100 overs. 676 runs. 18 wickets. 2 brilliant centuries. 1 five-wicket haul. 4th tie in World Cup history and the 3rd involving India. These are all statistics which will go down in the record books, but they will never be able to convey the intense drama which began with the first ball edge from Sehwag’s blade and ended with a frantical single by Swann and Shahzad off the last ball of the match. In between these two balls, an epic tussle between two top teams took place – both teams trading punches throughout the game, Tendulkar’s masterclass overshadowed by Strauss’ captain’s knock, Bresnan’s brilliant death over bowling matched by Zaheer’s devastating powerplay spell, England’s lower order hitting sixes on demand while the Indian fielding was uncharacteristically sharp in the dying stages of the game. Already, many are calling it as one of the finest ODIs in history, let alone World Cup history. Enough match reports and analysis will be written about in the next couple of days. So I will just stick to images from the classic, which was the perfect advertisement for One Day International cricket. Enjoy!
Ireland will be the next opponent for both teams; England play them on the 2nd, while India take them on in a week’s time. Still, questions remain over both team’s bowling departments. How soon they can remedy that, will determine how far they will progress in the tournament.