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Published:September 26th, 2007 09:04 EST
Hail India!  The Clash of The Titans; India versus Pakistan

Hail India! The Clash of The Titans; India versus Pakistan

By Raisa Ladji

It was the clash of The Titans, a ferocious contest between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, The Twenty20 Cricket World Cup final couldn’t have got better. Someone had surely scripted this final match to perfection. After a battle of nerves, it was a last over win for the Indian team who lifted the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup despite being termed as the underdogs.

It was something The Wanderers had never witnessed, the semi-carnival atmosphere, the loyals battling amongst themselves with verbal volleys and cheers, flags swaying with the highest honors, bookies nail-biting on the match's toss, just about everything was rightly placed for the final, it was time the players take over. India was the underdog team, disgraced by a first round exit in the World Cup, burdened with the wrath of the fans and the critics’ pen. Pakistan had never defeated India in a World Cup match, this was their chance to break the pattern and take home the coveted title. This had to be a once in a lifetime match and it was, much higher than expected. Beating the almost invincible team Australia to reach the final, first time Captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni achieved the impossible without the big-wigs in the team. The team comprising of inexperienced youngsters played with immense passion and aggression to beat arch-rival Pakistan in a nerve wrecking match.

It was a defining moment in World Cup history and of course for the Indian Cricket team. Pakistan needed 158 runs to win the match. They started with a bang and the match seemed almost lost for the Indians, but for the passion to win from the new Indian side. They fought like lions till the end sending Pakistan players back into the pit one by one. Come the fifteenth over and it seemed like the cup was in India’ lap, but Pakistan couldn’t let go the cup so easily, not at least to India. Misbah-ul –Haq, a middle order batsman for Pakistan turned the tables when he hit Harbhajan Singh for three mighty sixes in the seventeenth over. This was not it, Pakistan had still a lot to surprise, Sohail Tanveer, another lower order player smashed Sreesanth for two sixes, leaving Pakistan with twenty runs to win from the last two overs. Can a match get better?

Every hit was welcomed with a roaring applause and the latter’s fans gasped and groaned. With Umar Gul’s exit in the eighteenth over, Pakistan needed thirteen runs out of the last six but no wicket to spare. It was the last over of the India –Pakistan final, the last of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup. The first being wide, gave Pakistan an extra run, contributing to India’s hardship, more was yet to come. The second ball was it for a six. With Misbah’s form, the cup seemed to fall out of India’s kitty, not for the faint-hearted for sure. Prayers pouring from the purest of the hearts, eyes watching The Almighty to be less harsh, more or less, the next ball was going to decide the fate of the Twenty20 World Cup and surprisingly it did! It was Misbah again for Pakistan, he had smashed almost every ball that came his way, this time he missed and lo!, he was caught by Sreesanth while trying to hit another massive hit, but it didn’t go as far as he had anticipated. India emerged victorious. The Indian tri color swaying, fans roaring and the lions in a huddle, jumping and breaking into gig, who cared, they had just defied the critics and had risen to being The World Champions from an impoverished team.

And way back in India, the celebrations were heartening, fans taking on the streets, dancing and prancing, firecrackers at their best display, deafening music and roars, no one to complain, no one to stop. The young team had just displayed what the well ensconced couldn’t, to be thinking of a World Cup victory at this stage itself augurs well for The Indian Cricket Team.

The stage is all yours, Come home heroes!!

India: 157/5                  20 overs
Pakistan: 152 all Out      19.3 overs



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