Saturday, September 15, 2007

An unconventional tie-breaker

-By Swetha Amit
India-Pakistan matches have always generated a stir of commotion and excitement for the viewers. Yesterday's play proved to be no exception especially when the victory for India was crucial to qualify for the super eights.

The match was completely a sea-saw with Pakistan rattling Indian wickets initially. However they managed to put up a decent total of 141 on the score board, something which seemed like a cake walk for Pakistan to chase. But the Indian bowlers managed to pull back their opponent by taking wickets at quick intervals which ultimately put pressure on the batting team.

The game droned on as levels of adrenalin surged like the waves on a high tide. It was the fight by Misbah Ul Haq which brought them inching close to victory with 17 runs taken from the nineteenth over bowled by Agarkar. Pakistan just needed 12 runs from the last over. After a couple of fours, the equation came down to one run required off two balls. It almost seemed like the latter would snatch the match from the men in blue. The dismayed Indian fans were in for a pleasant surprise when the last run was withheld by a brilliant run out which resulted in a whoop of delight and the unconventional tie breaker.

The contrast in emotions displayed by both the teams was as apparent as black and white. The men in blue managed to successfully put their opposition into the blues who were devastated at their unexpected pressure they were engulfed into. The T20 rule of not allowing a tie between teams forced the ‘bowl out’ to come into being. This is similar to the penalty shoot out in the game of football in order to acclaim the winner.

Tension filled the air once again with everyone portraying an edge of restlessness and secretly praying for their favorite team. It all rested on the bowlers to perform their feat in order to set their respective flags flying. Starting with India, Sehwag managed to score a point followed by Harbhajan and Uthappa who were jubilant and their joy knew no bounds when Pakistan scored zero points with their shocking inability to hit the stumps.

Though 22 yards seem to be an easy target from the camera, it is surprising to note that even a strong bowling team like Pakistan conked under pressure with their inability to hit the bulls’ eye when required.

The runners' up in this game looked deflated like a lifeless balloon and their dismay equaled that of a child whose toy had been mercilessly snatched away. On the other hands, the Indians were all smiles and displayed tremendous exuberance of living up to the record of not having lost to Pakistan in any World cup match till date.

This unconventional tie breaker has caused millions a flurry of emotions and an unforgettable roller coaster ride. Not surprising, considering the twists and turns of the game which resulted in surprises, shocks and finally in an exhilarated triumph which bowled over the fans completely.

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