August 17, 2009

Offbeat

A new high for former Indian players

Judhajit



The 'Top of Europe' five-over match between India and an All-Star team from England at the highest accessible point in Europe – in Interlaken, Switzerland - resulted in the former prevailing by four runs. Former Indian captain Kapil Dev, who led the winning side, led from the front with 26, as they piled on 108 in five overs. There were also significant contributions from Sandeep Patil (25) and Ajay Jadeja (26).

During the chase, the England team were propped up by Radford, who scored 25, along with ICC match referee Chris Broad and Collis King, both of whom managed 26. It was left to the pair of skipper Alvin Kallicharran and John Emburey to get 38 off the last over.

A six off every ball was not impossible since the ball was disappearing regularly to the glacier 50 yards away from the centre. Jadeja then bowled a no-ball and the asking rate came down to five per ball and six off the last. Kallicharran aimed for the straight field but was beaten by the bounce and mishit behind the 'keeper for just a single.

The fans soon rushed on to the artificial pitch, to join Kapil and his team, and umpires Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Farokh Engineer, to sing the Indian national anthem and celebrate the victory.

"The event was supposed to be a fun thing, but once you wear your cricket gear, you only want to win and we were happy to do it on our Independence Day in front of Indian tourists," Kapil told the Times of India.

Patil said though the artificial pitch behaved well but "running on snow was a problem”. “The ball was bouncing but we kept it at a reasonable pace.”

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