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Sunday, February 27, 2011

The best batting innings of the world cups......

I am a fortunate man to have witnessed the best batting innings in the World Cups so far, and I have not missed a single cricket match since the 1996 Cup. Yes, it may be unfathomable to certain people, but this innings bettered, Sir Vivian Isaac Alexander Richards' 181, Kapil Dev's phenomenal 175, Stephen Fleming's 134, Aravinda De Silva's 107, Sachin Tendulkar's 98, not withstanding numerous cameos by legendary match winners like Lance Klusener, Sanath Jayasuriya, Adam Gilchrist, etc. Yes, I am talking about the gem of an innings Andrew Strauss played today at the Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bengaluru- an innings of 158 runs off 145 balls, studded with 18 boundaries and a massive sixer, an innings that threatened to pull off an immense chase of 339 runs and helped pull off a tie......a far better result considering the fact that none of the teams deserved to lose this match. Today Strauss batted like God. He simply could not be ruffled by the Indian bowlers. He virtually got the requisite boundary every over during the improbable run chase and kept milking the rest of the balls for singles and doubles. Such was the awesome form of the man that only a delivery that even a God would fear to play could get him out. And he got out to the best delivery of the match by a fair distance- a toe crushing reverse swinging yorker from Zaheer Khan. What more can a foreign player expect than a standing ovation from the most devoted fans of the opposing team, when he takes the long walk back to the pavilion and he deservedly got that. Perhaps he is right in saying that today he played the innings of his life. I salute to the man who provided such wondrous entertainment amidst the mundane matches till date in this world cup. I will keep this innings right there in my top shelf along with Herschelle Gibbs' 175 in that mother of all ODI matches.

Andrew Strauss came to silence the Indian spectators and won their cheering praise instead......grudging respect but respect all the same.

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