There were no trains or buses between 2pm and 4pm to our town from our college which was nearly 3 miles away from the town, and since I had skipped the afternoon classes, I had to walk all the way. But, at that moment, it was not the long distance which bothered me because an exciting cricket match between India and West Indies was in progress. Oh, I forgot to tell you that it is over forty years now since this thriller took place. There were no TVs and even radios were few and far between, literally. This small cricket-crazy town, the little known Thalasseri had the reputation of being the first town in India to have cricket club (Mumbai and other cities followed suit). Here, even girls were crazy about the game and sat glued to a radio whenever there was a match.
I was walking fast, not because I was in a hurry to reach home but to be somewhere near “Valiya veedu” (BIG HOUSE) near the bridge where they had a radio which gave a full-throated running commentary. When, at last, I reached there, I hid behind the gate so that I won’t be seen by those girls in the BIG HOUSE, though I could hear one of them shouting, “Don’t fear, Angel Borde is Still there”. She was right. I heaved a sigh of relief when the following words from the radio reached my ears, “In comes, Hall… Oh Lord, it is a bumper… Borde, off the backfoot… all the way for four! No question of an innings defeat now.” India was on the verge of an innings defeat; all the top order batsmen were back in the pavilion but Borde carried on. Now the question was not whether India would save the match or not but would Borde get his 2nd hundred (Century in each innings).
He was in his 70s and going great guns, though Hall & Co were at their ferocious best. When it was time for tea break for the players, I left that spot and moved fast so that I would reach the popular ‘Kamala Restaurant’ where I can listen to the running commentary over a cup of tea. The moment I reached there, I could hear, “Borde on 96… Hall on the move… It’s a four… Boy Borde… Angel Borde… Oh Lord, he is given out… It was a sure four but he stepped on the wicket, after completing the shot…”
“Shit”, I whispered and came out of the restaurant but kept on saying “Boy Borde, Angel Borde! ”