When India played Pakistan, in yet another World Cup match, in semifinal of World Cup 2011, despite 4 continuous World Cup wins and better performance in World Cup added with favorite tag, did not help India in getting a better chance of win against one-man army of Pakistan. The reason was simple, between India and Pakistan history does not matter, the day matters. The match is nothing less than Mahabharata.
Both In Desperate Need of Semifinal Victory
India and Pakistan both needed this victory. It was the semifinal. Both wanted to win for personal reasons. Pakistan had to show the world how good team they are and also had to provide rare good moments to their long suffering countrymen to make them feel worth enough to raise their head with self-respect in front of the world, as Pakistan as nation is down due to terrorism, internal and external.
India has emerged as the superpower of Cricket. Yet, since 1983 the World Cup victory is missing. The first round knockout of 2007 meant more of expectation. Besides that the strongest team of the World Cup must prove to the world that they are good in giving knockout punches too when it comes to winning the trophy.
Many Questions Just for one Win
Despite personal reasons, both had the same believe. The winner against neighbour can be forgiven by the countrymen even if they lose the trophy. Precisely that is why the stake was much higher than a final match of the tournament. There were many questions, such as
Can India Break Semifinal Jinx at Home to Reach Final!!
Can Tendulkar get 3rd Player of the Match against Pakistan!!
Will it be 5-0 or 5-5 for India, or 3-0 for Pak!!
The India Pakistan World Cup Record showed India can be winner by a yard. Yet, the World Cup Semifinalists Performances showed both had equal chances. To make the analysis more confusion, both teams had 9 players (5 from India, 4 from Pakistan) who were also part of 2003 World Cup India versus Pakistan match.
On top of that the diplomatic pressure considering the strained political relation added to the hype of match, and pressure on players of both teams. In the end Waka Waka to Wagah Wagah scenario had good political impact of the match.
How the Match Progressed
The match had its own fairy tale. Batting first after winning the toss, the God of Cricket and India’s Krishna held his nerve, while Pakistani under pressure kept giving him and other’s chances and with contribution from Raina, India had a decent score on boarh. The Great Indian batting collapse was repeated again though.
Even Pakistanis were not pressure-free. Their successful bowler Umar Gul went wicketless and leaked runs like never before. Captain Shahid Afridi the leading wicket taker of the tournament with 21 wickets in last 7 matches for the first-time in 2011 World Cup went wicketless in a spell of 10 overs conceding more than 40 runs.
261 was a gettable total on supposedly a batting track. India had misread the pitch (accepted by captain cool) and selected three seamers and only one spinner. Yet, as the luck could have it, their seamers were the turning point of the match. For the first time in this World Cup, only 5 bowlers were used by India to complete 50 overs.
The five Pandavas
The 5 bowlers of Indian team bowled 10 over each and shared 2 wicket each. All of them striking in unison. When Nehra failed, Zaheer struck, when both failed Munaf struck. When middle order of Pakistan gave a settled feeling, the hero of the tournament Yuvraj struck twice to turn th ematch upside down. Again when Yuvraj was taken to cleaners by Umar Akhmal, Harbhajan came and bowled beautiful deliveries to send him and Afridi to the pavillion. In between Patel, Nehra and then Zaheer completed the formality bowling out Pakistan in the last over. The five bowlers turned into five Pandavas.
Pandavas and Krishna
Tendulkar already proving himself as the God Krishna while batting, the five Pandavas worked in tandem to send Shahid Afridi’s Pakistani team home via Wagah border and win the war of Mahabharata.