From the word go there were shivers going up and down their bodies, when arch-rivals India and Pakistan locked horns after a year long wait on Sunday in an Asia Cup clash at Mirpur.
There were speculations, there were assumptions and guess what, finally the Indian team lived up to the expectations. The hangover of the hundredth hundred of Tendulkar was yet not over and gotcha, the rise of Virat Kohli allowed the Indians to raise some more toasts with his superb match winning knock of 183 runs to help India finish it in style against Pakistan.
A 330 runs target would have set the cat amongst the pigeons but when the likes of Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are there in your quiver, you can learn to bell the cat, can’t you.
After the dismissal of Gambhir on the very second delivery of the Indian innings, Tendulkar was like persona non grata for the bowlers, especially after achieving that big feat the other night. He, along with Kohli never allowed the Pakistani bowlers to let their hair down.
They were involved in a 133 runs partnership before the big ‘little’ man fell prey to Ajmal when he was batting brilliantly at 52. From there on, Kohli took the gauntlet and made the bowlers run out of their wits. It seemed oh so common an affair for Kohli when he lifted his bat to celebrate yet another century in this tournament.
The flamboyant boy was eloquent when the ball looked to talk; he was elegant when it seemed scorching and when the bowling was pathetic, he was impeccable; that was Virat at his very best and even before getting out on his highest ODI score till date, he made sure that the winning baton was in India’s hands.
The Pakistani skipper would have eaten humble pie when he invited India to field first on a meaty Mirpur track but their batsmen seem to have made up for it when they put a mountain high total on the score board with both of their openers getting tons.
They could have gone higher though, thanks to some not so common bowling figures by the Indian bowlers in the death overs that restricted them to 329, but of course supported well by two great catches by Raina and Kohli.
Amidst Tendulkar’s ton of tons celebration still alive along with India’s victory over Pakistan, firecrackers on the roads; there is a vacant room for some prayers too; prayers for the Bangladeshis to lose their next against the Lankans thereby letting India enter into the finals. A loss for the Lankans means a return ticket for the Indians and that too after winning two matches out of three. Cricket can be cruel at times.
It would be a win-win situation for both of us if Sri Lanka wins their next so Bangladeshis better watch out. And it’s time we should start writing our letters to dear God. Hopefully he listens to us and we can have more of the Kohlis and the Tendulkars and see India giving Pakistan a run for their money kyunki picture abhi baki hai dost…