2 days ago
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
It was the summer of 1998 and I was in Chandrapur (Maharashtra) with my parents and my sister. My dad used to work there and we had gone to visit him during our term holidays. He had rented out a 2 bed room apartment and had a portable (14 inch) black and white TV in his room.
It was the season of Coca-Cola Sharjah Cup and Indian team had somehow managed to get themselves to a position of "Do-or-Die" as they always do. Australia batted first and amassed a lot of runs (284/7 - Exact score courtesy cricinfo). India had to get to 237 in 46 overs to qualify for the finals or had to score 276 in 46 overs for an outright win.
276 back then was a score that very few teams could chase even in 50 overs and hence my mom ordered everyone to bed. Sand storm didn't help the cause and it only delayed the start of second innings which meant I had to get to bed without watching the start of India's innings.
30-45 min later my dad slowly sneaked into the room where my sister and I were sleeping and woke me up. He asked me to pull a chair and sit outside his room with the door slightly ajar not disturbing my sister and mom who were sound asleep by then. He had probably realized something magical is going to happen that night and he didn't want his son to miss it. And what MAGIC we witnessed!! It was unreal! It was out of this world!
One of the finest innings of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar! Every shot of his gave me goose bumps and every six of his wanted me to shout, clap and cheer. My father and I have watched many great ODI matches after this (including the finals that followed this match) but this one was truly special and it will remain etched in my memories forever courtesy my dad and one little master called Sachin. What better father-son bonding than watching Sachin tear-apart a terrific Australian bowling attack that comprised of Warne, Moody, Fleming and Kasprowicz!
When he was eventually given out at 143 (He had not nicked the ball), he had made sure he had taken India to safer shores. India had qualified for the final. India had “lived to die another day”. India would have won that match had he played till the 46th over but I guess the joy he had given by taking India to finals was enough for me to sleep with a smile on my face for another week or so. A win in the finals was only icing on the cake.
Here's a mini highlights of what I witnessed that day
Will miss you Sachin!! Saaachin Sachin *clap* *clap* *clap*!!! Saaaachin Sachin *clap* *clap* *clap*!!!