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Sunday, March 2, 2014

India loses in the last over.... Kapil was in need of Maths tuition and Virat Kohli .. ?!?!?

India lost to arch-rivals Pak in Asia cup and are virtually out of the edition…. The leggie bowled his heart out – had figures of 10-0-28-2 ….but, yet another day, India were outsmarted by a man who upon entry was shown that he had lasted 20 balls only once in last 10 innings !. 

At Mirpur, Pak won the toss and chose to field… Pakistan's bowlers contained India's batsmen to 245 for 8; 3 half-centuries propelled the innings. Rohit Sharma's 56 gave the early impetus, before Ambati Rayudu gathered 58 in the middle overs. Ravindra Jadeja had a charmed life towards the close, but his rapid, unbeaten 52 thrust India's total toward respectability, even as Saeed Ajmal capped a fine day with wickets at the other end.

One could recall that ages ago, in that fateful match in April 1986 at Sharjan, India mustered the same 245 – Krish Srikkanth made a stroke-filled 75; Sunil Gavaskar made 92 off 134; DB Vengsarkar made 50 ~ the opening partnership was 117 and Azharuddin did not bat !!

At Mirpur towards the end, the odds were turning in favour of India… Kohli is a favourite now ~ he is no Dhoni – never hides his emotion, more importantly the Press and commentators are behind him… after 36 overs Pak were 159/4 – at this stage 87 required of 84 balls.  Mohammad Hafeez was on 53 (90 balls) and Sohaib Maqsood on a patient 20 off 31.   Off the 5th ball, Sohaib jumped, charged and almost ran towards the bowler, a carom ball bowled wide beat him ~ and Dinesh Karthick fumbled… could not collect the ball properly – Ashwin, Jadeja and Captain Kohli were flummoxed. In the earlier match too, he missed out a simple stumping chance !

Over no. 42 Sir Jaddu came back and ….. bowled a maiden to Hafeez !! yes, leaving Pak 190/4 – 56 required off 48.   In the 44th Ashwin had Hafeez caught well in the deep by Bhuvanesh Kumar – of the next over Sohaib Maqsood played a low full toss straight to Ashwin, set off for a run, turned back by Afridi and was run out.  The 46th over off Jadeja went for runs – a 6 and 4 to Afridi and still 30 required off 24. 

There was Shahid Afridi who had failed more often in the past than making runs.  Virat Kohli used just 5 bowlers – 2 left – Bhuvi and Ashwin have one each to bowl…………….. Kohli opted for Bhuvi….. Sidhu was shrieking that this was the mistake……. !!! Bhuvi to bowl .. 13 needed off 12

Off the third ball, Umar Gul lofted and Rahane came up with a very good catch at long off.  Off the last ball, Mohammad Talha went for a heave and was out caught by Jadeja.   Now 10 needed off the last over…. Ashwin to bowl…. Off the first ball, Ashwin bowled Ajmal with a beauty – a carom ball !! ~ last man Junaid Khan walked – 5 balls left and 10 needed…. Took a single…. 3rd ball Afridi made a wild slog and cleared the deep extra cover ~ the fourth ball, Shahid Afridi cleared the fence over long on……… and came the Pak win. 

Indian fan feeling sad again…………… way back in 1986 at Sharjah – when one recalls – around 16 were  required off last two, Kapil came on to bowl the 49th (his 10th) – controlled things giving away only 5 runs, Chetan bowled the last over when 11 were required  and off the last ball Javed Miandad hit a six of a full toss making it a night mare for Chetan, Kapil and Indians.

The Press seethed with anger on Kapil and Rajan Bala wrote ‘Kapil in need of Maths tuition’.  Gross injustice – if only Chetan had bowled the penultimate perhaps the last over would have been a simple affair with Pak needing something less than 6 or perhaps there would not have been need for one.  Kapil was always a sitting target; anyway history cannot be rewritten by ‘ifs and butts’ ~ and today, Virat Kohli opted for Bhuvanesh to bowl the 49th – would you call that a master stroke or just postponing defeat to the last over

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

On the night of 2nd Mar 2013. @ 11 pm.

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