They gave a f*ck to start off with, India did not. India was a whinny, cribbing, sad misfit of a team. It didn’t gel, and still they nearly pulled it off, imagine.
For me two appeals won the game for Pakistan. First, Afridi’s appeal when MSD catwalked down the crease – he was way down, but the impact was in line – this is an old tennis ball cricket ploy that MSD uses, we all use it, come down the wicket, way far down, dekhi jayegi.
It wasn’t so much Taufel’s call as Afridi’s persuasion – how could he not give it out. There was belief in a victory, the dismissal, in the Boom Boom makes the world go around kinda thing
Taufel had to, because right then he knew, yes, I can see what you see Boom Boom, it is out.
And out it was. Enough of these stellar pranks of cruising down – even if you walk down to the other end, if the ball hits you in line, you’re out. Take that MSD.
Secondly, Ajmal’s appeal, who knew he had it in him – that was not an appeal, that was a cry for justice, to make good those years he’d lost in isolation (one day Mishra will appeal so).
It doesn’t matter where it hit Raina, bat, boot, leg – it hit that Steve Davis bloke right in the heart. The appeal moved him to tears.
He felt what Ajmal did, damn, even I knew it was out, because I felt the pain of Ajmal’s first class debut 12 years back, all those years waiting – for this moment, when Raina will be his, as will be victory.