It was a chilly Sunday afternoon in Bengaluru, the roads were empty and the offices closed. If you were new in the area, you'd ask out loud: “What has happened to one of the busiest and happening cities this nation?” The answer: India Vs England.
People found themselves stuck in front of their televisions, unable to blink amid one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2011 ICC World Cup, the host, Team India was to go head-to-head against a dominating force in England.
Paul Collingwood, skipper Andrew Strauss and the notorious Kevin Peterson had taken the Englishmen to heights never seen before.
On the other hand, the Men in Blue looked rock solid with Sachin Tendulkar getting over his woes and thoughts of retiring from the sport, Virender Sehwag finding his mojo and MS Dhoni's outstanding winning streak, while a young Virat Kohli was on the rise.
After winning the toss, in a not-so-popular decision, Dhoni decided to bat first.
Unable to stick to the crease for long, opener Virender Sehwag was dismissed by Matt Prior off Tim Bresnan. However, it was the second opener and the 'god of cricket' Sachin Tendulkar who showed his true form to us mortals as he took the English bowlers to task. Be it pacer James Anderson or orthodox spinner James Yardy, the master blaster spared no one. In a beautiful innings, Tendulkar scored a toasty 120 to record his 47th ODI ton and the fifth World Cup century - more than any other player in the history of the game.
Check out "WC 2011: Sachin Smashes 120 vs Eng" on Hotstar!https://t.co/aU9p38gFoz— Aditya Pandey (@adityapandey148) February 27, 2019
People expected England to swing for the fences from the first ball, but nobody expected captain Andrew Strauss to explode like that. Watching him destroy the spinners made people want to shoot themselves in the foot. Both Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh were visibly frustrated as Strauss sent deliveries to every corner of the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium. After scoring an incredible 158 off 145 balls, the English batsman was finally sent away on an LBW appeal by bowler Zaheer Khan.
Despite Strauss' sendoff, England managed to hang on to the ropes as future skipper Ian Bell shouldered the batting order, scoring 69 in 71. Even though the English tailenders were on the crease, the Indian fans were holding their breath as the fate of the match was to be decided on the very last ball.
On a perfect delivery by Munaf Patel, Graeme Swann tried to go for the big one, but the ball went straight to the mid-off fielder Yusuf Pathan, who made no mistake in getting hold of it and the batsmen were pinned to taking a single.
After 100 overs of action-pact innings spearheaded by Sachin Tendulkar and Andrew Strauss, one of the greatest encounters in the history of ICC World Cup ended on a tie as commentator Ravi Shastri very rightly said: “No team deserved to lose.”.February 27, 2019