Thursday, March 20, 2003

India through to final

As it turned out, the rain did not come. We did have an interesting little spell of play around the 22-25 over mark, however. India were well in front, having Kenya around 5/70. Once 25 overs were bowled, India would win easily on the Duckworth/Lewis rule and go through to the final. However, there was some spectacular lightning visible nearby, and it looked like rain was about to start. The Indians rushed through their changes between overs, and bowled really quickly off short runups to get to 25 overs. The did this, but for some reason the scoreboard got stuck on 23 overs. For a couple of overs, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly kept looking at the scoreboard with a puzzled expression on his face, appeared to be doing mental calculations, and at one point even took a piece of paper out of his pocket and looked at it before putting it away. He ultimately bacame satisfied that 25 overs had been bowled, and the game proceeded without any rain. The boil went off it a bit after that, and Tikolo scored 59 for Kenya and Collins Obuya scored 29. Kenya were eventually out for 179, and India winning by 91 runs. It became clear by the second half of the pool matches that India and Australia were playing much better than any of the other sides, and their seemingly inevitable meeting in the final is now confirmed.

This is India's first World Cup final since 1983, and only their second. Indian people everywhere are getting extremely excited. The Australian themed pub I watched the game in today contained very few Australians and a great many loud and enthusiastic (and in some instances very drunk) Indians. The crowd in Durban (a very Indian city in itself) seemed as one sided and as enthusiastic. Huge numbers of Bollywood stars and beauty queens, Indian politicians, Indian millionaires, and no doubt Indian gangsters (although many Indian gangsters are banned from South Africa after the Hansie Cronje affair) are descending on Johannesburg for the final. India is having its biggest party in a long time. It will be such a shame for them if Australia spoils it.

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