I went for the CSK v RR match on May 4. There is much I want to tell regarding that, but considering I left that very night for a trip to Sri Lanka and returned only today, the report will come a little late.
Before that, however--
Just a few hours ago, I was in the Colombo airport, in the departure area, boarding passes in hand, flight just half an hour away, itching to go back to Chennai. They were showing the KTK v RCB match on the TV, and after I spent a few minutes boggling at the new Bangalore uniform -- lime green, seriously? They look like runaway runway markers. Or like unicorns vomited on them. -- Prashanth Parameswaran came to bowl to Chris Gayle. I like Parameswaran. I like that he came from nowhere, with a mouthful of a name that pulls Danny Morrison's tongue into knots and tons of cool attitude. I wondered how he felt, bowling to somebody like Chris Gayle. I mean, sure. Sehwag is Sehwag and everything, but Gayle tends to be even more unpredictable, and can demoralise you like nobody's business in the space of a few balls.
That over went for 37 runs.
If I remember right, the first ball went for 6. The second was a no-ball hit for six, so that's 7, and the free-hit went for 4, so that's 11 runs off that second ball. Then I think he hit two more sixes and two more fours.
It was quite a scene. We were all gathered around the TV, some of us with huge grins on our faces, others with hands over their mouths, still more staring at the screen, fascinated, like it was some sort of newly discovered extra-terrestrial life-form. The last call for boarding the flight was on. Nobody moved. A frustrated wife tried to pry her husband away from the TV, but he kept saying, "Just one more ball! Just one more!"
(thirty-seven. the mind still boggles. such casual violence.)
Then Vinay Kumar came on to bowl. As Gayle came on strike, there was much conferencing. Mahela, Vinay, the 'keeper, everybody. Prashanth stood by the side, sweating and maybe a little shaken. Vinay threw everything he had. A bouncer. Slower ball. There seemed to be a catch dropped off his bowling, but it was a bump ball that bounced inches in front of a diving Ramesh Powar.
Then. Finally. Vinay went for a Malinga-style yorker. Went under the toe-end of Gayle's bat and dismantled his off-stump. Much rejoicing.
This was the point we all rushed to the coach that would take us to the flight, but the match situation at that point in time?
3.4 overs, 67 runs, chasing 126.
Freakishly awesome, and all in that space of time in an airport lounge in Colombo.
Richie Benaud 1930 – 2015
1 week ago