 4|
|Lt Col A Samantray 2||Col Ravi Rathore,VSM 5|
The third-day proceedings began with the strong team of Cavalry/ Krishna Polo taking on the Strikers, who had a 2.5 point handicap advantage. With India’s most elite polo duo, Col Ravi Rathore and Lt Col Vishal Chauhan, on their side Cavalry/ Krishna Polo kicked off the match up with Rathore blazing off a trio of goals in quick succession. Strikers’ Lt Col A Samantray retaliated with a single goal of his own to conclude the chukker at 3-1. However, Strikers’ offense was completely shut down in the successive round by a stellar defensive display by their opponents who extended their lead by 2 more goals. Ravi Rathore, scoring 5 times in the first half, was on an absolute tear in the second half. He ended up scoring thrice in the third chukker while Maj RK Gautam was also able to register his match’s first goal in the chukker. Cavalry/Krishna Polo, leading with 8-2 going into the final chukker, had a firm grasp over the game at this point and only got progressively better as an offensive unit in the concluding 7 minutes of the game. Rathore scored his 9th while Dfr Iliyash Ali also managed to chip in two goals. Col JS Shekhwat scored once but in vain as Cavalry/Krishna Polo already had a firm grip over a commanding lead and they were able to close the show at 11-5.5.
Match 2: Piramal Polo vs Bake House Cafe
|Piramal Polo||Bake House Cafe|
|Nimit Mehta -1||Nasir Jamal -1|
|Harsh Piramal 0||Sunny Patel 1|
|Siddhant Sharma 4||Gaurav Sehgal 3|
|Dhruvpal Godara 5||Basheer Ali 5|
In what appeared to be an evenly contested match at least on paper, the game quickly turned into a one-sided, dominant outing for Bake House Cafe. Suppressing the offense generated by Sharma and Godara, Basheer Ali and Gaurav Sehgal blasted off one goal each in the opening chukker of the game to gain a 2-0 lead going into the second chukker. Dhruvpal Godara retaliated with 1 goal in the second chukker to chip Bake House Cafe’s 2-goal lead to a single 2-1 lead.
The latter half of the game saw Basheer and Sehgal kicking it up a notch. Keeping Piramal quiet in the 3rd chukker, Gaurav Sehgal was able to score 3 goals to extend his team’s lead 5-1. The concluding chukker saw Sehgal scoring once more while his teammate Basheer Ali was successful in registering 2 goals. Harsh Piramal and Godara both scored once but only to reduce the deficit as the victory was already sealed by the combined efforts of Ali and Sharma. Bake House Cafe commanded the lead throughout the encounter and won the 8-3 encounter in a spectacular fashion.
The Aditya Birla Cup progressed to the 4th day with Madon Polo going against Cavalry/Krishna Polo in the only match of the day. The warm-up session of the players came to a halt as the umpires of the match, Jason Dixon and Dhruvpal Godara, blew the whistle for the match to start at 5:15 pm at the Mahalaxmi Race Course. Madon Polo playing with Simran Singh Shergill (+6), Kuldeep Singh Rathore (+2), Dinyar Madon (0) and Rahul Dwarkadas (0) and Cavalry/Krishna Polo stepped on the field with Col Ravi Rathore (+5), Lt Col Vishal Chauhan (+4), Ashwini Sharma (0) and Dfr Ilyash Ali (-1).
The action for the game began with both the teams indulging in a fierce tussle. The first chukker saw 4 goals divided equally among the two teams. Col Ravi Rathore and Simran Singh Shergill scored the goals for their respective teams. Levelled at 2-2, the game was handled quite nicely by Team Cavalry/Krishna Polo in the second chukker. Simran Singh Shergill’s only goal for Madon Polo in the chukker fell short against Col Ravi Rathore’s 3 goals scored in no time. Ashwini Sharma scored Team Cavalry/Krishna Polo’s fourth goal of the chukker. The game was settled at 6 - 3 after halftime with Cavalry/Krishna Polo in the lead.
The second half began with Kuldeep Singh Rathore firing for Madon Polo. A great play by Simran Singh Shergill and Kuldeep Singh Rathore was tapped in by Kuldeep to mark the first goal of the chukker for Madon Polo team. Another lofted through ball from Simran Singh Shergill was converted into a goal by Kuldeep Singh Rathore. A great effort from Team Madon Polo to come back in the game was defended midway by Col Ravi Rathore as he scored another goal and extended Team Cavalry/Krishna Polo’s lead. The third chukker winded up at 7 - 5. Simran Singh Shergill and Kuldeep Singh Rathore scored a goal each in the last chukker to help Team Madon Polo get back in the game. The match could go to any side when the star-man of Cavalry/Krishna Polo, Col Ravi Rathore, scored the winning goal for the team and the game ended at 8 - 7.
Bake House Cafe and Cavalry/Krishna Polo will fight on Saturday in the finals of the Aditya Birla Memorial Cup.
Final Match-Up: Bake house Cafe VS. Cavalry/Krishna Polo
Mumbai’s ARC Polo Ground witnessed a riveting polo showcase in the form of the finale of the 8-Goal Aditya Birla Memorial Cup, which was contested by the star-studded teams of Bake house Cafe and Cavalry/Krishna Polo. The presence of Indian polo elites like Col. Ravi Rathore, Basheer Ali, Gaurav Sehgal, and Lt. Col. Vishal Chauhan ensured the audience of a fierce battle for the cup. The players didn’t disappoint as they delivered an action-packed game.
In attendance was the President of Amateur Riders’ Club who encapsulated the day’s proceedings by lauding the team’s efforts and thanking the sponsors for making the event possible: “We witnessed an enthralling and nail-biting match this evening, the teams have put a lot of effort to showcase their power and technique of Polo. The Bake House Cafe and Cavalry Krishna team showed great prowess and aggression to win the Aditya Birla Memorial Polo Tournament. I would like to thank our sponsors the Aditya Birla Group, Honourable Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Mr. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism Development, Mr. Gyan Rathore, Hospitality and Tourism Investment Advisory, Mr. Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, Director General of Police, Maharashtra. We look forward to hosting such polo tournaments at the Amateur Riders’ Club and make Polo a number one sport in India."
|Bake House Cafe||Cavalry/Krishna Polo|
|Basheer Ali||Col. Ravi Rathore|
|Gaurav Sengal||Lt.Col. Vishal Chauhan|
|Sunny Patel||Dfr. Iliyash Ali|
|Nasir Jamal||Ashwani Sharma|
Bake House Cafe lifted the cup by defeating Cavalry/Krishna Polo 6-5.
The combined might of Basheer Ali and Gaurav Sehgal ultimately overwhelmed Col. Ravi Rathore’s spectacular 4 goal performance. Both of them ended up scoring thrice and Bake House Cafe’s 6 goals were just a little out of reach for Rathore’s Cavalry/Krishna Polo. Outside of Rathore, Ashwini Sharma was also able to turn in a single goal for his team but it wasn’t enough.