Anil Kumble or Jumbo – the latter more suitable for the news headlines – scalped half a chiliad wickets in test Cricket. The engineer’s unspinning legspin at a medium pacer’s speed baffled many a batsman. When he pocketed ten Pakistani wickets at Delhi’s Feroze Shah Kotla, I was running in and out of my Shillong home to update the boys playing outside; and during my last run, when I broke the record-equalling news, a kid innocently asked me, “Who took the remaining one?”
Yesterday, I witnessed another great happening in the world of cricket. Australia scored 434/4 – the highest score in limited overs cricket, only to last for 299 balls. The gritty South Africans, the real challengers to the Kangaroo stranglehold on international cricket finished with 438/9, thereby winning the series 3-2.
872 runs in a ball less than a hundred overs, the chasing side down to their last wicket, winning with only a ball to spare. The greatest one day international ever? Maybe. Maybe not. The greatest because the opponents were the mighty men from down under, and no one ever posted such an obscenely huge figure on the scoreboards. Maybe not, because the opponents there were not India and Pakistan. But again yes, simply because I didn’t catch the last Indo-Pak series, nor did I watch Kumble’s latest entry into the recordbooks. But watch the fifth one day between South African and Australia? I did.