Cricket is my favourite game. Once I went to see a cricket match at the Ferozeshah Kotla Ground. It was played between the Indian team and the visiting Australian team. There was a great rush of spectators. All the seats were full. In fact, people had bought tickets many days in advance. Some had bought tickets for only one day. Others had bought season tickets for all the five days of the match.
On one side of the playground there was a “Commentators’ Box” where the commentators were seated. They gave a running commentary of the match from this box.
The two teams entered the playground at 10.25 A.M. Two umpires had already come and inspected the pitch, wickets and the ball. The Captains of the two teams shook hands with each other. The Indians won the toss. They decided to bat first. The game started at 10.30 A.M.
The game was quite slow in the first ten minutes. The opening batsmen were trying to settle down. Thereafter, the players started playing with confidence. Within one hour, they were able to score 70 runs for no loss. The Captain of the Australian team brought in spin bowlers to get a breakthrough. By lunch time, India was able to make 120 runs for the loss of two wickets. It was a good score.
During the lunch break, we went out and took some refreshments. After lunch, the game was resumed. The Australian players who had fanned out to far off positions in the ground were asked by their Captain to “close in” to put pressure on the Indian batsmen. This strategy clicked. The Australian side was able .to take two wickets in quick succession. The Indian players were able to end the day’s play with 275 runs and seven wickets in hand.
By the end of the next day, the Indian team was able to pile up more runs, taking their total to 415 runs. It was now the turn of the Australian team to bat. They put up a good show. They were able to match the Indian score because two players of their side scored a century each. The match went on for full five days. However, it ended in a draw.
I enjoyed this cricket test match very much. I watched it on all the five days. There were many moments of excitement and suspense during this match.
These days cricket matches are also played only for one day. These are called “One-day matches”. Each team is allowed to play a fixed number of overs (say 50) in these matches. The fate of the match is decided by the end of the day itself. Nowadays one day matches have become more popular than five-day matches for various reasons.
The result of the one-day match is decided in one day so the spectators do not have to wait for a long time. Moreover, runs are scored very fast because there are limitations on the overs faced by a team. This keeps the interest of the spectators alive. Wastage of time is also not there as the match is over in a day.