The World Cup Came Alive On Sunday
Some Cricket matches are only fantasy come alive—thousands of spectators in Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, experienced fairy tale emotional roller-coaster ride on Sunday night, when England tied cup favorite India at 339, on the very last ball of the match, giving them their money’s worth and much more.
The Sunday afternoon was so casual, there was no hint of what was to follow as the little master Tendulkar was setting up India for a massive total of 300 plus.
When he departed scoring his fifth world cup century, the first batsman to do so, India had already scored 236 for the loss of 3. Where Tendulkar left, Dhoni began, and at the last ball of the 46th over of the Indian Innings, the score was poised at 305, still for the loss of 3, and a total of 350 seemed just a regulation score—then, the drama began. Two wickets fell at that same score, and in the 48th over T Bresan produced the magic that saw India reduced to 328 for 8. India was all out for 339.
During the innings break, the question was not which team was going to win, but how big the margin of Indian victory was going to be, for seldom any team had lost a match after putting up that kind of total on the scoreboard. Nonetheless, when England began, their openers meant business from the very first over. English skipper Strauss had saved his best world cup performance for this day, and he did whatever Tendulkar had done for India, and more. He was belting all Indian bowlers in a demonstration of how to play against massive totals, and he managed an incredible 7 runs per over with good support from Bell; Dhoni had no idea how to contain them. Then in the 20th over, Yuvraj had struck Bell, LBW, that even the Hawk eye confirmed, yet, the umpire over-ruled it, not out, citing a ‘2.5 meter uncertainty clause.’
India seemed never to recover from that heartbreak, and even when Bell finally fell to Khan in the 43rd over with the score of 281, the match was completely in favor of England. Regardless, it was time for magic from Khan. The very next ball the battle-hardened Khan bowled was just unplayable, even for a man whose bat was looking like couple of feet wide at the moment. It wrapped man of the match Strauss on the pad. The umpire had no hesitation giving him LBW. Two more quick wickets, and England was reduced to 307 for 7, in the 48th ever. The English camp looked dejected; a match that was theirs had solidly shifted to India by then, run rate was creeping over double digits.Continued on the next page