A Freakish Inning I Recall

This had happened to me once or twice and as far as I can remember not more. Ah there was another one. So I can remember altogether three innings I had batted, where I could do almost anything I had imagined.

It was the semi-finals of Inter Faculty Cricket tournaments in 2013, on a casual Saturday. We had an early exit in the last season’s tournament and I, being the captain, wanted to do the most of it as it was my last tournament.

The match was reduced to 30 over a side due to overnight rain and we won the toss and elected to bat first. The opposing side was the Champions of the last two consecutive seasons. Our plan was to get to 160-180; we thought would be enough as we had the stronger bowling line up of the two.

I had a brisk 34 in 32 balls in the last game before walking in to bat in the semis, one down in the third over, and I was hoping for a good innings. I am a hard hitter, but not a slogger. In batting what I try to do is to leave or defend the good balls and hit hard the loose ball.I creamed cut shot off the very first ball and it went as a chance, straight to covers who spilled it and I had a reprieve on the very first ball.

After two overs of cautious batting, I played a straight drive for four and a six down the ground and a couple of singles; I suddenly realized that I see the ball a bit early and I gained confidence. What happened for the next twenty overs or so after that dropped chance was something unexpected, an unexpected onslaught.

Spin or fast, the ball disappeared off my bat, to or over the boundary for 23 times from the arc of deep point to deep square leg; 10 sixes and 13 fours. The bowlers had no answer what so ever on how to bowl to me and kept wondering and seeing the ball disappearing to all parts. I just saw the ball off the bowler’s hand and what I remember was that I played the right shot and felt pretty relaxed and more often than not surprised and confused; frequently asking myself, “What am I doing here?”

It’s like I have imagined the shot even before the ball had been delivered. I had scored 137 off 80 odd balls and 112 runs have come in boundaries! My batting partner was totally contrasting. He had scored 33 off 60 odd balls and our partnership for the second wicket has been 133 in about 20 overs.

Finally I was run out in the 26th over of the match and we went to score 213/5 in 30 overs and win the match by 58 runs and went to the finals and went to win the Championship!

This innings I recall was a freakish one, as I can remember every single shot of it, even today. I keep wondering how I played such an innings. It was thrilling and after the game every player in the opposition, especially bowlers, was too confused to talk to me and I think they were too embarrassed. I was living on it for a couple of days before things settled down.

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