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Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Morning Blues for the Greens

Sachin Tendulkar
No one can bat like Tendulkar used to. Not even Tendulkar! The Tendulkar we see nowadays is not the real thing - except sometimes when he decides to surprise us. Today was one such day. Twenty precisely struck boundaries and four beautiful sixes - each one with the Maestro's class written all over them made it a very special holiday - as if a Sunday, Dusshera, Vijaya Dashmi and Gandhi Jayanti already coinciding were not good enough!

When Lahiri finally ended the Green's miseries, Tendulkar had already compiled 139 of just 100 balls - this desipite the fact that an early fall of wicket had caused Tendulkar to start his innings catiously. The score had already raced to 226 and this was only the 33rd over. Dravid's and Dhoni's half-centuries ensured that Sachin's good work was not undone and with the Blues ending their innings at a mammoth 381, the cricket match was as good as over. Except perhaps for one aspect - Saurav Ganguly. The new chief selector, Dilip Vengsarkar had ignited hopes by saying that they would be watching Ganguly very closely. Ganguly began well and he pierced his favourite off side field succesfully to notch three beatiful boundaries. But that was just about it. He soon perished for 24. With him gone,and the result
already decided (well almost), the match was as good as over.

A 268 run defeat victory means that the Blues have virtually ensured themselves a place in the finals. And so have the Reds?

( NKP Salve Challenger Trophy, Match 2: Blue vs Green, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, 2nd October 2006)

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