Why do the underdogs lose most of the close matches? Isn’t it enough that they lose almost all the other matches. What was God doing yesterday when Jacob Oram was shining brilliantly at Perth? Busy trying to dampen the spirits with some unneeded rain!! If the almighty had stepped in for the underdog, even if for a measly few minutes, Newzealand could have finally turned the tide. They had done everything else chasing Australia’s mammoth 344 and they deserved to win. Just that they needed a bit of God, and he was unfortunately missing from action.
Oram’s chase reminded me of a similar performance by Sachin Tendulkar against Pakistan in an unofficial 20 over match just before his debut. Both began with the odds stacked heavily against them but with some absolute breathtaking batting they brought their teams within smelling distance of a victory. But just when they needed a bit of outside support, it was not to be and both ended up losing.
(what I call outside support or God is what the expert cricket commentators refer to in a more scientific way as the rub of the green!)
And it’s not about just two instances - scratch your memory cells and try to remember some closely fought matches and you will know what I mean. Of the two matches between India and Australia that were decided by the thinnest margin of a solitary run, the laws of mathematical probability would say that both teams should have won one each. Unfortunately, both were won by Australia. Remember the famous tied test at Chennai? The test could have been won by India, but an Indian umpire erred in favour of the Australians.
Yesterday at the WACA, Jacob Oram smashed six sixes to complete a 71 ball hundred, the fastest ever by a Kiwi batsman. For around 10 overs, they were chasing an impossible asking rate of over 10 and they had almost pulled off the improbable. God had two ways of helping the weaker team – Hayden could have been not dropped on 0 or the almighty could have stepped in towards the end. He failed twice yesterday, and that was bad enough.
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