Sunday, April 22, 2007

India vs Pakistan .. cricket series

This is not about the teams that couldnt go beyond the first round in the world cup. This is about the cricket that I played yesterday. Yeah, we were a group of 9 Indians playing against 9 Pakistanis. It was an initiave of the Pakistanis. They knew my friend and invited him. And my friend like a true Indian gathered the troops i.e others like me. The bat, ball, tape over the ball, wickets, bottles marking the boundary, everything was supplied by the Pakistanis. They apparently play regularly. And our team contained people like me who firstly, cant do much with either the bat or the ball and secondly havent even played cricket once in the past few years.

We played in this huge {park, ground, green area} kind of place in the city. It is a huge area, makes up a sizeable fraction of the city, dotted with lakes, a small reserve etc. The ground that we were playing on, had atleast 10 football games, 5-6 other cricket games, a couple of rugby games, a few kite flyers and frisbee throwers, lots of dog walkers and sunbathers around. We were playing with a taped tennis ball. This form of the ball is the commonly used one in Pakistan, I think. Its the kind of ball that all their famous swingers and fast bowlers have started learning their art with. Its a regular tennis ball that has a regular tape tightly wound around it totally covering it. In this way, the fur of the ball it protected and it becomes a bit heavier also.

Now lets get to the match details. The first match was of 8 overs each. They batted first and scored 71. The runs were scored either through wides (which were more than just a generous amount) or through boundaries. We had a few bowlers who were so quick, that you could grab a few winks between the time the ball is released and the time it reaches the batsman to be hoisted for a six. Yeah, they did seem to have a couple of Afridi followers :D. There was one bowler in our team though, who was stout, bowled very slowly and got 3-4 wickets in his two overs. He was duly rechristened as 'Ramesh Powar' by the opponents :D. The Indians started the chase disastrously, as expected, losing the first wicket in the third ball with one run on the board. Yep that was me :D, clean bowled by a fast bowler who emulates Shoaib Akhtar, i.e his run up starts closer to the boundary than the wicket. And that led to the usual top order collapse. But, then walks out our captain, my friend and like Yuvraj Singh these days, belts the ball everywhere and starts scoring very quickly with a lot of easy looking shots that have the ball 'racing to the boundary'. So, from a really hopeless situation, we were back with a chance to win the match. The game went onto the last ball, of which 3 runs were required but the batsman on strike was not the captain and so we lost.

The second match was just 6 overs each. We chose to bat first and scored 48 runs. This game 'went down to the wire' too. However, this time the Pakistanis required 4 runs of the last ball to win. Then our bowler gave them a wide. So once again, the equation for the last ball was same as before. And they too lost like we had done earlier, being unable to score any run of the last ball. (No, I didnt get to bat in this match. Probably the reason why we won?)

The third and final match (final in all senses ;) ) was again of 8 overs each. We chose to chase this time (I have no idea about the reasoning behind this decision). The Pakistanis went beserk, hitting a sixer every other correct ball (we didnt relent on the wides either). By now, we also had a few tired football players who were resting, following our match with interest. So, they ended up scoring a little over one hundred. And I opened along with my captain this time. My captain started the proceedings with a six of the first ball. That somehow affected their Shoaib Akhtar emulator, who sent down 5 wides :D. And they were really 'wide'. However along came a ball straight onto the wicket, the batsman i.e captain hit it back even straighter and really hard. Standing at the runners position, I worried about the umpire that he would have to be carried off the field as the ball was sure to smash his face. And it would have, had the bowler not stretched his hand and had the ball not stuck to his palm as if there was some glue there! And our captain was gone! Two other wickets tumbled too while I was watching from the non-strikers end. Then in the next over, I got my chance to survive a few wides, score a run, run a few more as the non-striker and finally be completely beaten and bowled. The collapse never stopped and soon we were all out having just scored some 30 runs. True to the Indian style, we buckled helplessly, facing a daunting score to chase in the 'final'.

So my dear readers, it pains me greatly to report that the Pakistanis won the series 2-1. My complete contribution to the Indian team in the series was a single run scored, a few runs saved and a run out.

Trivia: A pakistani guy commented that after Pakistan was kicked out of world cup, he was hoping that atleast India would go through to later stages and there would be some matches worth watching. My friend responded, "we are good neighbours, you came out, so we had to come out too". To which I added, "ofcourse, we are good neighbours, we not just came out in support of you, we also let our other two small neighbours get through."


Sumanth said...

Nice :D

avinash said...

better lk next time..

kunal said...

loved the descriptions :)

by the way have you thought of a career as a cricket writer??

nice trivia.. ;)

Karan said...

Welcome Bhogle- version 2 :P

skp said...

Awesome ...
That would have been so cooolll

btw were u a part of this team ?

mythalez said...

@sumanth, :P

@avinash, lets hope so .. 8->

@kunal, umm .. well i dont follow the other cricket matches as closely .. atleast not anymore ;)

@karan, thanku .. though i wud prefer version: rama-0.001 :P

@skp, wat wud hav been so cool? nope .. i was playing TT that day :D

~skepticbystander~ said...

Hey...I agree with Kunal's comment.. maybe you really should consider a career as a cricket writer. You can even use the cricket blogging contest as a launchpad... maybe that'll work :)

Looking forward to more of these write-ups. Maybe on India's performance...or maybe Ireland. lol

The optimist from utopia said...

Nice description.. had me in splits.. :D

Meghna said...

Lovely description :)
So wen will be the next series :D

Cricket Videos said...

I always love watching India vs Pakistan. Their is so much intensity. The games are played with so much spirit its brilliant.