Long live this Pakistan story
PAKISTAN, Zindabad. Pakistan, zindabad!
“He who laughs last, laughs loudest,” chimed the Uber driver, wearing a grin as wide as the River Thames. Ever since their horror show against India in their first game of the tournament, Pakistan have been unrecognisable.
They’ve been “different gravy”, as they say in these parts. They silenced SA, snuck in against Sri Lanka, mugged England, but they saved their “Sunday best” for India. It had to be against India, the one country that they measure themselves against.
They live for days like this.
They blew India away; literally whizzed them up in a green frenzy of a hurricane, and Virat Kohli and his men came out staggering.
On Kennington Lane, the road that runs next to The Oval, Pakistan fans had stood outside the ground begging for spare tickets. The sold out signs had gone up weeks ago, but they were still clutching onto the hope that someone might not fancy a day out in the London sun.
They stood outside the gate, watching the big screen, and living off the roars from within.
It was bizarre, but beautiful. There are pubs around every corner in England, but they maintained that the occasion demanded them to hear the reaction live.
It makes sense, in a weird way. And so, every one of the 338 runs that Pakistan battered had a roar, and then an echo.
On that same Kennington Lane, long before the last rites were read, scores of light blue shirts sulked to buses, taxis, Range Rovers and the odd Rolls Royce.
India have the money, but today, Pakistan had the glory.
And you couldn’t buy it off them, whatever your price. Pakistan, homeless – occasionally hopeless – and always reckless, live for days like these.
Mickey Arthur didn’t know what to do with himself. Faced