Wriddhiman Saha was in superb touch for Kings XI Punjab against Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 7 final © PTI (File Photo)
By Humjee Break-Sheikh
Wriddhiman Saha comes from the land of rains; the way he flowed today at Chinnawamy can only be compared to the monsoon in the mountains of Bengal — slow to start with, but it started, he flooded the ground with his flow.
He took his time, allowing Manan Vohra to dominate the attack. After the tenth over his score read 15 from 16 balls; then he decided to step out against Shakib Al Hasan — the man from the other side of the Jalpaiguri border — and dispatched him over mid-wicket.
And then he imploded. Piyush Chawla was hit for consecutive sixes — authentic drives over the bowler they were — and the carnage continued as Saha changed his technique against Sunil Narine, using the crease judiciously to wait against him as and when required.
They summoned Morne Morkel — fast, furious Morne who had bounced the life out of batsmen across the world; Saha, little, frail Saha, the-man-who-nobody-notices Saha hooked the giant into the crowd.
Umesh Yadav attempted a slower and was taken for four; Chawla was hit straight so hard that it took the umpire with it; Narine disappeared over deep square-leg; and the hundred came up with a six over long-on (he must have had his heart in his mouth when it just brushed the fielder’s fingertips).
Then Umesh roared in, and Saha played the falling sweep shot (Rohan Kanhai, anyone?); Gautam Gambhir pushed square-leg back and brought mid-off in; Saha hit it over mid-off!
The man kept out by MS Dhoni for years has finally arrived with a vengeance. This may well be an innings that would define Indian cricket in more ways than one.
In a match involving Kolkata, it had to be a Bengali to seize the initiative. Unfortunately for Kolkata, he was a man from the opposition.
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(Humjee Break-Sheikh eats, drinks, breathes and lives cricket. Unfortunately, he does not believe in social media.)