A hopeful roar among the spectators of the home crowd rose in crescendo as the star among the batswomen, Meghna took her position. They were delirious with excitement and hope as the match that was on its way to being a washout turned their way with Meghna and Anisha standing their ground for a century partnership.
Meghna filtered out most of the din concentrating on facing the last ball of the innings, the last of the match and the last of the series. It was the clichéd ‘do or die’ moment. A six would clinch the match and the series for her team and country and a four would elicit a tie. The former would also help her reach the enviable record of having the most score in one day series among women.
She was the opening batswomen of her team and she stood like the rock of Gibraltar, when the rest of her team fell like the proverbial pack of cards. The strategic bowling of the other team combined with a bowler’s pitch made this low scoring match extremely challenging. Yet, she stood her ground ably supported by the penultimate player, reached this extremely realizable yet terribly difficult target in the circumstances. There was a scare of a near ‘run out’ when her partner in crime took the calculated risk of running to the non-striking end in the previous ball to enable her to have the strike for the last one.
Taking a deep breath, she concentrated on the biomechanical action of the bowler and concentrated on the pace, the length and the propelling hand moment as the bowler readied herself to bowl the ball that would make history. Knowing the alacrity of the bowler, Meghna knew that she would be trying to ‘set a trap’ for bowling her out. She was making minor adjustment to the body taking in the bowler’s action during the ‘run-up. Cricket like most sports thrived on competition and it was a cat and mouse game between the bowler and a batsman.
She knew she made a tactical error when she misjudged the length and the ball caught the edge of the bat and she shut her eyes as waves of sheer disappointment and despair ripped through her. There was a shout of triumph from the bowler and wicket keeper as she very easily took the catch and the opposing team started exulting and it was only the roar of the audience that made them realize that the umpire was furiously signaling a ‘no-ball.’ Disappointment of one team and hopeful optimism of the other team warred with one another as all eyes were on the big screen waiting for the decision of the third umpire.
Meghna couldn’t believe the second chance that the providence placed at her feet, nay to the power of her wrist as she prepared to face the dejected bowler once again with renewed determination.
Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash