World Cup 2011 – Bangalore Fails To Produce A Winner




Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

“No team deserved to lose,” said Ravi Shastri in the commentary box. That exactly was the script of the Group B blockbuster game between India and England. It all came down to the last ball to be bowled by Munaf Patel with Swann, requiring 2 runs for victory could manage only a single as the game ended with neither team ending up on the winning side.

The game began with Sehwag throwing caution to the winds after Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat on a flat deck. After an electrifying start, of which he could have been dismissed three times in the first five balls, Sehwag was finally snapped up for Bresnan in the 8th over. That brought to the crease Gautam Gambhir, who along with Tendulkar began to build a partnership. Tendulkar was initially cautious in his approach but he gradually began to open up as he raced away from 44 of 64 balls to 88 of 89 balls in no time. Gambhir brought up his 50 in 58 balls as India were 179/1 at the end of the 29th over. Against the run of play, Swann got rid of Gambhir, but Tendulkar carried on and reached his 47th ODI hundred, his second against England and his fifth in World Cups. With the score on 219/2, India took the batting Powerplay in the 37th over as they looked to post yet another mammoth score.

Tendulkar perished trying to improvise and with Bresnan bowling clever short stuff Dhoni and Yuvraj failed to capitalize on the field restrictions. Yuvraj worked his way quietly to another half century as only 32 runs were scored in the Powerplay. Yuvraj and Dhoni fell trying to accelerate the scoring and Bresnan doled in some unplayable stuff as Pathan and Kohli fell off successive deliveries. He also got rid of Harbhajan to pick up his fifth wicket. India lost seven wickets in the last seven overs as they were bundled out for 338, atleast 20 runs short of where they would have liked to be at the end of the 40th over.

England, to have any chance of winning this match, needed a flying start and Strauss and Pietersen gave them exactly that as the Poms raced away to 63 of the first 9 overs. Munaf got rid of Pietersen with a brilliant catch of his own bowling while Piyush Chawla, playing in place of Sreesanth, got rid of Trott for 16. From there on Bell and Strauss took the match into their hands putting on a 180 run partnership with Strauss bringing up his sixth hundred in the process while Bell notched up a half century of his own. With Strauss on 158, Bell on 64 and 8 wickets still in hand, England were absolutely cruising with 59 runs required of 42 balls. Then they decided to take the Powerplay!

Zaheer, who was taken to the cleaners in his first spell, first got rid of Bell and Strauss of second consecutive deliveries – the second being an unplayable inswinging yorker. He then foxed Collingwood a slower ball and England were collapsing! With the run rate going up with every dot ball, Prior got out trying to hit one out of the park while Yardy scooped an easy catch to Sehwag at fine leg. The match had turned around! With 29 runs required of 2 overs, England looked down and out.

Swann, and then, Bresnan hit Chawla for two huge sixes as England looked to put up a fight. Chawla castled Bresnan and with 13 required of the last over, it was India’s match to lose. Swann collected 3 runs of the first two balls as Munaf kept the ball full and straight. And out of nowhere, Ajmal Shahzad smashed his first ball over the bowler’s head for a six to send the Bangalore crowd into absolute silence. He collected a single of the next ball which meant 2 runs were required of the last ball. Munaf kept it straight and Swann could only drive it to extra cover and manage a single. The match was tied!

Andrew Strauss edged out Sachin Tendulkar to pick up the man of the match for his magnificent knock of 158

100 overs of cricket failed to separate the two sides and produce a clear winner. A perfect advertisement for ODI cricket!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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