Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heart in my Mouth (Ind vs Pak)

Dramatic Beginning
For the match as well as for me. Sehwag did not pass the fitness test, but more surprising was Dinesh Karthik was not in, instead Yusuf Pathan took the spot. For me, started from my office around 5pm. My access card did not work and there was surprisingly heavy traffic in Hosur road, due to a road block. Applying my driving skills reached silkboard. We(myself & Natraj) are almost in no-mans land now, 100's of vehicles standing still on both sides. Natraj's mobile says "India won the toss and elected to bat". I cannot hold it anymore, we literally lifted the bike across the road divider and took ORR to reach Koramangala. As soon as I reach my destination, I can hear a huge roar. I knew I should have been a six. The excitement was already in air.

Malik's thinking hat
By the time I reached, India were one down. But then Gambir played a sensible knock by hitting constant boundries. I was in my old PG, where a crowd of young aggressive supporters were seated in the room. Pakistan captain was intelligent and he wanted to use his 5th bowler soon. So made a radical move in bringing in Hafeez to bowl. This paid off, India found the boundaries hard to come. Finally we paid for this frustration by some poor shots from both Dhoni and Yuvraj.

Sensible Gambir
Finally it was on Gambir & Rohit Sharma to lift India's score to a decent total. But still Pak was always on the top by restricting India game play. My friends started to become geeks in statistics and probability. But they always over predicted. From their initial estimation of 200 with 12+ runs/over they settled to less than 150 :).

Devastating Imran Nazir
For the break, we guys went for a snack bite. By the time we have planned to return to watch the next innings, we hear a huge huge roar. We knew something was happening and started to gallop back(sorry about that burger santy). Yes Pakistan has lost a wicket for a superb ball from RP Singh. Next over was Sreesanth. He is one player who gets all praises and next ball gets all the curse. We were hoping for a good over from him. But first ball in, bang rockets to the boundary line. Huuus start to come out. Next ball, wack sails across for a six. Next ball, six again. It was pin drop silence, we could hear the fan running. No one wanted to comment. By the end of the 2nd over, few felt the match was out of our hands. Nazir was hitting all he could, he was rushing for a quick finish.

Pathan steadies the Chariot
Well, India definitely need some good overs. Sreesanth bowled well then. Pakistan lost wickets on one end. But Nazir was going at the bowling on the other end. Now Nazir was the target both to Indian cricket team as well as its fans. Sreesanth bowls a slower ball to Younis khan, flicking it to mid wicket starts for a run. Nazir struggles due to his cramp and fails to get into the crease. We just waited for the first reply, just after that the celebrations began in the room. Everybody were punching the air, clasping hands and were charged up. I can still remember for Afridi's wicket, once the ball went high up in the air. We literally jumped into the TV screen to see what happened. Within a flash 5-6 guys came near the screen. Its was all happening, Afridi is gone and celebrations start again.

Adding spice
We had a neat spell from Pathan, taking some crucial wickets. Pak needed 54 runs from 24 balls. Misbah-ul-Haq, lifts bajji for 2 consecutive six. Next over Sreesanth to Tanvir SIX again. 3 balls 18 runs have gone. SIX again. We started losing hope, looking each other perplexed. Few were telling "get his wicket, get his wicket", but were not ready to hear them too. Tension in the air was so high.

One last time
It has come down to the wire, we keep our fingers crossed that Bajji should not bowl the last over. Dhoni decides to go with Joginder Sharma. First ball, way out side the off stump. Heck, a series of *&^%$ I can hear, as vadivel says, "Total family damage". :) Once the SIX in the 2nd ball has gone, we almost decided its lost now. You can't recover from here. Pak just need 6 to win from 4 balls. Everyone hold their nerve, hands clasped we sit. 3rd ball, Joginder Sharma to Misbah-ul-Haq he move to his right and tries a chip towards fine leg, the camera man follows the ball. As the ball descends down there comes Sreesanth in the frame. Its a catch and India win. It was like the roof coming down and the next few seconds was 'Alice in Wonderland'. Hugging, Jumping, Screaming, Laughing, Crying and doing all mad things. India have one the T20 inaugural world cup. I wish I had a heart attack. (Goose bumped, as I write this)

Whats he talking in presentation ceremony? I know it, you know it. Lets not discuss further.

Ramp Up
I was not a big fan of Twenty-Twenty cricket. Just because, I initially felt this disrespectful part of the game for bowlers. Day by day rules change in favor of batsman. But then finally understood that T20 is a bowlers paradise than a batsman. This inaugural world cup is to be recorded as the best tournament ever played. After England winning the Ashes, this is the next best time I had enjoyed cricket. This world cup had every thing, Bowl out, Six Sixes, stunning catches, Nerve racking finishes to games. As far as India is concerned, it was a good find for the bowling lineup in terms of RP Singh and Pathan making a successful comeback. Dhoni proved to accepting his new job. But, this was a small step for him. He has a long tough road ahead. Indians have improved a lot in the field with stunning saves, catches, run outs. Esp in batsmans point of view, they were really quick and good between the wickets. This form of game has reached a larger audience. Even my mom has watched the entire match. But will it kill the longer form of game? My view, definitely not. One day cricket still has its own charm.

Signing off.
Have a shout, comment it.


Vignesh Mohanakrishnan said...

Excellent Blog

Even i got Goose Bumps while reading those lines.

"Watching this Dramatic Final Together with all our friends"
was the real fact of Enjoyment

Loved it

Karthik said...

Kudos to the Indian Tigers!!! Hats off to all the players! Especially for guys like Rohit Sharma and Pathan brothers. These guys are from lower middle class families with no cricketing background. Now they have made the whole India Proud.

The best part in the presentation ceremony was Afridi saying "Congratulate all the people in Indian nations.... " :)Awesome English! No wonder why Bob Woolmer died of heart attack ;)

damodarakkannan a said...

super match, super blog like a newspaper post-match analysis article. nice summarization of the match and the fun we had. match went on like a suspense thriller, better in that sense, than the movie we saw after that. Hats off to the guys who pulled off a stunning victory

GP said...

Wonderful Blog...very well written!! Relived the feel and enthusiasm again..good going vijesh anna:) very lively..hats off to the champions!!! Cricket Fever shows its head again in India....hopefully Indian team lives up to its expectations and does well in the forthcomin matches too!! Chak de India!!

Vijesh said...

Readers, Thanks for your comments and constant motivation.

Karthik, Yes initially Pak were bucked by pressure of Ind. After the match they were bucked by pressure on how they will return back home. Thats why all those tongue slips.

Dams, Match was better than 1408.

GP, Lets see how they favor in Aus/Pak/Aus.

Natraj M said...

Gud description.. I relived all the moments.

Kishore said...

Very nice blog.. I din see some of the last moments of the match as i was travelling back to b'lore but i got the real feeling of watching the match live by reading ur blog. Good going vijesh!!!Hats off to Indian Cricket team as well..

surya said...

Excellent description anna.. :)
Chak de India..

Srihari said...

Nice one !!! I thoroughly went through the experience.. i was really fun watching the match.

It couldn't have got any bigger than this . I was just wondering that this match wasnt as thriller and nerve cracking of a game compared to semifinals against Aussies.. But Then came the anti climax .. Oh oh oh !!! Misbah was just a boundary away to be named the "Saviour of Pakistan" . He could have been a god then , until the climax came where Sreesanth took a catch @ short fine leg.

So it was indeed a very nail bitting match and the credits to all players , especially Misbah , Harbhajan for giving away 3 sixes , Sreesanth for this 2 6's , Gambhir , the list goes on !!!

Vijesh said...

Wish u could have been there.

Still the fun in Australia semi final was worthy. Esp watching it in your house were we already know a wicket has gone. with the sound from outside..

Revathi said...

This is Revathi, not your ex-classmate from PSG. My comments:
It is just waste of time to talk, write or even think about cricket. When it comes to cricket I am one of the fans of Bernard Shaw whose golden saying is “Cricket is played by 11 fools and watched by 10,000 fools”. I feel sorry for you guys that you are one of the fools. Instead of concentrating and encouraging cricket, if you (younger generation) could create awareness and promote the innumerable Olympic games that will certainly help earn a good name and lasting impression for India on the world map. If India emerges as the nation among the first 10 countries for the medal tally, then that will be really great and memorable moment for Indians. Did you see the frustration of the Hockey players when they did not get the adulation, which they deserve, for their Asia cup victory? Could you guys explain to me why this step-motherly treatment to other games in India? You guys are doing a disservice to the nation by promoting such foolish game.

Vijesh said...

nice comments Revathi.

Well, I totally agree with your view. Firstly Hockey team was not treated the same as Cricket team. Next India is not shining in Olympics. To be frank even I'm against it. We even switched of the TV just after the presentation ceremony was over. I love the game, not the players or hype surrounding it. Its media & politics that make it such a big deal. Just for their self profit they bring this to such big stages. Such huge money rain for cricketers was not necessary..

but watching choosing and watching a game is our freedom.. well may be some ppl may find is wrong as fools game..

Jayakumar said...

I didnt saw the highlights.... But now this post has it.... Keep going in posting memories...