Much water has flowed under the
Let that sink in…
But let me get back to where I originally started this post. Let me recount the events as they happened on that fateful day.
24th September 2007
It is a dark and wet Monday evening in
Harsh and I keep munching at a regular pace even though we are hypnotized by the match. Ravi, being his usual self, sips his tea in a manner which would’ve fooled you into believing that he was a MCC member having his cuppa on a bright Sunday morning at Lord’s where
By the time the 19th over of the
Last over and 13 runs required. Dhoni hands over the ball to Joginder Sharma who, let’s accept it, at his pace doesn’t really put the fear of the Lord into you. I look up at Harsh and he has this very nervous smile on his face, as if telling me, ‘Oh Dear!’ With a deep breath, I turn to look at the TV.
Darn!! What the hell was Joginder doing??!! You already have a Misbah-ul-Haq at the crease who in the previous India-Pakistan encounter had almost pulled off an incredible win for his team. In any case, he’s also one of the biggest six hitters of the tournament with that massive 111m hit (only to be outdone by Yuvraj Singh’s monstrous 119m six). And then you bowl a wide to make it only 12 runs required to win the match and the trophy?!!
Dhoni runs up to Joginder and it seems whatever he’s told him has worked since the next ball is a dot ball, although it was outside the off stump and very lucky not to be called a wide.
I breathe easy for a moment…only just.
Joginder bowls the next ball and Misbah shuffles across his stumps and hits the ball high in the air. For a moment I’m hopeful that some Indian fielder at long on will get under it and take the catch. But all my prayers seem to have come undone when Ravi Shastri screams, “This is six! It’s a magnificent strike!”
Gosh! How could this have happened? We had almost won it…how could Misbah do this to us…again? Will he make amends for his mistake at
The dining hall has gone very silent…the only sound that can be heard is of the cutlery striking against each other. Even the waiters and stewards have been struck by horror as they stare at the TV screen and forget to take orders. What orders? Even the diners are staring dumb-struck.
Disappointed, I look at Harsh. The story is written all over his face: only one big hit and
Joginder runs up to deliver his next ball. Misbah tries to get cheeky by walking across the stumps and loops the ball up in the air behind the wicket.
OH MY GOD!! Is this the moment which will haunt our nightmares forever? Has Misbah just become the Javed Miandad for this new generation of Indian cricketers and Indian cricket lovers?
But wait a minute! There’s a man underneath it…and it is Sreesanth. Sreesanth, the man who can reduce to mockery his tremendous talent by letting his emotions take control of him. ‘Oh God, please, please let Sreesanth take the catch!’
Sreesanth fumbles slightly…but finally manages to hold on to the ball!!
The hall at Ordnance Club erupts with middle-aged pot bellied uncles jumping in joy and banging their beer glasses. High-society aunties scream and clap their hands in glee, all the while making sure their silk sarees are not out of place.
I jump and shout with joy!! I look at Harsh, whose reaction has been much the same as mine. I rush up to him and we hug each other and continue jumping while screaming ‘Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!’ My heart hasn’t beaten this hard in quite a while. We just can’t stop the momentum and keep jumping and shouting.
We pause to look at
I write this down because this is one moment of unimaginable joy for me as an Indian cricket fan. This moment will be one which we will remember the rest of our lives, much like our fathers remember the exact moment when Kapil Dev lifted the Prudential Cup at Lords.---------------- Now playing: Amit Kumar & Chorus - Dekha Jo Tujhe Yaar via FoxyTunes