It wasnt just another cricket match. It was an Indo-Pak match. Not just that, it was the finals. It doesn’t end there, it was the world cup finals!!! (Thats right, three exclamations). We all know what happened. A perfect Indo-Pak World Cup Final! As Ravi Shastri put it quite well, with all the spiciness of the south asia! A low scoring first innings by India (What have they done?). The tug of war continues as Pakistan is doing well in the initial overs of the second innings. Indian bowlers put the breaks in the middle. India sails for a clear victory. Can that happen? IndoPak cant be so simple. The rollercoaster has got to have a few more bends. In comes Bhajji. 3 sixes of him. Equations change. Pakis see the finish line. They need 20 of 12, 13 of 6, 12 of 6, 12 of 5, 6 of 4. They had almost done that snatching of victory thing. But the coaster had another turn. The rest is history. India lift the T20 world cup! A total masala, twist in the tale, sports thriller that can give most movies a run for their money. And if you saw till the very end, there is even a topless scene. But that not what I want to talk about now. I wish to tell you the story of the other side of our TV screen.
The excitement was high when I got out of my ophthalmology lecture at 5:30 today. I reached the mess still carrying the PSM book that I was reading in the lecture. And an awkward sight meet my eye. Everyone was nicely sitting in a uniform fashion, tables well arranged. But then “Tum sab ke ghar main phone karunga… blah… blah…” explained it all. Dr Ghosh(Warden JNBH) was mad about the broken utensils and benches during the India-Australia Semi Finals. Soon the first ball was bowled and his voice was lost. Soon enough he left.
Empty oil cans were summoned in no time. Noise never felt so good. The juniors played the cans to celebrate every shot. But it was more of nail biting. Curses flew all around the room. “Saale kya kar rahe hai?”, “Inse acha to hum khel sakte hai”, “Abe maar na!!”. By the end of the innings, there was disappointment. What have they done? 157 in a T20 world cup final? Thats not enough. We have lost the cup.
But hope filled the mess to the brim for the second innings. The melodious noise of oil cans and a cooler tank filled the hall. Wicket in the first over, and everyone went berserk. We were all on our feet, arms up in the air. Yeah! We’re going to win. But the next over bought us back to our seats. Chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” “Pakistan ki….” provided the chorus. More curses were thrown at the anti-Indian decisions by the umpire (Kaha wide thi? Itna to chalta hai…), and the Indian bowlers (Kaha se select ho ke aa jate hai?).
But the Indians pulled the rope and the Pakistani graph stopped climbing. Every dot ball or a single was met with applause. Hearts were thumping (not as much as the oil cans, now deformed and unrecognisable). Were we going to win a world cup? None of us had seen that happen. Some of weren’t there and the others had much more important matters to attend to. So this was it. India Vs Pakistan. World Cup Final. India in a winning position. Pakistan doing a mere 7/over when the required rate was touching 12. Wickets kept falling for the Pakistan camp. And everyone of them was well screamed for!
Bhajji came in, cheers!! He gave them three sixes! “Saale ne kya kar diya?” Shreesanth gives 15 more runs in the next over. All they need is a manageable 20 of 12. Tensions were high? Will India finally lose to Pakistan in a world cup? The heat is on and we were all literally sweating. It looked like the pakis were doing their jobs quite well. Silence in the TV hall. Sharma is hit for a six when they need only 12. People start to lose their heads. “Isko kyu di bowling?”. Misbah screwed the final act for Pakistan. As of the Indians, the drama couldn’t have been better. We were T20 world champions, defeating mighty Australia, South Africa and finally Pakistan on our way.
It was like a soda bottle being opened after violent shakes. We danced like there was no tomorrow, seniors, juniors and PGs alike. Shirts went off, high five exchanged, another bench broken, more of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and other holy mantras. And finally, fireworks!
A perfect match. Total entertainment. But it was the TV hall that intensified it all!