THE VAGARIES OF SPORTS NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE

Even for someone who passionately follows Cricket and is fully aware of the unpredictability of this beautiful game, would still be amazed with how the result read after yesterday’s Cricket World Cup Final : “England won by virtue of hitting more boundaries“. The stipulated 100 overs of the ODI match couldn’t decide the winner as the scores were level and the match went down to the Super Over. It seemed the Super Over will decide the winner but there was more drama as both teams ended up scoring 15 runs and hence New Zealand was left with the agony of losing the match as they scored fewer boundaries than England.

England won the ODI title for the first time

New Zealand were outstanding to stretch the formidable batting line up of England while chasing a modest score of 241. It seemed as if England were destined to win the title after what transpired in the closing stages of the match. Trent Boult caught Ben Stokes in the last over but went over the boundary and it was a six. Then with 9 required off 3 balls something bizarre happened. The ball hit a diving Stokes’ bat and ricochet off it for 4 overthrows. It’s a part of game but to happen at that stage of the match was unreal. Jofra Archer who was no where on the International scene two months ago was entrusted to do the job for his team and he delivered under immense pressure. The result seemed cruel at the end but such were the rules set by ICC and it was too harsh for the Kiwis as they too deserved to be the winners. It again showcases that Cricket is a game of small margins and the match could have gone either way. Agony for one and ecstasy for the other as England won the ODI World Cup for the first time. Cricket again emerged as the winner in a hard fought match by both sides which was full of true sportsman spirit and that is what makes this encounter one for the ages.

Just a few distance away in the same city of London there was an epic clash between Federer and Djokovic in the Wimbledon Final. The level of Tennis played in this match was nerve wrecking and both of them had to dig deep and make use of every inch on the court to find the winners. It was the longest ever Wimbledon Final that lasted for 4 hours and 55 minutes but there wasn’t a dull moment as it was filled with high voltage Tennis from both the players. It was the first time the final was decided by a fifth set tie break after 12-12 in the last set. Djokovic won the crucial points as he won all the three tie breaks in the first, third and fifth set. Federer had his chances as he had two Championship Points but squandered both of them and Djokovic pounced back to eventually win his 5th Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam overall.

Hamilton after winning the British Grand Prix

It was a double delight for the British as Lewis Hamilton won the F1 Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit and extended his lead to 39 points. This eventful Sunday shall be remembered for a long time to come not only for the results but for all the minute details that went into making these contests so significant. The unpredictability and the thrill that is associated with sports is what makes it such a joyous affair and surely the events of Sunday, July 14th,2019 lived up to all the hype that surrounded these momentous clashes.

SUPER SUNDAY FOR ENGLAND

Sunday, July 14,2019 is going to be etched in history and could be a defining moment for England. Three major sports events take place on this day and all three of them occurring in England. With the Cricket World Cup Final, Wimbledon Final and British Grand Prix there can’t be a much better place to be this Sunday if you are a sports lover.

England who last played a World Cup Final match in 1992 are without doubt the favorites going into the final. After a horrendous campaign in 2015 they have turned around the tables and how. A complete overhaul and restructuring has gone into building this team who play an aggressive and fearless brand of Cricket. New Zealand on the other hand have been at their mercurial best by reaching the finals in back to back editions of the Cricket World Cup. One can afford to take them lightly at their own peril but still England seem to have all bases covered and are most likely to win. Whatever happens it’s a win win for Cricket as there’ll be a first time World Cup winner this time around and that is always good for the game.

In the Wimbledon Final, Federer will be pushing for his 21st Grand Slam win and add to his legend. If Federer is able to emulate the kind of tennis he played in the semi-final against Rafa then he’ll be hard to stop. Djokovic who hasn’t played his best tennis leading to the final however is a potential threat as he has a knack of raising the bar when it matters the most. Tennis fans are surely in for a mouth watering contest in this clash of the titans.

In the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Valtteri Bottas took the pole position by just 0.006 seconds by beating his team mate at Mercedes Lewis Hamilton who starts at second on the grid. Hamilton leads the driver’s standings by 31 points and the England fans will be routing for their local boy to win today’s race.

It’ll be a double delight for England if Hamilton wins the British Grand Prix and their men’s team lift the Cricket World Cup title. Irrespective of whatever happens fans across the globe are in for one great day of sports and surely it’s going to be one epic SUNDAY.

FEDERERISED ON THE CENTRE COURT

It was an epic clash between the two greatest players who share 38 Grand Slam titles between them. 11 years since they last met at Wimbledon in the 2008 final in probably one of the greatest tennis matches in the open era, much was expected of them to live up to all the hype surrounding this year’s semi-final match and they surely didn’t disappoint. Although the match didn’t go down to the fifth set as it did back then but yesterday’s match had moments of sheer brilliance by both the players much to the delight of everyone who loves the game of Tennis.

Ever since the draw is announced prior to the start of the tournament, people look forward to this match as to at what stage will they be on collision course. Such is the interest and the aura surrounding their match. The kind of tennis that they produce against each other is extraordinary and both of them are able to bring out the best from one another. Federer with all his class and Rafa with his indomitable spirit never cease to disappoint. Although the score at the end of the match read 7-6(3),1-6,6-3,6-4 in favour of Federer, anyone who watched the match would admit it was way close than what the score reflects.

Rafa who just beat Federer few weeks back at the Roland Garros semi-final on his way to 12th French Open title had the upper hand going into this match owing to his recent form and his age advantage if the match went down to the wire. But over the years it has been Roger who has owned the grass court and for sure he pulled out a sublime performance to down Rafa. Rafa had lead Federer 10-3 in Grand Slam clashes prior to yesterday’s match and in most of those wins he has targeted Roger’s backhand and he tried to employ similar tactics in yesterday’s match as well. But the authority with which Roger was hitting the backhand yesterday was truly mesmerizing to watch. Not just the backhand slices to stay in the rally but the backhand winners he hit were marvellous. Nadal who wins the longer rallies and tires down and frustrates the opponent with the amount of distance he covers on the court didn’t deter Federer as he was willing to engage in the longer rallies and this was so refreshing to watch. Roger managed to even win points on his second serve and that proved to be too much for Rafa. After a closely contested first set which Roger won in the tie break, Rafa came back strongly as one would expect of him and picked up the second set 6-1 and it looked like he was running away with the match. But in the third set Roger played some outrageous tennis that he hasn’t played in a long long time, it was vintage Roger and when that happens he is too good for any challenge. He broke Nadal early in the fourth set and then did exceptionally well to hold on to his serve in the entire set to eventually beat Nadal.

Federer exults after the match

The camaraderie and the amount of respect that Nadal and Federer have for one another is exemplary and showcases their true sportsman spirit and this is what makes them such lovable figures for the fans. It is widely speculated year after year as to when the top 3 including Djokovic will bow down and the younger generation will take over the mantle but year after year they continue to enthrall everyone with their sheer brilliance and love for the game. They continue to perform at the highest level thwarting whatever challenges are thrown at them and for the fans it’s apt to bask in the glory till it lasts. They are the true ambassadors of the game and still have a lot to offer.