It’s India. It’s Pakistan. It’s Sachin Tendulkar, probably the best batsman in history. It is Shahid Afridi, the best wicket taker in the world cup. It is cricket. It is religion. It is the semi-final in the World Cup. Will there be war?
Good morning everyone. When I decided to write a blog about my life in India, it was the plan that it should be a blog about my experiences here and the Indian society. It was absolutely not meant to be any sports blog. But I do realize that with the cricket world cup being here, there have been quite a few posts about cricket, and honestly, right now cricket is the thing that almost everyone here cares about. Colleagues have talked about this for days, and planned how they can manage to be “sick” today. I do expect few people at the office, and when the match starts, probably all of them will be at the canteen. Rumors say that a giant screen will be put up here today.
Cricket is a very important part of life for most Indians. Exactly why it is like that, I still don’t realize. But what I do know for sure is that the match today means a lot for most people here. A lot. Or rather a lot of a lot. And surely a lot more than just a World Cup final. India and Pakistan have fought quite a few wars among them, and the relationship between the countries is, to see it nicely, not really the best. Losing against Pakistan in a world cup semi-final and that even in India will be nothing less than a national disaster. The newspaper here in Mumbai today says that every Pakistani player will get 25 acres of land if they beat India. And there are already prepared mass prayers all over Pakistan before the match. And do I have to remind you that this is NOT the final? It’s “just” the semi-final.
So who will win the match then? Well I think that if I even suggest that Pakistan will win, then I will have some serious problems with my friends here… I think I have understood that much about cricket that I know that these two teams are having quite different ways of play. Pakistan have a team that can bowl out almost any other team, so for India it will probably be important to be patient and play their own game, and not get out too soon. If India can get their play to click, it will be a huge chance to see them in the final. But if they start to lose wickets (players) too early, then there might be some mental issues here. I will probably be quite important for India to try to forget that it is a world cup semi final and that Pakistan is the opponent. That could very much be the key to this match.
When India played Australia in the quarter final, the streets was almost empty. Those who cannot afford to have a TV at home looked into the windows of restaurants or pubs for the match. At the local pizza shop in Powai it was so crowded outside the door that they tried to push people away. How will it be today?
Will there be war?
(18:25): India ended with 260 runs. It might be enough, but it should surely be an interesting second inning.
(18:21): And even Nehra is out. He lasted for two balls. I kind of wonder if Raina should have been in more early. He seems to perform better than any other secondary batsman, and also much better than Dhoni
(18:18): And Khan is out… India have lost their 8th player with only four balls remaining.
(18:15): Last over for India now. They have 256, after Raina scored a four at the last ball in the 49th over
(18:03): And the seventh player is out! H. Singh is out of it. This looks quite tough. India might not reach 50 overs.
(18:01): 3 times four, and 2 more runs made it 14 runs in the first power play over. Not too bad. With all the main batchman out now, the secondary battery really have to perform. My colleagues predicted that almost 300 runs are needed to win the match. India now have 236 in 46 overs. Will this be enough?
(17:46): India are now playing the power play! This means that only three Pakistani players can be outside the circle. It is more easy to score fours and sixes then, but also bigger risk for wickets. Is this a gamble from the Indian captain?
(17:36): And also the captain is gone! Dhoni lasted for only some 40 balls. You could look at the faces around here that this was not good at all!
(17:19): Sachin Tendulkar is out! He stopped at 85 runs. If he had made it 100 in this match, it would have been his 100th match with 100 or more runs. Some people have said that it will be just perfect if he reaches this milestone in the final, which is played in his very native Mumbai. But no it is up to Dhoni and Raina to get the team to the final first…
(16:52): The match have kind of slowed down now. The two consecutive wickets probably scared the Indian batsmen a bit now. One more wicket, and they will not have many good batsmen left here. As one of my colleagues just said: ” If Dhoni does not perform today….hum usko Dho denge !!!!”
(16:27): India lost both their third and fourth wicket in quick order. Kohli and Y. Singh went out. Now it is up to the captain MS Dhoni to get some stability into Indias batting here.
(16:23): And halfway, after 25 overs, India are 141/2. And it’s a bit funny that friends from Norway ask me about the score during the match. It is actually shown live even in Norway!
(16:06): After 20 overs, India are 120/2
(16:01): And India have lost they second person. Gambhir is out! But Tendulkar still remains, and has now 44 runs, almost a half-century.
(15:46): My colleagues says that everytime Tendulkar get a good score, then India lose. Should he be out soon?
(15:30): The drama picks up! Sachin Tendulkar is out! But it is being reviewed, and he is still into the game. When will we have review in football, so that we can get the right decissions even there?
(15:24): After first 10 overs, India have 73. With this being a 50 overs match, it should potentially mean 73 * 5, which is 365! That is a very high score…
(15:04): First wicket down! Sehwag is out and Gautam Gambhir take his place
(14:58): And 47 for 5! Pakistan have to do something unless they plan to get smashed out of the stadium here
(14:52): India have got a good start and made 39 runs in the first 4 overs.Virender Sehwag have 30 runs in just 17 balls.
(14:27): India won the toss and bat first