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Friday, October 7, 2011

RCB v/s SOUTH AUSTRALIA REDBACKS, CLT20: THE BEST MATCH EVER!!! (LAST BALL SIX)

I was confused. I had too many things to blog about, I was wondering where to start. Anyways, I thought I'll start with this ever-memorable, historic, once-in-a-lifetime experience which happened on Wednesday, Oct 5th, 2011 at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore.

On Monday, Oct 3rd, I was very sad. The previous week, I had watched RCB v/s KKR, only to see RCB lose miserably. But for a Indian Rupee ₹100 ticket, it was worth it. "Wow! So cheap, I will surely come for the next match! Even if RCB lose, Indian Rupee ₹100 will be VERY MUCH worth it if Gayle fireworks happen!", I thought.

So yes, on Monday, after office, I headed straight to the stadium & managed to get a Indian Rupee ₹300 ticket of the M3 stand, for Indian Rupee ₹200. However, what followed was ROTTEN luck. I didn't know that bags weren't allowed inside. Even empty ones weren't allowed !! Only ladies' handbags were! I'm not rich enough :P..I don't have a car..All I have is my Bajaj Discover 150 cc which surely cannot conceal my bag anywhere. I had NO choice but to return home with a dull face. Indian Rupee ₹200 down the drain! To summarize with one single word - TOPI !!! And JUST like I had predicted, that day was Gayle Deepavali !!!! RCB won convincingly!

"DAMN !!! Cursed is my luck!!", I kept on muttering to myself. Nevertheless, I went to sleep and decided that I would watch the next match WITHOUT A BAG :D. This was the one on Wednesday - RCB v/s SA Redbacks. I went with Arun & Sruthi. VinZ was supposed to join us, but he backed out. We got Indian Rupee ₹300 double-header tickets - applicable to both the matches on that day, Somerset v/s Warriors as well as the RCB match. We went in at around 6.45 pm or so...only to see the Warriors losing to Somerset.

Then began the practice sessions of RCB & the Redbacks ...The toss happened with Ian Bishop & it was the Redbacks who won & chose to bat...Arun & I saw the team lists which flashed on the giant screen. It began with RCB. The first person to be flashed was Chris Gayle, greeted with the LOUDEST ROAR from the 20,000+ crowd...The list continued - Dilshan, Kohli etc etc upto Aravind. I was telling Arun - "I have a gut feeling that Nannes will strike big today". My gut feelings are ALWAYS wrong, but still, they never end :P...they appear always...in the hope of turning out to be true someday at least :D :D ...The Redbacks team list appeared, player by player...with every name being booed by the crowd :D ...Harris, Klinger, Fergusson....Arun said - "Semma batting man!!!". I was hoping Shaun Tait wouldn't play, because I was totally paranoid about my horrid imagination of Gayle's middle stump being uprooted by a 150 km/hr + yorker from Tait. To my utter despair, he was playing in this game!!! "Shit!!!" was the first thing Arun and I said, on looking at each other's faces in fear, after Tait appeared on the screen.

THE REDBACKS DEMOLITION:

Soon enough, the match began, with Nannes bowling a good first over, conceding just 3 runs. I so wanted him to take a wicket or two! Never mind, it was Aravind's turn. He was greeted by a boundary and the over turned out to be expensive. In the 3rd over, it was Nannes' turn to get some stick. Our fears had come true. The strength of the Redbacks was their batting and they were off to a flier! Aravind continued to be expensive. By the end of 4 overs, they had scored around 40 runs or so. Vettori came in, as expected & slowed down things a little. Over #6 was bowled by Syed Mohammad, who took the wicket of the Redbacks skipper with his very first ball. I expected a batting collapse here on, only to get slapped tight on my face :D.

Fergusson & Harris went on to demolish RCB just like the Warner show in Chennai, a day ago. Aravind, Nannes were smashed all over the park. Vettori & Syed Mohammad were the ONLY ones who were pretty economical. Bhatkal and Virat too, had an economy rate of around 10+. Gayle didn't bowl at all; nor did Dilshan. I wondered why! Spinners were doing very well on this track, yet, Vettori didn't bowl these two and persisted with his pacers. Arun & I were expecting a score of 180, only to be proved wrong again.

Nannes & Aravind bowled their second spells SO DISASTROUSLY that they would surely like to forget that they even bowled on this day. 20 overs were up & RCB had received a MASSIVE POUNDING. Harris scored a magnificent century with Fergusson too, playing a beauty of a supporting innings. Christian's slaughter at the end was only an icing on the feast of a run cake. The Royal Challengers were set a next-to-impossible target of 215.
Arun asked me about Arvind - "Ivana India team ku select ayrkaan??" (Is this the guy who has been selected for the Indian team?). Sigh! :( Yeah! What the heck was going on!

4-0-69-0 !!!!!! One would've really wished Anil Kumble was still playing!! He surely bowls faster than Arvind !! :D :D
...and has a 10x times ability to take wickets! :D :D ..and is a LEGEND..a PROVEN WINNER! :D & Nannes, couldn't you get those single-stump Yorker deliveries on the ground, during the match? Instead of just on the nets?

THE MOOD DURING THE INTERVAL:

Everyone in the crowd would've felt the same thing - If Gayle fires, we win ..else we are gone! I must confess, I felt that way too! Added to the misery was my paranoia about Tait knocking Gayle's middle stump off. I dunno the number of times Arun would've said "Kucchi egura pordhu" (The stump's gonna fly!). I had already cursed myself by then. Why is it that in almost all the matches I've seen in the stadium, the home team has lost miserably?

I've seen very few matches in the stadiums, in India. My very first one was Saeed Anwar's knock of 194 in Chennai, when I was a schoolboy. The next one came later on - India v/s West Indies in Chennai, Lara's knock of 83 led WI to a win. This match was memorable as it was the first & last match I watched with my late aunt :). Back to Bangalore, it was IPL 2008, RCB (the most pathetic team) v/s Delhi Daredevils. RCB lost miserably. Bruno's mother, Blacky had passed away the very next day. After that one was FINALLY an AWESOME match - IPL 2011, RCB v/s KKR, which I watched with VinZ and co. That was AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE. There was a rain-storm followed by a Gayle-storm :) - 38(12) !!! He was SMASHING Brett Lee & Unadkat as if they were spinners! :D :D Watching a Gayle storm live can be the most pleasing of experiences!! :) :) The previous week, I had watched RCB v/s KKR again :D ..the clt20 game this time & RCB lost badly. So after all those experiences, I had hoped they would win this one. Now, my hopes were all gone :( There was a little ray of hope left & it was entirely on the mighty broad shoulders of Chris Gayle.

THE RCB CHASE:

Gayle & Dilshan walked in to a thunderous roar from the crowd. Gayle facing Tait, the crowd expected a first-ball six. Hell ! 6 or no 6, I didn't care. I didn't want the stump uprooted! :D That's all. Gayle started off with a single, Dilshan took strike. After some extras, he got 2 boundaries in the over. Not a bad start. 1 over gone. 11/0. The next over was bowled by Lyon. "Good captaincy by the Redbacks!", I thought. Memories of Gayle getting out to Ashwin reappeared and made me tremble. Another single. Dilshan took strike & made merry :). Then I told Arun - "I guess the plan is Gayle staying till the end and Dilshan going for it". Dilshan raced away. He was dealing ONLY in boundaries & sixes. Gayle was still yet to fire. Then it all started. Gayle launched 3 MASSIVE sixes into the stands and the crowds started dancing. The Gayle-storm had begun! RCB was well ahead of the Redbacks at that stage. They ended up with over 60 runs in 6 overs! Great start!

Soon, there was PIN-DROP silence in the crowd, as Gayle mishit the ball to the hands of the skipper, who caught it in collision with someone else & injured himself. There was utter despair & silence among the crowd. On another day, everyone would've left the stadium, because at least until that day, Gayle was to RCB as Sachin was to India of the 90's. However, Dilshan was looking good at 35+ and showed quite some promise. So people stayed. Kohli walked in to another HUGE roar from the crowd. He was the retained player. He had to do something today.

What followed was AN UNBELIEVABLE DESTRUCTION of the Redbacks..CATASTROPHE would be the right word. I dunno which dog bit Kohli, or what irritant came on to him. He launched an UNPARALLELED, SEEMINGLY UNSTOPPABLE, BLISTERINGLY BREATHTAKING SCATHING ...( I'm out of words) ATTACK on the Redback bowling. ATTACK IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. IT WAS WAR !!!!! It was a RAMPAGE !! Kohli had gone WILD !!!! Kohli was doing a Gayle !!! :D ....He was TEARING THE REDBACKS APART, PIECE BY PIECE !!!!!

Arun and I were shocked...I was like - "Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!" every 10 sec....simply because the ball was SMASHED beyond the fence every 10 sec !!! The Dil-scoop was exhibited twice or thrice and was CLASSY to watch. I dunno how many times I've felt this in the past, but I felt it again that day - Kohli was on demolition mode alright, but some of those square cuts & power-packed cover drives would've really made Rahul Dravid proud !!! Someone is INDEED carrying forward that CLASSY, CHARISMATIC legacy!

Dilshan was ONLY TOO HAPPY TO HELP HIM OUT...They RACED to the 60s..put RCB in a decent position to win, before Kohli got out to Tait. Kohli was disappointed, filled with despair as he walked back, but not before the crowd gave him a standing ovation for this innings of a lifetime from this man!! HATS OFF TO THIS YOUNG FIRE-CRACKER OF A GENIUS !!!!!! He played like a TRUE CHAMPION !!!!
Indian cricket's future is in safe hands :) :) ...

RCB were still in a decent position...but BY NO MEANS, in a comfortable one...because the gap between the balls left & runs needed was still quite big. And Tait was looking menacing as he ran into bowl at the speed of knots...or should I be a writer of the present & say "at the speed of neutrinos"?? :D

Saurabh Tiwary came in. I was scared. Tiwary, for some strange reason seemed to play superbly for Mumbai, but when it came to RCB, he projected himself as a batsman who "needs his time to get set". After getting set, he would get out !! :D :D ...So I really feared it. I wished Mayank Agarwal came in. Anyway, after wasting a couple of deliveries, he took on Tait and smashed on back way past long off, into the stands ..a la Gayle !! :D WOW !!!!! Tait immediately took him off the next delivery, with a short one & some trademark Tait-swearing followed. I hated Tait. Not just because he did that, but he also slightly resembled a certain "entertainer" whom Shayan & I know, whom I LOVE TO HATE! :D :D ( @Shayan - isn't the resemblance there, macha??! ) :D :D...Mayank came in, launched another 6 & got out. The SAME THING with Vettori. A 6 and out. Every 6 was followed with 20,000+ people shouting "R..C..B" ...My throat got so screwed ...but I didn't care !! I howled along !! :D

It was up to Dilshan & Bhatkal. Dilshan got yorked by Tait !! DAMN !! That was it, I thought
. Arun Karthik came in & gave the strike to Bhatkal who got yorked again by Tait. It was a 5-wicket haul for Tait.

I had lost hope. I told Arun - "It is gonna be a VERY heartbreaking defeat. But seriously, it was worth staying back and watching all this - SIMPLY BECAUSE it was a SUPER-AWESOME fightback!!!". I had already decided on my FB update in my mind - "Heartbreaking defeat! But still, very proud of you RCB!! Way to go! What a fightback!". Seriously, chasing down 215 was not a joke. It takes some magic to chase such a score. It was there, provided by Kohli & Dilshan. I felt really sad for those 2, that all their superhuman efforts would go down in a loss. It was the last over. RCB was on 201. 14 runs from 6, with Syed Mohammad & Arun Karthik. I was disappointed. I knew it just wasn't happening! I had recollected Syed Mohammad hitting a few boundaries & saving RCB in one of the IPL matches. So this memory kindled the faintest of hopes in the darkest of clouds.

THE LAST OVER:

Daniel Christian was gonna be bowling it. First ball - single.
2nd ball - Arun Karthik on strike. He misses, they run. Syed is run out.
DAMN!! The faintest of hopes was almost extinguished.

Aravind came in. I told - "Aravind, you have messed up big time with the ball. Please prove your worth with the bat at least!". I wanted him to smash 3 sixes and finish it in proper, revengeful fashion!!!

3rd ball - He tried to a left-handed Dil-scoop and WOW! It worked! 4 runs for RCB. But that wasn't enough. It was a fluke, I felt. Flukes don't happen every ball!

4th ball - They ran 2.

5th ball - I wanted him 2 hit a 6 at least now, but NO! They scampered for a bye.

SIX OFF ONE BALL !!!!
A Lagaan situation !!!!!! But this wasn't a movie!! "SUCH FAIRYTALE ENDINGS HAPPEN ONLY IN MOVIES", I thought ...I told Arun "Chalo..let's go!!" ...and we walked towards the exit ...

Arun Karthik was on strike ...The whole of the stadium was quiet...and trembling with fear...They ACTUALLY had hopes! I didn't !!!! I had lost hope ...I sulked ...but like I told you - I had decided on my FB status message already ...and I was VERY PROUD of RCB for this EXTRAORDINARY FIGHTBACK & GEM OF A CHASE !!!! Lady luck always had evaded RCB, they NEVER won the BIG games...and it was gonna be another repeat of the evasion of lady luck.

I was heading out ..Arun said - "iru da !! enga pore!" ...Me - " NO WAY ..this ain't happening!!"
Arun said - "ippo avan adicha enna pannuve?!" ..
Me - "keela poytu gudhichiduven!!"

Christian started his run up....I started telling Arun - "Arun Karthik ellam ..." (I was gonna say "NO CHANCE!!!"), when he swung the bat...THE BALL WENT IN THE AIR !!!!
I thought it was gonna be caught ...BUT NO !!!!!!! WAIT A MINUTE !!!!!!!! WHERE WAS IT GOING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS FLYING HIGHER & HIGHER !!!!!!!!!!!
WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT ACTUALLY WENT INTO THE STANDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHITTTTTTTTT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE DID ITTTTTTTTTT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HE ACTUALLY DID IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG !!!!!!!!!!! OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WTH !!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTH JUST HAPPENED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????? MY EYES WERE IN THE SIZE OF FOOTBALLS ....& MY MOUTH WAS IN THE SIZE OF A GOAL POST !!!!!!!!! I WAS TRANSFIXED !!!!!!!!! I HAD A PARALYTIC ATTACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AFTER A MINUTE, I WAS JUMPING ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE CROWD WHO WERE EQUALLY AMAZED ....THE NOISE JUST WENT HIGHER & HIGHER ....THERE WERE HUGS & HIGH-FIVES ALL OVER THE STADIUM !!!!!!! I got my eyes back to the ground ...The Redbacks keeper was sitting in DEEP SHOCK....I could see the entire RCB team JUMPING and RUNNING AROUND !!!!!! I could not make out who was who...until I saw the giant screen ..

Kohli, Dilshan ...everyone were emotions personified !!!!!!!!! THEY HAD PLAYED THEIR LIVES OUT THERE !!!!! Aravind could not stop hugging Arun Karthik !!!!!!!!

The ROARS of 20,000+ people in unison - "R ...C...B" DID NOT STOP EVEN FOR A MINUTE !!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT THE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAS IT REAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????? I STILL COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT HAD HAPPENED !!!!!!!!! I was NOT CALM ...even for a second...
To add to the SWEETNESS, the replay was shown on the screen ...Christian turned his face away AS SOON AS Karthik played his shot ..HE KNEW IT !!!!!

Arun Karthik !!!!! WOW !!!!!!!!!!! ONE BALL IS ALL IT TOOK ..FOR HIM TO BECOME GOD....1 BALL IS ALL IT TOOK ...FOR HIM TO BECOME A SUPERHERO ...1 BALL IS ALL IT TOOK TO BECOME A WORLDWIDE SENSATION ....TRENDING WORLDWIDE ON TWITTER ...WHO EVEN KNEW HIM BEFORE THAT !!!!!!!!!!!!! ONE BALL IS ALL IT TOOK TO CHANGE HIS LIFE FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

I was on CLOUD NINE ...as I came out ...The "R ..C..B" chant could be heard EVERYWHERE...in the stands, on the stairs, on the roads...EVERYWHERE !!! HISTORY HAD JUST HAPPENED !!!!!!!
A MAGNIFICENT, ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME SPECTACLE...HAD JUST HAPPENED IN FRONT OF MY OWN EYES !!!!!! I WAS SO BLESSED IN LIFE ...I GOT TO SEE IT !!!!!!!! GOD WAS THERE WITH ME , AFTER ALL :) :) ...Did I say I have rotten luck!!??
HELL NO!!!!!! IF ANYONE WAS LUCKY IN THE WORLD, IT WAS ME !!!!!!! :D :D

THIS ADDS ITSELF TO THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE - OCT 5TH, 2011 WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED BY ME EVEN AFTER DECADES :) :) :) ...I'M SO LUCKY IN LIFE !!!!! GOD HAS BLESSED ME A LOT IN LIFE !!!!! :) :) :) :) :) THANK GOD !!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) .....I HAVE NEVER BEEN THIS THRILLED !!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :)
WHICH RCB FAN WOULDN'T BE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??? :) :) :)

I told Arun - "Okay!! The next blog post is ready !! " :D ...I called up VinZ ...released all the curbed temptation so far ...& used the F-word with liberty :D :P ....I couldn't stop telling him - "WTF just happened dude!!!!!!!!" :D ...He said - "yeah dude..I also shouted loudly here ..n got blasted !!" :D.....WOW !!!!! As I drove back, I felt a little sad because I was SO EXCITED, I wanted to write this post RIGHT-AWAY !!! But it wasn't gonna be possible, because Thursday would fully go in one of my best friends' wedding :) ...So here I am, just done with this post after arriving in Chennai :) ...

Moral(s) of the story:

1. It is CERTIFIED ONCE AGAIN that THE BEST OF CRICKET MATCHES happen in Bangalore :P

2. God, luck DO EXIST. MIRACLES DO HAPPEN !!!!

3. NEVER EVER GIVE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!! ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!! EVEN IN THE LAST SECOND !!!!!!!!!!!


I will end this post with my FB status message which I put up IMMEDIATELY after reaching home:
Just back from the Chinnaswamy stadium...My mouth, still wide open enough for an elephant to get in, has just 3 words at this point ...WHAT, THE & a word better replaced by HELL :D :D !!!! WOW !! I'm speechless!!! My throat is screwed up enough for a month at least !! But I don't care !!

Thank God for giving me this unforgettable day in life !!!! :) :) :) Decades on, I can tell my kids that their dad saw this historic match in the stadium !! Pure Lagaan stuff !!!!

I do have 3 other words for those who said RCB = Gayle ..IN YOUR FACE !! :D

& Arun Karthik, whoever you are, you are GOD !!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Gautam Kumar said...

wow..a super duper hit post boss..!!