2011 Cricket World Cup: When a Sixth of Mankind was glued, India blanked Pak out!

sachinT.jpgIndia won a World Cup battle (yes, its not just a match) against Pakistan for 5th time in a row (Sydney, Bangalore, Manchester, Centurion and now Mohali). It was a match with lots of hype built up from all quarters – politics, game pundits, media and the public in general. Not just the Government offices but even the private businesses had their employees with no productivity for half of the day.

It started off with Sehwag’s blinder innings which were rather cut short. Which were followed by perhaps the most uncharacteristic cricket display by Sachin Tendulkar. Here was the God of Cricket getting one life after another. The more he tried to get out, the more Pakistanis were determined to keep him in! Easy catches – embarrassingly easy – were let off. All the hype from the Pakistanis that they will not let Tendulkar get to his 100th century was after all just a ploy…. as was Sachin’s determination player out before the match. In an interesting comedy, while Tendulkar was determined to wait for another day for his 100th century, Pakistanis wanted the privilege of seeing Tendulkar’s 100th century in this match. On a serious note, one is sure that Tendulkar would not have wanted to reach milestone in such a shoddy manner.

Gambhir played fine for sometime, but got out rather cheaply. In the end, it was Suresh Raina who saved the day for India with his short but useful knock. Pakistani bowlers – Ajmal and Wahab – were the pick of the bowlers. Ajmal’s dismissal of Bhajji was rather useless and showed that the Sardar was thinking from his you-know-what. In an attempt to give it back to Ajmal who mocked Bhajji, he got out.

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Pakistanis did well to restrict India to just 260 in the end. For the first time, India’s bowlers did a very good job. Yuvraj, who had gotten out on the very first ball, bowled his heart out.

This was the first match that I “watched” with my Facebook contacts.. here is the list of my updates on FB.. this will give one a good overview of the Pakistan innings, in a rather tongue-in-cheek humor. I respect how Pakistanis played and don’t have animosity towards them.. just that in such a match, one’s nationalism gets better of niceties 🙂 Did you follow the match on social media? If yes, where?

  1. God is with God today… Divine smiles on Sachin!!
  2. Munaf gets a Maiden.. now get a wicket or two, dude!! (and Munaf followed with the two wickets I requested!)
  3. This is the 5th match between India and Pak in the World Cups.. Pakistan has lost the last 4…. just waiting for consistency in fortunes. 🙂 It will be 5th in a row!!
  4. Khuda Hafiz Hafeez!! Have a great flight home! 😉
  5. Younis and Misbah to go and Pak is Packed home 🙂 Munaf and Bhajji, please do the “needful”, guys…
  6. Can you believe that 1/6th of the ENTIRE HUMAN BEINGS are now tuned into one match where 22 guys are playing to … well.. make themselves valuable enough to make millions?!
  7. Almost another maiden. and the run rate touches 7! If it gets to 7.5 or 8 soon..then Misbah, Umar et al will try to hit their way out of it.. either they will make or fail MISERABLY! Lets see who keeps the nerves.. 🙂
  8. Thanks for the entertainment Umar.. you were good while you lasted. And btw.. Remember to get your goody bag on your way out..
  9. Razzaq also on his way out.. Now its neatly laid out… Misbah and Afridi – the two main danger guys in the middle and the Indian bowlers.. hum bhi hain.. tum bhi ho.. dono hain aamne saamne!
  10. Uff-Rid-Heee – Afridi back!! Lahore ki gaadi on karo bhai log.. mehmaan jaane ki liye tayyar hain.. shouldn’t keep ’em waiting.. 😉
  11. CHalo ji.. Wicket maiden over in the end.. Misbah closes the Pakistani game.. Thank you very much! have a safe ride home, boys! Wagah aint very far.. so you will be home for breakfast. :
  12. All Asia final in Cricket WC.. India and Sri Lanka
  13. Who said Pak team aint consistent? They are VERY dependable and consistent.. they always lose to India in WC. 😉

At the prize ceremony, the players gave the following speeches:

Man of the match, Sachin Tendulkar: I would like to thank everybody in Mohali for the terrific support. The team played brilliantly. The way we bowled and fielded was awesome. Initially, Viru got us off to a flier and we had to take our time and play out the spinners. We kept losing wickets which we did not want. Raina played well in the end. When we started, we thought about 300-310. Going back to Mumbai is a great occasion. We want to focus on the job that is ahead. All the five matches against Pakistan have been memorable.

MS Dhoni: We got off to a great start. But, as the game progressed, scoring became hard and we had to consolidate. We decided to go for a par score and 260 was a very good score. The pitch was offering some turn and we read the wicket wrongly. We went in with three seamers and this is one game where I am glad that I did not have to use any extra bowlers. Bowling slowly and on a length is Munaf’s strength and Ashish is a rhythm bowler. It is a dream to be in the final. We did not have easy games throughout the tournament and nothing comes easy. We have chased some few decent totals and everybody has been tested. We are ready for the finals but we have to be careful.

Why do Dhoni and Sachin have to give a match report in their speeches? We all know what happened, guys – BY HEART! Tell us why you didn’t bat well.. or how you turned the game around.. or whatever… but don’t play reporter to us!

Shahid Afridi: Firstly, I would like to congratulate India on such a great victory and I wish them all the best for the final. The guys played well and I am glad to be the captain of such a team. Riaz bowled well. When we got Sehwag, we decided to put some pressure. We missed some opportunities in the middle and they played well. We did not build a partnership and we played some irresponsible shots. We tried to play two or three overs and we decided to take the Batting PP after that. I would like to say sorry to my nation that we fell short.

A very sporting speech given the disappointment of his team’s exit and loss to India.

Harbhajan Singh: Happy with how things panned out today. I thank God, the almighty for making the dream come true. This was like a final, the pressure was double, not just for our team but also for the Pakistani team. We bowled and fielded well, I guess we deserved this win. Mumbai is my second home, I play for the Mumbai Indians, and it would be really good to go and play the final over there.

Bhajji makes up for all the invocations to Allah from Pakistan’s side. He invokes God in his own way.. just to rub it in to the Pak players’ that their Mr. A was on vacation today so no divine help to them today! He won’t lose any opportunity would he?

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