India won the second ODI in the series against the Kiwis in New Zealand today. India scored 392 and in reply New Zealand got 334. The day belonged to the batsemen. Lots of sixes hit on this small ground in Christchurch. The bowlers were carted all around the park. It was a day which was exhilarating and at the same time frustrating if you are an Indian supporter. Yes, India piled up runs, a lot of them, but then also went for plenty when they bowled; Munaf Patel being the main culprit.
But then, it was also a day when the bat of God came down on New Zealand and hit them real hard. The bat of God played straight, slashed, drove, cut, pulled, and eventually swept the Kiwis out of the match. We were fortunate to witness this. A very good innings by Sachin Tendulkar. He scored 163* off 130 odd balls. Unfortunately he pulled a muscle in his stomach while batting and eventually had to retire, otehrwise 200 was on the cards.
It is amazing the amount of joy Sachin can give to his fans when he scores. Yes, as Indian supporters we feel happy everytime an Indian cricketer scores runs, but a Sachin century is special. You sit mesmerised watching the magician weave his magic on you. He’s been doing it for two decades now and we still can’t seem to get enough of it.
When it comes to Sachin, there are certain innings and certain shots that he played, that will always be etched in memory. His 141 against Australia in Sharjah in the year 1998 is my personal favorite. He braved a duststorm to shut the loudmouthed Australians out of the match and the tournament.
The shot that I love the most is the one he played against Caddick in the World Cup 2003. Caddick pitched the ball just short of a length. As the ball was rising, Sachin rocked back, picked it from outside off stump and pulled it over square leg. The ball traveled over the stands and landed out of the ground. Massive! Boy, I can watch that a zillion times. Watch it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ9E81QkbLs
Here’s hoping Sachin continues to treat us with his delightful strokeplay for a few more years. We’ll keep praying for the bat of God to come down in the next match as well. Cheers!