Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Team SL: 320 and Team India: 321

Win was destined for India today! It all started with the Toss. After a long time, Team India managed to win it! (The same was almost true for the match too!). But choosing bowling after winning the toss, with the batting line-up like ours, was quite questionable. Well, the strong reason behind this: Team India had to win it the match in 40 overs to keep alive the chances of qualifying for the finals of the CB series.

Team announcement: The first disappointment for Team India was Irfan Pathan wasn't playing. He was recovering from the rib-injury he got in the last match, when he and Raina collided! Zaheer Khan replaced him and technically, that was a good sign for our bowling attack.

Well, and as always, our start was horrendous. Team India did not pick any wickets in the 1st Power Play. Team SL was playing steady and scored 50-1 in 13 overs. Then, Jadeja got a very important wicket of SL captain Jayawardene. In came the biggest partnership for SL: 200 runs between TM Dilshan and K Sangakarra in just 188 balls. And how did they play? They just rocked the stadium! 21 FOURS and 6 SIXES = 120 runs from just 27 balls.

7 Indian bowlers; all washed out; TM Dilshan played entire innings scoring 160* from 165 balls. Sangakarra too, was totally back in form hitting 105 runs from just 87 balls. In reply. Indian fans were full of questions, distress and given-up hopes. Let alone chasing 321 in 40 overs (to qualify for the finals), fans were sure we won’t reach 300. All we wanted was a miracle to happen (in the name of Virender Sehwag)!

And the miracle happened; just the name change: we call him Virat Kohli. No doubt, Virender Sehwag (30 from 16) and Sachin Tendulkar (39 from 30) gave us a non-defensive and non-depressing start! Well, all good things come to an end. Losing the wicket of Sehwag at that point was a shocker and just added to the belief of self-destruction. And Sachin paaji joined him in the pavilion very fast. Blank faces in the stadium…

In 10 overs, Team India was 91-2. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli were on crease when India needed 235 runs in 30 overs approx to qualify for the finals. And so the chase had begun. What was going in the mind of these two? We will never know! But what we saw was enough… Hitting 20 FOURS and 2 SIXES = 92 runs in 22 balls. Quick running between the wickets, no mistakes, no risks and no loose shots; together they displayed the real World Champions Show. Gauti’s experience and Virat’s style left the spectators mesmerized.

Team India reach 201 in just 27.3 overs. But we lost the very important wicket of Gautam Gambhir. Suresh Raina joined Virat Kohli on crease. Looking at his recent form, no one expected Raina to score big. But our T20 specialist played like 1 and scored 40* runs from just 23 balls.

A very special mention to the Malinga Over: Virat Kohli 98*on strike;
1st ball – 2 runs; Virat Kohli completes his 9th ODI Hundred
2nd ball – a mammoth SIX!
3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th ball – 4 4 4 4 !!!

That is, Virat Kohli slammed 24 runs in 1 over! This was literally like the come-back time for Team India. After a series of losses, this win was important not only to qualify but also to boost the morale of the Cricket Lovers in India.

What matters in the end was, Team India won. Not 50 overs, not 40 overs; Team India scored 321 in just 36.4 overs i.e 220 balls. Well, that how the World Champs play! That’s how we silence the critics! That’s how the Men in Blue are!

Kudos to both the teams! 320 + 321 = 641 runs scored in 520 balls. Only 7 wickets fell and 3 centuries were scored. Over all, a real entertainer! And the repeat of the World Cup Finals! 

As Disha Shetty says “Faith Restored”!
As I say, “This is our answer to whoever questioned Team India. We are the World Champions and this is our answer! Well played, Men in Blue... 

- A proud Indian
- A Dravidian
- An ardent Sachin worshiper
- An zealous Cricket lover

1 comment:

  1. Watched a great match since WC final and here in this match Indian batsmen did great (whoever came to the crease) while Virat was at his best that overshadowed the sound performances & centuries from Dilshan and Sangakkara who earlier thrashed Indian bowling..
    Overall, India deserved the victory :)

    Cheers :)