I don’t think I would’ve minded terribly if Pakistan had won yesterday. Theirs has been one of the more interesting stories of the tournament — a team that had the whole kitchen thrown at them before they entered the tournament played with joy and verve to reach the semis. Beating India was not entirely out of the question.
Having said that, the scrappier team that made fewer errors won yesterday. Pakistan’s bowlers (Umar Gul excepted) deserved a win, but their fielding and batting was abysmal. What the heck was Hafeez trying to do with that paddle sweep-like shot to a ball outside off? Misbah stayed long enough to have the opportunity to make a late charge, but I guess he spent too much time seeing if his bat would withstand gentle contact with a cricket ball. The initial portion of his innings was reminiscent of Vadivelu’s lochak-mochak-bachak martial arts practice sequence in Pokkiri.
Much has been said about Tendulkar’s various lives. But what really galled me was the MoM award. True, the fact that he kept his head and ground out 85 runs despite all of that is creditable. But I feel that award ought to have gone to Wahab Riaz — his was the standout performance of the match and deserved a lot more kudos than it got.
Speaking of which, did Dhoni actually credit “Shahid and Saeed” with a great bowling performance in the post-match interview? Or did I get it wrong? If that is indeed what happened, Wahab may just have to keep taking five-fors against India until we remember his name. I can imagine him getting Yuvraj out time after time saying, “They call me Mister Riaz”.