Monday, September 20, 2010


The match that went down to the wire. The warriors: Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. The result: Well, not quite to my liking.

Tight bowling by RCB, coupled with brilliant backing by the fielders, not just put Team Blue under pressure, the timely wickets put a lid on the scoring rate. Till 15 overs, things looked pretty rosy for the Red and Gold Brigade. Just then, the tables turned. Silky-haired Saurabh Tiwary and burly Bravo took it away from RCB. Clobbering the ball, the gritty batting by them ensured that they amassed a piling total that would give them a cushion to defend. The RCB campaign kick started in style with both Kallis and RD having a smooth sail with 40 in the first five overs. Unfortunately though, Kallis made his way back to the pavilion a bit too early.

RD’s innings was class and elegance personified. Divine drives, picture-perfect pulls, charismatic cuts and his trademark defense. Ah!! Treat to the eyes! He did what he always does best: anchored the innings, kept the scoreboard ticking and gave the more attacking batsmen most part of the strike. But the MI bowlers chipped in with wickets at regular intervals with Sixappa and Rossco falling cheaply. And then came the man who tried his best to turn things around. Playing the ball on merit and thrashing every delivery that had the slightest possibility to be hit, he hammered four consecutive boundaries off the 19th over by Malinga.

The last over. The equation: 13 required off 6 balls. Zaheer Khan to Kohli. Leg bye. They picked up a quick single. Zaheer Khan to Rahul Dravid.  A hit and a miss.  RD ran for his life. Hearts pounding. Kohli back on strike. Relief.  Next delivery, whacked for a boundary! 7 from 3. Heart beats pumping. Next delivery, dot ball. 7 from 2. Kohli brazened up, Zaheer fired in, wham went the timber against the leather. Four more! 3 needed off the last delivery. Intense discussions. Zaheer with the last ball. Top edged by Kohli. The ball went up almost till the heavens and then settled down comfortably in the gloves of Rayadu.  Goosebumps.

The scene: stunned silence from the RCB camp. Ecstatic cries from the Mumbai Indians. Kohli down on his knees, unable to believe that his heroics went down the drain. RD walked upto him, consoling him like a protective and concerned elder brother. MI won by 2 runs.
RCB now go into their next match, a knock out match against the Lions. With a NRR better than the Lions, all RCB needs to do is win the match to book a berth in the semi-finals.

Phew! Quite a match that was. Awe-inspiring cricket all around.  Although I would have been happy had the result been different, yet, nothing’s more satisfying than a good cricketing contest. The match had its moments. An animated Rahul Dravid with his fist punching, a mature RD with his caring gesture. More importantly, the unbeaten 71 that has gotten him back into form. And yes, the find of the match, Abu Nachim. The lanky pacer from Guwahati, who outdid Kallis in his very second delivery. I could not help but feel proud of him. 

Watching it in the comfort of my home was the best part. Discussions with dad, who tried hard to ignore the looks I gave him when RD reached his half ton. His caring hand that ruffled my hair when I was in shock after the match was over. Ah! Priceless!