I know, getting a middle stump of a batsman is the most pleasing sight for a fast bowler, but believe me, getting a leg stump gives kinda same feeling. Though, I am no Mcgrath, but even he would have been as happy as I was when I set the leg stump rolling of a highly rated batsman at a crucial juncture of the game.
This was a few days ago when a lot of mind games were being played within the two rival captains. A few from opposite team asked me too to take part in the verbal volleys and I just told him, 'main bolta nahi hun. Karta hun'. This just had a reaction of 'Wooooo!!!' from others. I said no more.We were challenged to play and beat a team which was undoubtedly more powerful and more equipped man by man. They had better bowlers, better batsman and better fielders. But they had something else which unbalanced everything. OVERCONFIDENCE.
Our captain (team lead in office) was not shy of accepting the challenge and he knew that to beat them he has to count on the performance of a couple of key players(including yours truly).So, the day was set. In the evening we all reached the ground. It was a working day so we decided to play an 8 over game. We won the toss and batted first. The Captain(Amit) and another person (Dusiant) opened. Now, my captain is sort of gafter. Likes to take his time to settle and keep one end secure. So the attacking shots were to be played from the other end. But Dusiant was not in his usual free flowing cricket and while he did hit one boundary, it was apparant that he was not comfortable against the variations in pace. Amit tried to up the tempo and was well caught behind the wicket in the 2nd over. This brought me on to the crease and I soon came into the groove. After a couple of singles, I creamed a low full toss to the cover boundary and me and Dusiant added some good runs for around 4 overs before Dusiant got out while trying to loft. Now it was mine and Ketan's turn to maintain the tempo and we added some quick runs by doing a lot of running and in between I also got 2 more boundaries. I was out on the last ball of the innings while Ketan remained notout. We had managed to score 65 runs in the 8 overs. The total was by no means a very safe total but we knew that if we bowl well upfront in the first few overs, we had a realistic chance.
Their one of the most explosive batsman Tanay and another guy Surendra opened and we knew that we had to get Tanay out soon. Me and Ketan did not bowl first up as we were both tired by doing all the running. We had to do 4 overs between us and Amit had two overs. We decided to give Vinay and Vignesh and over with Amit in between the two and then me and Ketan will bowl. We got an extremely lucky break in the first over itself of Vinay when Tanay got run out due to some good throw from the deep. The first over yielded 5 runs. Amit and Vignesh bolwed the 2nd and 3rd overs which did not gave two many runs and we got one of their batsman Gopal also out. Their Captain Vikas came and was cleaned superbly in the 4th over by Ketan. We were on top but we knew the danger man was still waiting to come. Rajesh and Surinder were on the crease when I started the 5th Over. I bowled 2 dot balls to Surinder and he took a single on the 3rd. That brought Rajesh on the strike and tried unsuccessfully to hit me on the 4th delivery. The 5th delivery was a magic. The ball was pitched full on the leg stump and as Rajesh tried to hit it hard on on side, ball went round his legs and set the leg stump flying. Rajesh could not believe it. But it happened. My mates erupted in joy as the next batsman took guard. Sameer is one guy who can turn the match on its own in just few balls. Match was not over yet. He took single of the next last ball to take the strike. Amit and Ketan bowled the 6th and 7th over. 7th Over threatned to turn the table a bit when Sameer hit 14 runs of the over. But that still left 24 runs to hit in the final over which I was to bowl. I gave them little chance by conceding just 6 runs and we won the game.
While they were amazed at their loss, we knew how we did it. By letting our deeds do the talking!