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The heart-winning match

A lazy Sunday afternoon. Our TV room is sparse. Some are watching the Ind-Eng cricket match. I’m reading it live on cricinfo. I have a curious look at the SA-Aus ODI being played at the Wanderers. Ponting and Hussey are having fun with the SA bowlers. I rush to the TV room to watch it live. At 40 overs, the Aussie score is 300. I go back to cricinfo. More hitting and they easily go past 400 – the first time ever in the history of cricket. They end up at 434, beating the old record by a comfortable distance.

The SA chase starts well in spite of losing an early wicket. They are ahead of the Aussies at each stage. Gibbs and Smith are playing like possessed people. It helps that there is no McGrath or Warne. I rush to our TV room where there are a few more souls. The chase has just hottened with Gibbs getting great shots. The asking rate never climbs below 8. It does not go above 11 also. It is time for the dinner break. A quick bite and back to the TV room. Gibbs had gotten out while I was eating.

No one gave SA a chance. With all their history of having choked at every big game especially when they were chasing and having snatched defeat, how would any one? It was one of those classic tussles between the mind and the heart. Our heart wishes for the Springboks to win and our mind insists that no one could ever chase 434. At 30 overs, SA has 280, a clean 7 overs ahead of the Aussies. Our TV room gets hot. I realize that I’m seeing one of the matches of my lifetime.

Kallis goes without making much. Kemp also goes and suddenly it looks the Aussies will win this match. Come van der Wath. After about 47 balls without a 4, we get a boundary. He hits a few long shots quite easily and makes the target more achievable. Then he goes. One guy says SA cannot do it. We get ready to give him the bumps if what he says becomes true. We lose our hope for a few balls before the next big guy Telemachus plays a rapid fire shots. This is a true last minute match. The room gets more excited and we are cheering every SA shot. You need to be lucky to get a 400plus score.

The Aussies spray their balls, misfield and even drop a catch. There is some good bowling by Bracken. But the SA firmly believe they gonna win the match. Their dressing room is not as tense as one would expect it to be. 3 overs 30 runs. More fours in the 48th over. 2 overs 13 runs. That’s easy. Then Telemachus too goes. Hall the next guy has hit a couple of 50s. 7 runs needed in the last over.

What a heart-stopper it has turned out to be! The 2nd ball goes for a 4. Only 2 more to get. It could be done safely. Hall attempts another 4 and gets out. One more twist. Ntini survives and manages to get a single. It is upto Boucher who has held one end and managed the chase so well till this point. He scoops the ball over the heads of mid-on and the heart wins the match too. We kick the guy. One amazing match…

Categories: Misc.
  1. Me
    14 March 2006 at 7:56 am

    mmm…never knew u follow cricket….

  2. A
    14 March 2006 at 11:36 pm

    Just in the morning another friend was animatedly describing the match to me and then I see your post! Guess this whole thing is very big deal! Its been ages since I last followed cricket though – so I am not all that worked up about it – but 434 runs is HUGE!

  3. 15 March 2006 at 6:51 am

    Me, it’s extremely difficult to be Indian without following cricket :-p i’ve seen less and less cricket over the years. but this match is definitely one in a lifetime and i’m glad i watched a part of it 🙂

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