Friday, September 21, 2007

Dramatic win for India pushes SA out of race

In a completely dramatic turn of events India won yesterday's match India vs South Africa at Kingsmead, Durban securing its place in Semi's. Indian fans across the globe were ecstatic after the win and Team India must also be celebrating its much required and acclaimed victory before they face their another crucial match against Australia.

Many would claim that they had faith that India will win this match, being die-hard fans, but for others like me this match was no less than a well written script of a suspense thriller movie. Even before the match started there was immense pressure on Indian team. Nothings seemed to be in favor of India. Consider these,
1) The group score card was in favor of the hosts, it was a do or die match for India but SA just needed to secure a respectable score.
2) The pitch (having support for pace bowlers) was in favor of hosts.
3) SA had never lost a match in the tournament so far so morale was also high for them, and add to this loss of the star of Kingsmead, Yuvraj for this game due to an elbow injury.

After reading these conditions one might just give up the hopes already but still I being an optimist looked forward to the match. Match started and in the initial overs only we lost 3 wickets.
We were 32/0 and then suddenly 33/3 and that also in mere 4 balls.

It looked like India lost the match already and will be out of T20 but rookie Rohit sharma and Captain Dhoni took charge and stayed on the crease easing pressure bit by bit. I am not sure if they were actually easing pressure or adding to it, because they were taking it easy taking singles or doubles and there were occasional boundaries to signal they were alive and going by the standard of T20 everyone was praying for a miracle. Rohit sharma, the dark horse here, stood with his captain and played a match turning inning. Dhoni and Sharma speeded up their game towards the end and managed a otherwise respectable score of 153/5 in 20 overs but this was T20 and
this was hardly a defendable score against a team like South Africa that also on their home turf.

So, with lot of anxiety about the outcome and for obvious reasons immense pressure on our young bowlers 2nd inning started and the from the very 1st ball the mounting pressure was visible. First ball Wide which went to boundary as well. At the end of 1st over the hosts were at an alarming score of 11/0 from which most runs were extra given by Shreesanth. Situation was getting more and more intense. Within all this RP singh makes a spectacular comeback for India by dismissing Gibbs on his very first ball of the spell and gives only 1 run in the over. With this huge moral booster Shreesanth strikes in the very next over and gradually Indian bowlers kept taking wickets, pushing the match towards India by every over and soon the smallish Indian total started to look big for the hosts. RP singh proved to be a lethal weapon and completed his spectacular spell with only 13 runs in 4 overs and taking 4 wickets.

The next time when the situation seemed to be getting in favor of the hosts again was when Harbhajan was proved very expensive in his first over and India 3 more overs were remaining to be bowled by him. To Dhoni's relief he bowled his remaining spell surprisingly well and took 2 wickets also.

In this roller coaster style match in which Indian were struggling for their survival in the tournament, by the end of the match surprisingly It was the South Africa who was struggling for their survival in the tournament. This was something which no one had even imagined happening. Finally SA's struggle ended with a shameful defeat by 37 runs which put them out of the tournament as well.

Now Team India is on a high but the bigger challenge lies right ahead. The semi final match against Australia.

Till then team India deserves to enjoy their spectacular win.

Cheers to heroes of the moment Rohit Sharma and RP singh !!


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