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A semifinal, and finally the bored meet

by RajaB

June 18, 2009 2000 hrs: The taxi rings in and it’s time to leave. More importantly it is time for the Dubai chapter of Bored to meet for the first time. Some interesting new chapter it is!!

This time the guy who would drive me to Times Café at Ramee Royal is a guy from Rajasthan, India - Shamsher. The moment the taxi left my house we were talking, about T20 world cup of course. Very unhappy that India is out of the tournament, Shamsher was frightened by the prospect of Pakistan winning the tournament, “Yeh Pathan log hame zinda jeene nahin denge sir”. He was referring to his fellow taxi drivers from Pakistan, how they would react if Pakistan wins the tournament. At the same breath he also added, but it is good if the cup comes back to our region.

By the time the taxi neared Ramee Royal, Kamran Akmal had already dispatched a couple to the boundary off Steyn’s first over. As we taxied in to the Ramee porch came Shamsher’s prophecy, “Sir aaj Afridi ka din lagta hi…” Looks like it is Afridi’s day, if he clicks then they are home and dry.

I happened to meet Bhaskar at the porch, as we walked in I was telling him it looked like Pakistan’s day today. By the time we managed to enter Ramee Royal and locate Q, the whole Pakistani contingent present there were on their toes, some sighing, shouting, cursing and some with that trademark (cricket fan’s) WTF’s happening look. It was entrée Afridi as Shahzaib trudged along after making a 2 ball zero.

As Afridi was warming up for what would be one of his best T20 innings ever, the South Africans were beginning to show signs. Signs, that they were destined to go only this far.

Over 2.5 Botha misfielding and then trying to smile it off. I was reminded of the Younis Khan during the warm up match against India, the "let me wash my pains off with a smile" reaction.

But just balls later, Malik who had just replaced Akmal was trying to play himself in. With some painful "do I or don’t I" prods on the away swinging balls from Kallis. I could hear murmurs “Isko kyun beja yaar” or Why did he send him in? Misbah should have come in...

As Afridi pulled Kallis over the midwicket for a four to end the 5th over, the applause was deafening. I could see Q jumping up with joy and spilling his glass of Coke, I could see a couple of guys rushing towards Q for high fives that would easily have broken at least one out of the five metacarpals on a normal day.

When Afridi "late nudged" Botha for four, to end the 11th over of fours the crowd went mad, I could overhear someone saying “Yaar aaj Afridi dhimag use kar raha hai, very unlike Afridi” (Afridi is using his brains today, very unlike him)

When Afridi got out for a well made 51 off 34 balls, it was over 12.1. Almost everyone in the room seemed satisfied that Afridi had done his job.

It then was a bit of a rollercoaster, at one point in time some among the Pakistani contingent felt Malik might be the the new Ravindra Jadeja for the day. There was a sense of relief among the crowd that Shoaib Malik finally got out after making 34 off 39 balls.

Pakistan finally made 149, it looked like about 5-10 runs less than the par score. Q and his Coke were still standing, they would continue to do so till Pakistan finally got home. But that would only come after a break of 15 minutes and a further 20 overs.

There was nothing to write home about the South African batting innings, except that Kallis innings or the Mumbai Indiansqe 44 by Duminy. The noise of Jeetega Bhai Jeetega soared by every ball bowled, when Morkel was runout in the 20th (19.3) it was party time. The crowd was sure the South Africans wouldn’t make the 16 required off 3 balls.

More beer, said me and Bhasker as Q went on helping the Coke marketshare soar up.

Positives of the day

Finally it happened, the Dubai chapter of Bored met

We saw Afridi in full form, and imagine how exciting this would be when you are the lone Indian (two of us) sitting in the midst of a thousand ecstatic Pakistani fans.

The beer that flowed, Mary - the ever smiling bartender who made sure we got our beer in quick time and the bajjiya and chutney which de-carbonated our beered souls a bit


The Dhs 50 cover charge to enter the place (some other day it would have got us 2 pints, we could redeem only one on that day)

I had to be content with the beer and the “ever Young Monk”, Afridi (heard he is only 29 yet) as I wouldn’t get my Old Monk at Times Café.

Poor Shamsher, who is going to be taunted by his Pathan colleagues for god knows how long...


Gaurav Sethi said...

Wata trip Raja, that was like some funky music video with Fergie doing her jig. Yes that will do fine thanks.

Q said...

Very well captured Raja!

I wonder who was spiking my coke cos it surely had me on a high throughout the evening!

Bhaskar Khaund said...

NC - there is is then finally - BCC!..&P-@D

Q - it was Afridi & Co(ke) of course ! ;-)

Raja - touche ! fantastic- was just gonna ask you to complete the updates !

RajaB said...

Thanks guys !!

Whatta trip it was !