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Oh, for a Miandad!

By "Roving" Eye

AAs the first match of the three-ODI series got under way, people had already decided whom the series was going to belong to. "Sri Lanka" was the unanimous vote for the winners of this series. No one could really contradict them. After all, the Sri Lankan team was on a high and the Indians, well, they were in the deepest depth of misery. People wondered why they were even willing to play against the Sri Lankans... didn't they always lose?

So the match started without generating much interest. The Sri Lankans got off to their customary start by making 91 runs for the opening partnership until Jayasuriya was out bowled by Prasad for 73. But he had done his bit. Then, much to the surprise of many, Atapattu came up with his maiden century. (Don't say I didn't tell you, every player of each country has his best figures against India) So after three hours of torture for the Indians, Sri Lanka had amassed a huge total of 302.

Now people were really getting bored. "Yeah right, now SRT will do something for about 30 balls... get out... Dravid will probably get another 50 off 150 balls... maybe Azhar will do something... Gangs? hmm.... yeah right!" was the gist of the conversation all around me. But when India reached 50/0 things were looking rather good. More attention was paid to the match... then a few overs later... India were 64/4. "Yeah right... there they go again!" The Indian team bashing resumed.

In came Azhar and Jadeja. Somehow quietly in their own way, they rebuilt the innings and before anyone realised it, India had reached 250/4. Now the tension was mounting as they needed 53/41 balls something. "Come on Ajju! Come on Jaddu! We want fours, man!" Now they had changed their conversation again. Then a few wickets fell but Azhar remained and all of India's hope rested on him. Finally India reached the last ball of the match needing 5 runs. "Its six or nothing Ajju! Um, maybe 4 will do...a tie is not that bad...then again 5 wides or 5 no-blls will also do. Come on Ajju...do a Miandad!" Their cries rose fervently around me. Some trned their backs... too nervous to watch. I sat at the keyboard waiting for the result. Came the following on the computer screen: b6 2 runs... match over... India lost.

I looked around. Switched off the computer and went to bed. Around me all I heard was, "Yeah right, they did it again! This team never wins, man. Forget it, lets go out. SRT has lost his captaincy for sure. Idiots!"

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