31st Jan 1999 -
I was preparing for my pre-engineering test. I had a mock exam that day. But my heart was not in studies. I was more interested in the dramatic India vs. Pakistan Test Match going on in Chennai. Yet studies always came first. I turned up for the mock exam on time. As soon as the final bell rang, I rushed back to my friend's home to catch the final moments of the match. The match was over by then. But the highlights were still playing. Sachin Tendulkar and Nayan Mongia were in the process of digging India out of a hole and taking them to a memorable win. We jumped and rejoiced as the highlights moved as a frantic pace; as Tendulkar battled back spasms to hit one boundary after another, taking India closer and closer to victory. Just when we thought the match was in the bag, disaster struck. Tendulkar hold out to Saqlain Mushtaq for 136. Within minutes, the Indian innings was over. Pakistan had secured a famous win and were doing a lap of honour in front of the Chennai crowd.
5th Nov 2009 -
I was in office, away from India, busy with work. While browsing the net, I suddenly realized that Tendulkar was leading a heroic solo effort against Australia, in an ODI in Hyderabad. I immediately logged into Cricinfo and started checking the latest score updates. Forgetting all work, I kept pressing the refresh button endlessly, as the scoreboard motored along with each Tendulkar boundary. Trying to recall the thousands of runs I have seen him score on TV over 2 decades, I tried to visualize each shot from the commentary I read on the webpage. This time, Tendulkar was determined not to let Chennai 1999 be repeated. But with 19 required of 18 balls, Tendulkar hold out for an epic 175. The Indian innings was soon wrapped up. History repeated itself.
1. Other similarities between the 2 games.
2. Previous post on a similar event.