So, are you a sports lover? Well, let me be more particular, are you a cricket lover? If yes, then hey there! I am a crazy one here too! The level of excitement and hysteria you experience while watching a cricket match is indecipherable and inscrutable enough to freak you out any moment. Holding your breath and biting your nails before every ball guessing whether it is going to be a four or a six or a wicket! And also the mini heart attacks you get after every wicket when your team is batting is the result of your complete passion and dedication towards the most celebrated sport in our country.
The heavy heart you get while your team is losing and the ultimate euphoria while its winning explains it all. If I ask you to name some of the mind-shattering and heart wrenching matches, I bet you will have India-Pakistan, India-Australia, India-England, the Ashes or maybe the World Cup final of 2011 between India-Sri Lanka in your attention! Well, I agree, there’s no doubt that these matches are way beyond any utter excitement, still, I would like to remind you all about a petrifying match between India-Bangladesh. No, I’m not talking about T20 World Cup 2016 where we saw an implausible and preposterous 1 run win against Bangladesh and the thunderous last-ball run-out of the greatest wicket-keeper of all times, MS Dhoni! But regarding a match much more stunning and much more ravishing than the mentioned one!
So now, coming directly to the point without any further delay, a match that stole my heart with all it’s might, a match that left my heart throbbing against my chest and hold up my breath, a match that made me believe that superheroes do exist and miracles are truly possible, a final of the NIDAHAS TROPHY 2018, the T-20 tri-series played between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The match that occurred in Colombo, Sri-Lanka, where the final was being played ironically without Sri-Lanka between India and Bangladesh, which saw the young and less-experienced Indian side being captained by the mighty Rohit Sharma with Virat Kohli rested, the burden of the entire team, in fact of the entire nation, was on his shoulders and he couldn’t afford to take it lightly enough!
India was already struggling in a run chase of 167 with a wicket maiden 18th over of Mustafizur Rahman and with half of the Indian side back in the pavilion at 133, India was indeed hoping for an unprecedented phenomenon to occur and also, of an unrecognisable saviour to rescue the sinking ship of team India and nobody then realised that the angel in disguise would turn up to be an age-old underrated and forgotten wicketkeeper-batsman– DINESH KARTHIK! who had already arrived at the crease to let the Indians and the Sri-Lankans supporting India to have a last dead hope for the match.
The situation was already tensed with the scoreboard reading 133/5 with 34 required off 12 balls and with the last two batsmen standing on the crease where Vijay Shankar was toiling with the bat making just 12 off the 15 balls he faced, DK had a major battle ahead. The 19th over was to be bowled by Rubel Hossain who performed a brilliant spell in his 3 overs, was already convinced of having the match in his grasp unaware of the fierce storm that was going to hit him, and hit him rather hard! The first ball of the over, DK pummelled the low full toss over the long-on for a SIX! The next one, DK left no chance of taking the advantage of Rubel’s Yorker going all wrong to hit over the right of long-on for a FOUR! The third delivery was also not spared as he blasted it off for a SIX! Again! 6 4 6! Within a few minutes, the equation of the game completely reversed with 16 coming off in just 3 balls and now 18 needed from 9 balls seemed to be much achievable. DK was in no mood to give Bangladesh any faith or a chance to fix their mistakes and screwed them with another boundary before ending the over! 22 runs off a single over, all of which made by Karthik alone and with just 12 more runs needed to win, Rubel’s hard running spell has been destroyed in a single over! The crowd went beserk as they knew they had their superman to take over the match!
Soumya Sarkar had a mountain to climb when he was handed over the ball to bowl the last over with a furious DK in front of him; it was never an easy task. He had 12 runs to defend and India had those last 12 runs to make to snatch away victory from the fate of Bangladesh. The first one went for a wide and second one a dot with Vijay trying to smash the length ball without any luck. But the hopes rose again for us when Vijay hit a FOUR off the 4th ball easing the equation a bit. But hold on! Vijay lost his WICKET on the very next ball! making the situation more problematic for DK being on strike with 5 needed off the last ball and a wicket down, India unquestionably needed another miracle. A boundary would mean a super over and a clean hit was all that was needed. Quoting Sanjay Manjrekar’s commentary for the last ball “He has gone for it that’s gonna be a super over or has it gone all the way? IT HAS!!!! This is unbelievable from Dinesh Karthik, that’s a SIX! One of the fittest sixes you’ll ever see in your life!! You got to feel for Bangladesh but what has DINESH KARTHIK achieved!! He is my Man of the Match for tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!”
29 runs off only 8 deliveries!!! We needed a boundary and he hit a clean one that went all over the way for the most historic and memorable six of the decade, a SIX that every cricket lover even the opposition would appreciate, a SIX equivalent to the SIX hit by MS Dhoni to win the WORLD CUP 2011, the feeling of joy and satisfaction which we could not expect more and eventually, DK earned back the respect and honour that had been lost all these years behind the distinct superiority of one of the best wicketkeepers of India and also the respect that he deserved. The 15 years long tumbling career was brought down to just 8 deliveries. What he couldn’t achieve in 15 years was achieved in just those 8 balls! and he couldn’t be happier! He was made the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders where he had a fantastic season and was even included in the Indian squad for the upcoming series.
If at any point in life, any twist of fate happens to anyone at any part of the vast world, I pray for it to be the same!