India-Eng tie sparks new life into WC: Media

London: The World Cup match between India and England at Bangalore, which ended in a thrilling tie, has sparked a new life into the tournament and sent a strong message to the critics who believes that one-day cricket is nearing its moribund stage, British media reported on Monday.

In a nerve-wracking World Cup group-B league match at the M Chinnaswamy stadium last night, England tied the scores after being set an imposing target of 339 by the Indians.

"The consequences of this astonishing tied match are nowhere near as significant as the first one in the World Cup the semi-final between South Africa and Australia at Edgbaston in 1999. But this epic contest provided the perfect tonic for
the tournament," Vic Marks wrote in a British newspaper on Monday.

"It suggested that England, for all their frailties, have a much better chance in this World Cup than we thought 24 hours ago and that India are not quite so invincible upon their home patch as their status as favourites indicates. It also told us that any obituaries for the 50-over format are premature."

Another writer Andy Bull, writing in the same newspaper observed that "This was one of the greatest matches in the history of the World Cup, perhaps even one of the finest 50-over contests, full stop."

"As Andrew Strauss said last Saturday, these are the kinds of occasions cricketers dream about, although presumably when they think about them in their sleep the ending works out a little differently," he said.

"If Cecil B DeMille had done matches rather than movies they would have played out like this. It was an epic with a cast studded with stars - from Ajmal Shahzad, who walloped six from the third ball of the final over, to Zaheer, whose marvellous spell dragged India back into the match.

"But two men shared top billing. Strauss and Sachin produced a pair of glorious innings, the first masterly, the second masterful. It was almost a battle of wills. Tendulkar had bent the game one way, Strauss seized it and turned it back the other. Splitting them would be all but impossible, so in the end it was appropriate that the honours were shared, though it was Strauss who walked away with the man of the match award," Bull said.

"You expect greatness from Tendulkar after all but plenty of pundits would have dropped Strauss from this team long before now on the grounds that his technique is supposedly not suited to the shorter formats. It will be a while before anyone makes that argument again," he further wrote.

According to the writer, for the first half of the day, it seemed certain to be Tendulkar`s story.
"This was the innings all of India had been praying he would play. You might think that after seeing him score 46 one-day centuries that enthusiasm for more would have waned but their appetite, like that of the man himself, is insatiable.”

"What do we want?" roared his supporters. "Sixers!" they cried in unison. And just like that, Tendulkar thumped a perfectly respectable delivery from Paul Collingwood back to the boundary hoardings at long-on. It was imperious stuff. Four more followed, two of them in a single over from Graeme Swann. "And to think they told me you could bowl," Tendulkar seemed to be saying to Swann," he wrote.

The writer further added: "After that over Matt Prior ran up to his team-mate and instead of an encouraging word offered him simply a shrug of his shoulders, palms turned upwards."What can you do?"

"If Cecil B DeMille had done matches rather than movies they would have played out like this. It was an epic with a cast studded with stars - from Ajmal Shahzad, who walloped six from the third ball of the final over, to Zaheer, whose marvellous spell dragged India back into the match.

"But two men shared top billing. Strauss and Sachin produced a pair of glorious innings, the first masterly, the second masterful. It was almost a battle of wills. Tendulkar had bent the game one way, Strauss seized it and turned it back the other. Splitting them would be all but impossible, so in the end it was appropriate that the honours were shared, though it was Strauss who walked away with the man of the match award," Bull said.

"You expect greatness from Tendulkar after all but plenty of pundits would have dropped Strauss from this team long before now on the grounds that his technique is supposedly not suited to the shorter formats. It will be a while before anyone makes that argument again," he further wrote.

According to the writer, for the first half of the day, it seemed certain to be Tendulkar`s story.
"This was the innings all of India had been praying he would play. You might think that after seeing him score 46 one-day centuries that enthusiasm for more would have waned but their appetite, like that of the man himself, is insatiable.”

"What do we want?" roared his supporters. "Sixers!" they cried in unison. And just like that, Tendulkar thumped a perfectly respectable delivery from Paul Collingwood back to the boundary hoardings at long-on. It was imperious stuff. Four more followed, two of them in a single over from Graeme Swann. "And to think they told me you could bowl," Tendulkar seemed to be saying to Swann," he wrote.

The writer further added: "After that over Matt Prior ran up to his team-mate and instead of an encouraging word offered him simply a shrug of his shoulders, palms turned upwards."What can you do?"

PTI

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