A win, a win; my kingdom for a win




By Kersi Meher-Homji

Watched live by over 51,000 (mostly Indians and Pakistanis, many in traditional gear with national flags fluttering) on the Adelaide Oval and by 1.2 billion on television world-wide, India defeated Pakistan by 76 runs with three overs remaining.

What a start to their World Cup campaign! The World Cup final is six weeks away but the celebrations among Indian supporters in Adelaide on Sunday night after this victory made one feel that India had regained the World Cup they had won four years ago in Mumbai.

It has been a depressing four months for the Indian team down-under in Tests and ODIs. They lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 0-2 and lost all four matches in the Carlton ODI Tri Series to Australia and England.

The morale was very low for MS Dhoni’s men but it was lifted yesterday by their spirited performance against Pakistan in their opening World Cup match.

India and Pakistan have met each other six times in the history of World Cup and have won every time.

India appeared in charge throughout yesterday’s match from the moment they won the toss and batted.

Virat Kohli (107 runs) was his usual confident self as he added 129 runs for the second wicket with Shikhar Dhawan (73) and 110 for the third wicket with Suresh Raina. Left-handed batsman Raina was at his aggressive best as he slammed 74 runs off 56 balls at a strike-rate of 132.14 with five fours and three sixes.

Kohli became the first Indian to score a century against Pakistan in a World Cup match. Previously the record was held by SachinTendulkar who had hit 98 in Centurion in 2003.

Fast medium Pakistan bowler Sohail Khan took 5 or 55 including the prize wickets of Kohli, Raina, Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane.

Pakistan started promisingly and was 1 for 79 in reply to India’s 7 for 300. To make 301 on a flat wicket with short boundaries looked possible at that stage. But then Pakistan started losing wickets thanks to spectacular catches by Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Kohli. Quickie Mohammed Shami finished with 4 for 35.

Everything looked lost for Pakistan when skipper Misbah-ul-Haq played a gallant innings of 76 but it only delayed the end as India won by 76 runs with three overs in hand.

At the presentation ceremony, Man of the Match Kohli said, “Probably [it was] one of the biggest moment in my career so far. Amazing way to begin our World Cup. Big game against Pakistan, amazing fight from them.

“Expectations are going to be there when you do well for your country. I just look to stand up to them because I hate to lose and play passionately. I like the expectations.

“Last couple of days have been too tough. Too many people in the hotel getting worked over. You just have to stay in your little space. My role in the team is to bat through and the power-hitters can play around me knowing that one end is secure. The way Shikhar and Suresh batted today is commendable. The support has been magnificent. We expect the same throughout the tournament. … [The spectators were] too loud at times for MS to catch our attention!”

“Indeed a very good performance”, added skipper MS Dhoni.

Has India gone from zero to hero? Winning the Cup is still a long way but we can at least catch a glimpse of Everest!



Sydney fans enjoy the match the heat did not deter them from watching with the crowds on a high

manmohan and dad


Adelaide young and the old all came in to support India. Seen here Manmohan with dad Jagat Singh

In the meantime let us all sing: “A win, a win; my kingdom for many World Cup wins”!

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