It initially built up an interest in me – its been a long time cricket managed to do that. Then it got me hooked – I skipped my evening snack because The Master was in sublime form and its just pure bliss to watch him smack those effortless boundaries off very good balls. Then I was left dismayed with the Indian batting’s yet another collapse – and terminated with a short run followed by a Run-Out. At that time I thought, “OK, would have contributed another 10-20 runs, so what…!!” It was a short 20-min break due to slow over-rate by the Englishmen. Another opportunity for a snack wasted.
Then the English started the onslaught on the hapless Indian bowling attack. Strauss matched The Lord shot to shot. Two great innings in a single day – now that is stuff that makes Indians crazy about this game. Then came the new Steve Bucknow for Indian cricket – the UDRS. Stupid Stupid Stooopid 2.5m rule. (Ok then, I’m an Indian first…!!!) Clear LBW given not-out because the impact was 2.5m away – what on earth does that show! The ball was not gonna suddenly rise in the air like the Golden Snitch… Well Ian Bell made the most use of that lifeline almost taking the game away from the Indians – the key word being “Almost”. Cramps did him in and he fell - Zaheer doing the trick.
I realized my dinner was not coming tonight but there was no way I was gonna get up at this juncture – surely not when India had just fond a lost gateway to salvation in the form of Bell’s wicket!!!
The next ball undid Strauss – this time UDRS was helpful (I told you – Indian First). If you were a heart patient, the roller coaster that followed was surely not meant for you. India suddenly had a sting in their stride and there was an impending twist in the “tail”. Piyush Chawla got into the act (though as the mystery unfolded, we realize his portrayal as the Indian Hero was not who we thought he was). Just then, out of nowhere came a (Black) Swann and smacked two sixes that brought the kingsmen back in the game. Chawala gave away two sixes in the penultimate over. And then, Shazad hit a first ball SIX…!!! And in the end – a TIE…!!!
That is indeed cricket at its best… Its 11 pm now and my stomach is gurgling – all that I might have had surely got digested by this time. I’ll cook some Maggi – that good old 2-minute snack that is the life savior for so many bachelors like me… Just yesterday, someone had remarked that this world cup was “Thanda”. Now its surely heated up…!!
P.S: Since 1999, every world cup there has been a tie... Started with that famous SA v/s Aus in 1999. Then the less-famous SL v/s SA in 2003. Last time too there was one with Ireland v/s Zim... The trend continues...