“————–Chapter 4: Cricket Blood Cell: Present In Every Indian ————-“
A Note :- Every character written in the story are purely fictitious. It has no resemblance or connection with any living or dead person.
HINDI SANSKARAN: SAB K SAB CHARACTERS FARZIII H.
CHARACTERS : AYAN NEHWAL, NAMAN RAI, SNEHA AWASTHI, NAINA SHROFF, KHUSHAL.
January 6, 2013.
Arch-rival India VS Pakistan Cricket Series. At that moment, India had already lost the 3-match series to Pakistan by 2-0. It was a Sunday. The game was being played at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. India was all-out for 167 in meager 43.4 overs playing first and set a target of 168 for Pakistan.
My phone beeped. It was Naman.
He texted me and wanted me to meet him at his home. He told me to pick Sneha on the way to his home. As I had to pick her up, so I, myself drove to her home, instead of my driver, Khushal. She lives in a building near Bhikaji Gama palace.
I picked up Sneha at around 5:00 p.m. & we drove straight to Naman’s residence.
I parked my car near the entry gate.
We saw Naina was already present there.
Naina told us that Naman was trying his hands in some serious cooking! with an apron, and his Magic-Apparatus-Chef-Hat.
“Okay. So, that’s the event. Our Boss is trying his hands in cooking”, I said as we both were awed.
So, we were all at Naman’s home. Me, Naina and Sneha were about to start watching final match of that series on TV. Naman was not into it much.
As we entered, one maid offered us juice.
“What’s say Naina, does India stands any chance to win this game”,I asked Naina as India played way too below avg on that day.
“In your dreams”, Sneha said.
“Hey ! come on. Don’t say that. Game hasn’t been played yet completely”, my Cricket blood cells were clearly visible as I replied back.
I was kind of running only on CBC at that moment.At such crucial moments my RBC n WBC turns into CBC. Nothing else was needed!
“Well, you can say that! but, I still think that India is going to lose”. Sneha passed a statement imprudently, after taking the absolute taste of juice on her taste buds and confirming that it was of pineapple.
I was displeased.
“You never know! It’s Cricket. & a game of uncertainty” I let it out calmly, though I felt offensive. Anyone would’ve felt the same. And it stands out as a valid feeling, if you are an Indian.
“No, come on Ayan ! How come India is going to win it. We need to defend 167.”
“See, that’s what I’m saying. We need to have some hope. The word defend is positive.” I winked at her.
“Kumar to Younis Khan, OUT, the middle stump has been flattened! Not a big inswinger, but enough on that to take the inside edge as Younis comes forward to play a loose drive towards cover. And just like that, Pakistan are two down”
End of over 7 (wicket maiden) Pakistan 14/2
“Yes!” I yelled in beatitude. ” that’s what I’m talking about. Come on Bhuvnesh!” I made faces saying that to her.
“See, these boys are the future of Indian Cricket. Fit ! Agile! Passionate! You look upon them and can tell that they are here to leave a mark on this very ground.” I said this as if I was a YODA of Star Wars movie.
Sneha went to the pool side to relax. I didn’t mind getting excited about the game.
“Here you go, guys” Naman came out of the Kitchen after 1 hr of rigorous efforts confined within a plate.
It was kind of chocolate coated stuff.
“What is this?” I asked suspiciously.
“These are Brownie ice cream sandwiches, buddy” he said as he was putting down the desserts on the table meticulously. “Naina helped me in picking the recipe.” he added.
“& I guess, u made it to the perfection bro”, I said as it was looking delicious.
Naina also joined Sneha at the pool side.
“So, when you’re going to marry Naina ?” I intrigued him while helping him setting table for his hand made ICS (not Android one 😉 )
“I guess next year would be fine. I want to make it perfect as I’m about to take next step of this relation. So, No hurries !” He said it wiping his fingers from his apron, with a smile of satisfaction.
“Perfect!”, he said and left for the kitchen to pick some remaining grocery.
Although Naman was busy in placing the butter knife and spoon at the dining table for four of us, he came up with an impromptu query.
“By the way, what you’re up to with Sneha? I can see something is cooking.” he said while placing the napkins on the table.
“Dude, all I can see perfectly cooked here right now is your ICS” I try to save myself from canon of his questions.
“Shall I call upon the ladies to dine over?”, I asked him to shift the focus as his 1 hr effort were on the line.
Few go unscathed from his questionnaire.
“All right ladies, come back” I waived at them through the glass by rotating the like button of FB by 90 degree.
Girls entered the room.
Naman pull-out the chair for Naina.
“Come on. Sit! Let’s dine.”Naina invited us all. She must be feeling hungry or might be very excited to test the cooking-ability of his fiancee.
As we all three had already taken the seat, Naman was last to join us.
Meanwhile Nasir Jamshed and Misbah-ul-Haq were struggling to score some runs on the board for their side.
And a sweet sound came out of sound bar.
“How’s that?”,all the players shouted in chorus & floated into the air for some time & given out lbw too by Umpire. Third wicket fell as Nair Jamshed.
“Ashwin to Nasir Jamshed, OUT, picks up the wrong shot. It was a flighted delivery on the off and middle, Jamshed chooses to play a premeditated sweep and is struck on the front pad. Ashwin lets out a cry of excitement immediately and the decision is given. That is a huge wicket considering how Jamshed has played this series”
Suddenly Sneha got a message on her cell phone. She looked for a moment or so. I guess it was some kind of snooze.
Meanwhile, the conditions were turning up against Pakistan on the ground. Score was 113/3 till the burp of the phone & suddenly, another magical sound just came out of the TV.
We saw another fall of wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq. He’s one fine cricketer that Pakistan have in their team. But then, he was not more than one lost ray of hope for his team.
“Ashwin to Misbah-ul-Haq, OUT, and that leg slip finally comes into the picture. Ashwin has been bowling from round the wicket all day. This one pitches on the leg stump and Misbah glides it straight into the hands of Rahane at that position. Some joy for the India team finally”
Pakistan needed only 55 runs to win that game. I was on my nerve, literally. Though India stands no chance of winning that series, but I still want them to step out of that ground with honour.
As Misbah was walking towards the stands, Naina said, ”have you ever noticed guys, that Misbah has some sort of connection of getting out in such situations against India.”
India’s intermittent performance was increasing the interest in the game. We end up finishing ICS, a palatable cuisine. We all appreciated Naman for his gallant effort for making such sweet dish that we had.
In between, girls did the plates & we all four were back again in front of the TV. The game was heating up and turning into another classic match between India and Pakistan!
Then, In 10-15 minutes span of time, Pakistan lost another two important wickets of Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal. Till then, the game had been squeezed down to the final death overs.
Pakistan needed only 43 runs from 60 balls with 4 wickets in hand.
Another 30 minutes past. Pakistan needed only 24 runs from 24 balls with 4 wickets still in hand.
Naina was kind of superstitious in such situation. She love Cricket too. Yes ! she does !
Naman held her hand and said,” Dear it’s just a game, why are you sweating so much?”
Me and Naina both said at once, “ Shut up, Naman ! “. She said it facing Naman and I was looking at the TV.
That was crazy. Naman smiled.
I started juggling with three artificial oranges.
Jadeja bowled final delivery of his 10th over. By God, Jadeja was beauty that day. He did exactly what was needed. & Shami Ahmed, the debutant, gave out of his skin performance by bowl.
Jadeja & Shami Ahmed’s Bowling stats were :
RA Jadeja 10-2-19-1
Shami Ahmed 8-3-23-0
“Hey Sneha, what do u say?”, Naina asked her with tension in her voice & same expression was on her face. She was continuously tipping her right feet over floor.
“Now, I think , that India is going to win”, glad she said so. Otherwise, I would have killed her with those three fake oranges.
After another two overs from Shami and Ishan, their bowling stats were :
I Sharma 9-0-24-2
Shami Ahmed 9-4-23-1
and Pakistan were :
End of over 48 (wicket maiden) Pakistan 145/9 (23 runs required from 12 balls, RR: 3.02, RRR: 11.50)
I stopped juggling. Enough of juggling ! Tight situation aroused on the field then.
Till then, Naina gained little confidence that then India was not going to lose. & parallelly then, Pakistan begun to feel like a sheep in the jaw of tiger. And slowly, the tiger is using all his power to break his neck.
“What’s say Sneha, U wanna Bet, India is going to win”, I throw this question at her.
“Obviously India is going to win”,She said. Wow, she’s turning in India’s favor exactly like the Indian pulled this match off from Pakistan.
They were on the verge to win the fourth lowest win of all time for India.
49th over. Ishan is bowling to Hafeez.
Hafeez scored 12 runs out of first 5 balls of Ishant’s over.
One-by-one all feelings were being shattered by Hafeez.
“Sharma to Mohammad Hafeez, OUT, caught at midwicket! Hafeez has hit this length ball straight to Yuvraj at midwicket. It wasn’t a free-hit as the last ball was no-ball for height. But Pakistan have imploded big time here. Yuvraj runs around the outfield, slides on the field, he gets surrounded by his teammates.”
Mohammad Hafeez c Yuvraj Singh b Sharma 21 (62m 31b 2×4 0x6) SR: 67.74
& Ishant did it !Hafeez was gone! India won the match.
Pakistan Piled up for 157/10.
“Now, that’s what I call a game.”, I yelled facing upwards. We all four hugged each other.
Commentator Raghuram said:”This is more of what we all want to see from Team India. I am not talking about the Win here, but the FIGHT taken to the opponents.Hope this continues for the days to come.. Good for India and Cricket…”
We all said Good night to each other. That day was tiring, mentally. and it was Monday, the following day! So everyone needs to be present at the office on the next day. & our Boss,Mr. T.A.P. , hate the late comers!
I stopped my car in the basement of Sneha’s building. I went with her to make sure her safety.
She pushed digit ‘7’ in the elevator, & it starts whirring.
“Since how long do you live here?”, I asked, cutting the silence.
“Around 15 years. My Dad got transferred here in Delhi in last 10 years of his service, So we never went anywhere else.”, She replied. She, too, was tapping her toe on the floor, like Naina. She seems to be in a hurry.
“Thanks”, she said. she was still tipping her toe on to the floor.
“It’s fine”, I replied.” please go.” I said, noticing her.
We shook hands and exchanged a smile.”Meet you in office tomorrow, then”, I said.
Then she walked towards her apartment. & me back to the basement.
On my way to home, I started listening to radio. Every Channel that I tuned in that day, was busy in praising the performance of both the teams. Pakistan was getting applauded for their convincing series-win. & India, was able to save their pride, at last.
Vikas “Smrit” Singh.
TO BE CONTINUED… IN THE NEXT CHAPTER.
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