Well, we won. In other words, one-sixth of humanity had collective orgasm last night when India defeated Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup semifinal. And with that, our clean record against them remained cleanest. As one can imagine, the euphoria is beyond words and I better not try to unravel it. What I can envision though is the humungous depression we as a nation could have slipped into had we lost this match. It could have eventually affected our country’s economy in the long run. Maybe even a recession, who knows? OK. That’s stretching it bit too far.
To begin with, this was the first ODI match in which Sachin played seven innings. No, seriously. He was the luckiest guy on earth yesterday. I haven’t seen anyone get so many “lives” in a single match. He was playing some really erratic shots there but not a single person could have blamed him for being stupid. Perhaps that is what godliness is all about. Any which way, Indians are born Sachinians. He eventually stumbled at 85. It’s a pity he couldn’t complete his 100th century. Whatever, he steered us to victory and that matters.
On the other side, Pakistani team looked in control but gradually lost it somewhere and just couldn’t get haul themselves back. Afridi’s face during the final overs said it all. They say it was an empathetic version of PontingFace. Being the best skipper Pakistan could have had for this tourney, the defeat must have saddened him like anything but he’s a hero to millions of Pakistanis and cricket loving folks for his exemplary leadership. Wahib was chosen over swansinging Akhtar and that made a huge difference to their bowling attack. He ended up with five-wicket haul. If you ask me, Wahib should have been awarded the ‘Match of the Match’, not Sachin. Sachin was simply ‘God of the Match’ for being extremely fortunate.
Thankfully, the usual banter on the field was almost inconspicuous. All the players kept their *friendly* language as well as body language at check. The entire game was played with the best of sportsmanship spirit leaving hardly any space for controversies. On the contrary, the ambiance on Twitter and Facebook was way too ugly, to be blunt. People from either side of the border were unrestrained with words and haphazard with nationalistic passions. Expecting anything different with such a crucial match in the background might be insensitive towards these hardcore fans. Maybe it takes an Indo-Pak match to reveal our true jingoistic nature. Rest of the time, we just pretend to be civil. There were moments when more action was going on on social media than on TV. I’m sorry for my Pakistani friends who would have been equally sorry for me had they won.
So, we are all set for the final against Sri Lanka. Whichever team wins, the World Cup’s going to stay in Asia for a change down under. That’s the bonus point. Like crores of Indians, I too want us to win this one. After all, Kapil Dev must be tired of holding up that cup in photos for nearly three decades now. It's time he passed it to Dhoni.