Millions of fans were treated to a fantastic game of cricket that didn't go down to the wire but was a fabulous game nevertheless with its series of high blood pressure moments, high swearing moments and high fiving(this doesn't exist, so what!) moments!
The stadium and indeed, the city, resembled more of an old fort where the kings and queens, on their thrones, would keenly watch the warriors with daggers and spears on horseback fight it out for ultimate glory with the denizens of the kingdom supporting in the loudest possible manner . Today, the kings and queens were the Prime ministers of the two countries, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and the respective cabinets. The warriors were 11 eager players from each country (India and Pakistan) fighting for glory and the denizens were billions of fans around the world watching the game via some technological innovation of the last century or the last decade.
India came out victorious but not before a fabulous fight from Pakistan.When India batted first after winning a crucial toss, things began at a frenetic pace. Sehwag played like he would in the Vasant Kunj ground against Delhi Division 3 cricketers, showing 0(Yes, ZERO) respect to the opposition bowlers ,specially Gul . So that brings us to G for Gul who contributed to the game and in this case, the victory, by getting swatted all over for just over 7 boundaries in his first spell. Even Sachin was a mute spectator till W for Wahab came by and got Sehwag first, then the sun-shades wearing Kohli and the Maharaja Yuvi, all in quick succession. He indeed was the Chupa Rustam because he wasn't supposed to be playing today! Akhtar out, Wahab in, meant a wonderful five-for for the talented south paw. In between these dismissals we had the most important moments represented by D for Drop and C for Catch. Pakistan provided unprecedented competition to Sri Lanka (they dropped Morgan 3 times) by dropping Sachin 4 times!Sachin ain't Morgan to not take advantage ! Add to that, Technology helped him twice with the result that he survived Six times before he made 85 when he was out finally. The Indians were in a bind when Ajmal , Afridi and Hafeez bowled ( and they did so brilliantly!) but somehow scratched around to 260 led by Dhoni's single game, Raina's impressive slog overs stint, Pakistani's friendly fielding and Gul's
At half time when the score read 260, many of us were firmly of the view that India had lost the plot, that they were one spinner short and that they can afford only one of Nehra or Munaf in the playing 11.(A leading newspaper has published a study that suggests India's athletic ability per minute or (AAM) goes down by 37% when both of them are on the field!!)Well, we were all proved wrong thanks to a fantastic team performance , imaginative and aggressive captaincy by Dhoni , some help from the dust bowl at Mohali and some help from the opposition !
M for Munaf( my friend calls him the bowling machine!) bowled a beautiful line to get Hafeez out and later Razzaq. B for Bhajji bowled a fantastic spell to get rid of the mighty dangerous Umar Akmal and Afridi and we thought we were well and truly through. Crucially enough, M for Misbah played a mysteriously scratchy, defensive, later converted to a partly aggressive innings that helped India seal the game! Before the team was reminded of what Misbah was capable of (remember Jo'burg in 20-20 final? ) , the door was shut on our neighbors thanks to an amazing knock where he consumed a lot more than he produced! It was a case of Misbah killing Misbah and for that alone, he deserved the man of the match award!
As the match ended, there was utter chaos and celebration around the Indian team and absolute gloom in the Pakistani camp , that promised so much but didn't deliver in crunch moments. Sonia Gandhi hurrayed, Aamir Khan smiled, Sreesanth jumped, the PMs clapped and an entire nation of one billion plus celebrated a wonderful victory that they will cherish for ages to come. As a result, we will know play Sri Lanka in the finals that promises poetic justice to the man they call the God of Cricket - Sachin Tendulkar - being played on his home ground , its the world cup final, a chance to go to his 100th century and a very good opposition . Now you know why the streets would be empty on Saturday!
Anyway, superbly played India, well played Pakistan , Thank you for the game of cricket. Now for the finals, Ladies and Gentlemen!!!!