First-person reports from the stands

India v Sri Lanka, tri-series final, Port-of-Spain

July 12, 2013

When Mr. Cool swayed to Soca music

Barry Parasram

Shaminda Eranga is forlorn while MS Dhoni and Ishant Sharma celebrate victory, India v Sri Lanka, tri-series final, Port-of-Spain, July 11, 2013
If it is an India-Sri Lanka final, it has to end with Dhoni hitting a dramatic six © AFP
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Choice of game
A tri-nation final in this part of the world is always going to be an interesting one - especially with the culture and heritage that the Indians have here in the Caribbean, and more so Trinidad and Tobago. My prediction for this game was a clear Indian win because of their recent success, and Sri Lanka's tendency to lose finals of late.

Team supported
I was a clear neutral because my team was already out of the competition. To me it was just about enjoying a great game of cricket at the Queens Park Oval and watching the young and upcoming stars of the game.

Key performer
Most people would say Mr. Cool MS Dhoni, but I would go with Rohit Sharma. He played a crucial innings today. He is a talent for the future, and his display today showed what a mature and responsible innings is all about. He put his hand up, battled the demons in the pitch and ensured he could be counted upon.

One thing I'd have changed
I'd have loved to see West Indies in the final, thus ensuring the stands were packed, but that is just my bias. In the game itself, I would have held back Lasith Malinga for that final over and deployed Shaminda Eranga in the 48th. Who knows how things might have turned out then.

Face-off I relished
There was one that went on for overs where the senior players from both sides were disputing whether Mr. Cool obstructed the fielders or not. This showed that everyone was aware of how critical he was to the outcome of the game.

Wow moment
Undoubtedly the Dhoni factor in the final over where he slapped three balls for 16 runs. That first six went sailing over the media box, and from then on Eranga had no chance whatsoever. This moment was made even better by the dancing ladies in the Trini Posse stand.

Close encounter
Eranga fielded close to the stands and was continuously heckled in a fun-loving manner by the Trinidadian supporters. They were even encouraging him to marry a young Trini lady. What fun.

Shot of the day
Ms Dhoni changes his bat and Bang - the second ball of the final over sails away for a mighty six.

Entertainment is omnipresent at the Queens Park Oval for any and every game. This is provided mainly by DJs, and live entertainment at the Trini Posse featuring Soca music.

When going to watch cricket, I usually carry my food , horns and a park of cards which ensures that if there is rain, that there is something that can be done to pass the time. The Trini favourite card game is All Fours, but there was no need for that today.

I would rate this game very highly because of the quality of cricket played by both teams, and the atmosphere. The quality of the pitch may not have been to the liking of the spectators but the real lovers of cricket would have enjoyed this battle. Eight marks out of ten.

Any game involving the Indian team in the Caribbean would always have a high following, especially in Trinidad and Guyana due to the Indian origin population. This game was a clear indication of the talent in Asia and how they are maturing to become good cricketers. I mention this because West Indies cricket is my all-time favorite, and I am yet to see young players step forward and show the sort of maturity Rohit displayed today. Hats off to those who are in charge of cricket in India. It is indeed in wonderful hands.

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Barry Parasram is an ardent fan of West Indies cricket, who believes no batsman will ever match Brian Lara's greatness. He has a bachelors degree in Occupational Health , Safety and the Environment and is due to begin his Masters.

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Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Ashok on (July 17, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

Just like Mariana Riviera of NY Yankees is the greatest closer in the history of the baseball, MS Dhoni is the greatest closer or Finisher in the history of ODI cricket. If the target is even half reasonable, he will chase it down. He has got the strokes needed of a Finisher with his own invented "Helicopter shot" to seal the deal. Sehwag was just as great but never played the role of a Finisher in ODI. India need to develop a back up Finisher before Dhoni retires.

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 13, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

nice article !!! bt Mr . Parasram if you recall last year in Austrailia under same circumstances and malinga bowled last over dhoni was on the striker end ...and 4 needed of last ball..dhoni squared the scores he can pull off malinga as well ...nd many of indian batsman proved in recent past as well !! MSD is uncomparable match finisher ..nd can even hit a six over long on to become word champions :)

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 13, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

dhoni is agood finisher and dhoni is lucky for India

Posted by Sunil on (July 13, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

@Barry Parasram:- Overall, a good report! But I slightly disagree on key performer, yes....Rohit played an important inning in the middle, but the key performer, I believe is the one who takes the team home.

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 12, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

Terrific report, Barry. Someday, I'd like to watch an entire summer of matches in the Caribbean. One point, though: Rohit Sharma has had an extremely long leash ( this is his 90th match or thereabouts and only his 3rd or 4th notable performance to date) : I'm sure that if Windies players were given this much time and encouragement, we'd see a few late-bloomers like Rohit begin to perform

Posted by John on (July 12, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Terrific report Barry. The music and dance in the Caribbean was as entertaining as the last over of the final, full marks to the cricket lovers of T & T.

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