Cricket is a gentleman’s game. It is very popular and enjoyed all over the world. It is my favourite game. I like it very much. I play it and see it being played either on the ground or on the television. This noble game is full of excitement, thrill, discipline, team- spirit, co-operation and hard work.

Last Friday, we had a very interesting cricket match between India and Pakistan. Ajay Jadeja was the captain of the Indian team. It was a limited-over one-day cricket match, and played in Feroze Shah Kotla ground, New Delhi. Both teams were equally good, and the match was evenly poised.

The match began at 9 a.m. with the toss of the coin. Umpire tossed the coin, and India won the toss. India decided to bat first. Our openers played good strokes, and played cautiously Pakistani opening bowlers were Shoaib Akhatar and Wasim Akram. Sourab Ganguly hit couples of boundaries and scored 40 runs before he was caught by the bowler himself in follow through. The other opener Ramesh was also out when our score was 70 runs. He made just 20 runs. He was replaced by our captain Ajay Jadeja He played delightful cricket and sent the ball ‘flashing to all parts of the ground. He scored 62 runs off 52 balls. He was caught out by the mid-wicket fielder. Rahul Dravid played four down and played steadily but a very clever ball deceived him and he was bowled him out for 30 runs.

The tail- enders played well and India reached a re­spectable total of250 runs for 8 wickets in 50 over’s. Then there was lunch.

The Pakistan team started well and played positive cricket. There was an opening partnership of 80 valuable runs between Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar These 80 runs were made in just 15 over’s. Anwar was out at a respectable score of 50 runs. Then came Injmam-ul-Hao. He was playing good strokes and hit three consecutive boundaries in an over of Sunil Joshi before he was given LB W out. It made him disappointed. Thereafter their middle-order batsmen collapsed like nine pins at regular intervals. They were at one stage only 140 runs for 5 wickets. So tight and well balanced was our bowling Kumbie took two wickets. There was great cheer and dapping from the crowd.

But the lower-order batsmen of the Pakistani team played steadily, and scored runs fast in twos and ones. Boundaries were few and far between. They took the score to 225 in 46 over’s and 5 balls, and had lost 7 wickets. There was a lot of excitement and fortunes fluctuated at regular intervals. But then our medium fasters Srinath and Agarkar did exceedingly well and the rivals were all out for 240 runs in 48-2 over’s. Indians were overjoyed. Anil Kumbie was declared man of the match’ for his brilliant spin bowling and for scoring 20 valuable runs.