World Cup Final
Outside my house, on Parking Level 2. My TV. Wankhede Stadium.
Sri Lanka hit 274. After a fucking brilliant start India had, including 3 maidens by Zaheer Khan, and a run rate that was stammering at 3 an over upto the 20th over, Sri Lanka found life from somewhere and built up a surprising innings, finishing it grandly and also whacking “Triple Maiden” Zaheer for about 60 runs in his last 7 overs.
Sri Lanka placed 274 on the board. Suddenly everyone in India was thinking “Shit shit shit shit shit”. No seriously, a couple of FB statuses confirmed that. No one, or very few, expected India to win.
The guys in Parking Level 2 in my society(or P2) got a screen. A projector was attached to some feed that displayed the match without ads. Chairs were broken out and arranged haphazardly. A very FUCKING ANNOYING DJ materialized from nowhere and played FUCKING ANNOYING songs during the match.
I shut the windows. I watched my TV instead.
India played. Sehwag out, second ball. Music played. DJ, WTF man, seriously?
Then Sachin out. FB statuses were like “OMG OMG OMG” and “FML”, but I knew India came this far not on individual performances but on team effort. Sachin was not team India, he was a part of it, a very important part, but just a part of it. I knew we had enough firepower : Gambhir, Yuvraj and Raina. Dhoni was not firing and I never really watched Kohli play.
Gambhir and Kohli first steadied the innings. They coughed and sputtered to get runs, but pushed India close to the asking rate and we hit 100 within 20 overs. So far, OK.
Then Kohli inevitably fell to a super catch by Dilshan. Dhoni entered, as I had wanted. They batted irritatingly and frustratingly, reminding me continuously of test matches, and I had a vague confidence that 2 very in-form players were to follow, so I was really confused. Frustrated? Check. Confident? Check. NOT Confident? Check. Apprehensive? Check.
This made me realize that only cricket, national cricket, can affect a person with so many emotions at the same time. Given that we always needed X runs of X plus/minus 2 balls, I really did not know what would happen. WE COULD HAVE LOST, or WE COULD HAVE HIT BOUNDARIES AND FUCKING FINISHED IT.
Both did not happen. Due to unknown reasons, the asking rate was being maintained(instead of the better option of it decreasing) and I was losing nails as fast as we lost wickets against South Africa.
Tell me more.
So there I was, nervous Natarajan, waiting for that sensational over that will finish off the match and give India the World Cup. It never came. Right upto the last couple of overs, that is. Then finally Yuvraj realized he’ll never be able to finish it off and rotated strike to Dhoni.
Dhoni, in a very characteristic manner, as he has done right from his debut, finished off the innings with a six. That was truly awesome. Sri Lanka were “Dhonied” for the umpteenth time.
I still remember in 2007, in that 7 match series against Sri Lanka after Greg Chappell quit, when Dhoni hammered 183 and finished off a bunch of matches with sixes.
He’s still the same.
And we won. It is AWESOME to feel like CHAMPIONS, man. I felt a tinge of sympathy for Sri Lanka, because it was just in my 7th-8th std when I felt the same way after those FUCKING LOSER AUSSIES (ED : Ignore him. He hates Aussies) won and every Indian I knew was devastated. Much like the Lankans today.
But still. Sachin finally got a World Cup to add to his illustrious career. He did not get his 100th 100 though, but I’m sure he’s not retiring. Not for now atleast. So that will come. No WAY that dudes retiring without 100 100’s.
I can tell my kids I was alive when Sachin scored 200. I can tell them I was alive when India were truly World Champions. I really feel proud right now.
Yep. Mumbai went apeshit crazy. Like, really crazy. Even before the 45th over or so, when I felt we could win, the aerial explosions were taking place. Crackers were placed. People were cheering everything. It was like people knew we were going to win. I totally love that.
They’re going on right now to. It’s 1 am, there are guys in cars screaming and celebrating. I live in a residential and quieter part of Mumbai. I can only imagine the nonsense going on in other, more hip places. People will probably be getting WASTED.
Who ever thought of having the WC final on a Saturday was genius.
This is not my best quality note, but it’s written at 1250 in the morning, when I’m half asleep. I’m sure you can empathize with WHAT I’m saying.
If you can’t, well :