Dec 16, 2008

I was there!!

I was there! When India romped home on the backs of a dazzler from Sehwag and a classic knock from Sachin. I was determined to see a cricket match when I got the opportunity because the idiotic organizers believe
places like Rajkot, Ahmedabad (and even Delhi) have better grounds and cricket afficionados than Chennai since time immemorial. So the next time a match comes Chennai's way (without the possibility of being curtailed by rain) might be too far away. I waited my chance and let the first 2 days of the match go by. With India struggling on the 3rd day a draw or defeat seemed likely and the balance tilted to the latter at the end of Tea on Day 4. But then wham!! Before anyone (Dhoni included) even knew what happened, Sehwag grabbed the match by its collar and shook it till it swooned and fell into the clutches of India. Though he got out by the end of the day, a required target of 256 runs was a juicy prospect with still much of the Indian batting left to come (and the prospect of Sachin scoring yet again at probably his most favorite ground).

So I headed out to Chepauk in the morning. The MRTS was packed with people who alighted at Chepauk. The A stand offered a good view and by the time the match started it was packed. So was the notorious B stand. The stadium was about 40% full. Every single run was cheered. Even a defensive prod that killed the spinning ball was applauded. Dhoni was definitely not going overboard when he praised the Chennai crowd at the end of the game. There were all sorts of people sitting around me and I had a good time chatting with them all. What stunned me was their knowledge. There was this lady behind me who screamed at Pieterson to remove the gully and move him to the short midwicket because of the way Laxman plays. And this guy who came to the match yesterday, pointing out precisely the stands and rows where the ball landed from Sehwag's sixes. This is just an example. I expected to be surrounded by many people who just watch the game and cheer for boundaries but when I was pointed out the difference between Sachin's defensive stance and Yuvraj's prod, I had to admit that I had goosebumps.

The stage was set for Sachin and he did not dissapoint either, scoring the winning runs and bringing his 41st century with the same boundary. Needless to say, we all went ecstatic. This is the 2nd game I have seen at Chepauk. The 1st was an One day match against New Zealand which was washed out, but not before Sachin scored a 50. Cant think of a better way to spend 300 rupees in a day!


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