Wednesday, May 12, 2010

HIGHS AND LOWS AS KAPUGEDARA DOES A MIANDAD

A few hours back, I was on a high! I was delighted on hearing the news of Vishwanathan Anand's win over Veselin Topalov in the World Chess Championship. I wasn't expecting him to win with the black. In fact, I was hoping for a draw so that the Tie Breakers could come in... where Vishy would have had an advantage as he is one of the best players in the world at rapid chess. Considering that I have been a big Vishy fan since my school days, I was truly elated.

I was helped by the fact that when I heard this news, India was batting beautifully... with Gambhir and Raina looking good. Then, Gambhir fell. Dhoni walked in. I was expecting him to promote himself, even though I didn't want him to do so. It felt ominous...

Soon, my high started wearing off. Dhoni wasted the opportunity of batting on a flat track by struggling to an unbeaten 19-ball 23. India limped on to a disappointing 163 in their 20 overs. I was low by then. Soon, Jayawardene, the form batsman of the tournament, clipped the first ball he faced beautifully for a four. The mood went from low to lower.

Then Nehra got Mahela to edge one and Yusuf held on. Next over, the debutant Vinay Kumar got the veteran Sanath Jaisuriya to play one into the hands of Dinesh Karthik at square leg. Sri Lanka two down in 2 overs. The high had returned. The fact that Dilshan was out of nick helped that feeling.

Soon Dilshan found the middle of the bat as well as the boundaries consistently. No wickets fell. Harbhajan, India's most economical bowler, was thrashed in his opening over. Low again.

Dilshan got out. A flicker of hope. Then Sangakkara went on a rampage. Hit a few quick sixes. Hope diminished. Sangakkara bowled by the young debutant. Another flicker of hope. Angelo Mathews takes over. Piyush Chawla thrashed in the 18th over. Hopes gone!

I was confident that Sri Lanka will not be winning the game... but they will certainly knock India out. When, Suresh Raina's leap in the air still ended a couple of inches short of the ball which sailed over for a six, it was confirmed. INDIA ELIMINATED FROM WORLD TWENTY20 2010 was the message that flashed! What a shame!

And then Sri Lanka did something that I was confident they wouldn't manage to do. They pulled off a win... Kapugedara pulled off a Javed Miandad. He hit a last ball six when 3 were required to win. An exciting finish... especially for the Sri Lankan fans. The West Indians looked crestfallen after the six. Their task has become near impossible now.

I will be back tomorrow after some sleep to continue with my Dhoni-bashing. Till then, congratulations to Sri Lanka! And of course, Vishy Anand!

3 comments:

greyblazer said...

India didn't get enough on a good track for batting. Bowlers like Kumar tried their best but it wasn't enough.

Rayden said...

What did you think of Gambhir's running between the wickets? Honestly I feel its this kind of unprofessional attitude that differentiates the Indian team with say Australia. When Gambhir was batting, something inside me wanted India to lose cause they didnt deserve to be in the semis - and I am a die hard Indian cricket fan. Very dissapointed.

Shridhar Jaju said...

Hi grey...
I agree that India's score was way below par on that surface. Dhoni should have batted better. A 19-ball 23* was not good enough.

Rayden, I know Gambhir was not running in an ideal manner. And I now Ravi Shastri launched into him. It's good that this time it was noticed.

Commemtators love to praise Sehwag and Gambhir for their 'understanding' and 'running between the wickets'. But I have often believed that sometimes their running techniques leave a lot to be desired and I don't think that their judgement of singles is too good either. It is especially noticed when they are running with other batting partners.

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