With the curtains down on the World Cup T20, here's looking at the unofficial list of Men of the Match: those who were either set to meet their "match" or those whose deliveries off the field didn't their image match. For, Sri Lanka hosted action not only of the Twenty20 kind but also of the plenty kind. And how!
Man with maiden over
Known for raining sixes in the T20 format, be it stealing IPL thunder or demolishing the T20 team from Down Under, no wonder West Indies' showstopper Chris Gayle has knocked his way into sporting vocabulary with his signature superlative, "Gaylestorm". Gayle's sixes rain on T20 turf the way Navjot Sidhu's Sidhuisms pour on cricketing lingo. Such is Gayle's fabled flamboyance that his sixes present a potent danger to the craniums and countenances of the crowds, sometimes resulting in situations of "no nose is bad news.'
But along with unleashing a Gaylestorm on the field this season of T20, the Caribbean cricketer also staged some off-field action that saw a storm of another kind: the Colombo constabulary playing spoilsport to storm into his hotel room. Oh boy, and what did the cops see: there was many a maiden over!
So, whilst Team Kejriwal got down to "s(p)oiling" the party for the Congress by catching Robert Vadra on a weak wicket on the political playfield, the Lankan constabulary was busy spoiling the party for Team West Indies by picking up three British women who were spicing up post-match revelry in Gayle's room at none other than the Cinnamon. So much for a spicy stay!
And so much for Gayle earning the title of a man who was game for a series. Of maidens, that is.
That the India-Pakistan political friction spills on to the playfield and also off it is a historical reality but certainly not yet history.
For, more than the nail-biting tension on the field that attended the India-Pakistan clash at Colombo, the Twenty20 battle saw much more action on the border. Of the Premadasa playfield, that is.
And fencing off this tension on the border was none other than southpaw Suresh Raina, who found himself at the receiving end of some scoffing and sniggering by spectators from Pakistan. The border booing emanating from unfriendly neighbourly vocal chords did see audience antagonism dip to quite a low and Raina faced some tough time fielding the infiltrating comments. Low and behold! Just then a Pakistani wicket fell and it was Raina's turn to wave away the prickly border issues by bringing his hands into play to deliver bye-lateral dialogue.
The border tension thus saw the pitch being laid for cricket dip-low-macy. It's another matter that with Raina taking tweet revenge, "Ek do din late gaye ghar !!!! Woh bhi besharam ki tarah gaye … Bye bye Pakistan!" the bye-lateral dialogue spilled off the field and online, too.
T20 or T-Plenty
If the win over Pakistan gave Team India reason to cheer, India's exit from the semi-final race and Pakistan's entry into the semi-finals also gave reason for tear(s).
For, Team India's departure from the WC T20 saw tears delivered aplenty. And the lachrymal liquid came from the man who had given India batting support solid: Virat Kohli.
And the melodrama-thirsting TV cameras did what they're best at doing: panning plenty on a misty-eyed Kohli gone "senti".
So, the sentimentality-peddling small screen-studios showed spectators not just T20 but also T-plenty (tears plenty).
Spin shall win
The cracker of a game between India and Pakistan at the T20 also threw up spin plenty. While the spin of the Indian ball surely saw Pakistan skipper Mohammed Hafeez's fall, the real spin that the T20 has tossed up is to a yarn.
For, ticklish "border" run-ins, tweets and tears later, the spin from T20 turf is to the tagline of a soft drink commercial: "Yeh T20 hai boss … na Hafeez se khela jata hai… na tameez se dekha jata hai."