The world might not see such an all-round sporting day ever again
What an astonishing and sparkling sporting day the last Sunday was. It will go down in the annals of sports as one of the finest. Awe-inspiring finals of three major sports took place in the mega city of London, rightly regarded as Mecca of sports lovers. There was a whole sporting carnival taking place in London when Lewis Hamilton romped to his a record-breaking victory at Silverstone in front of the sell-out crowd of 140,000. He claimed the British Grand Prix competition with an incredible 223 points, beating Finland’s Valtteri Bottas by a fair margin who claimed 184 points.
The spiritual home of tennis centre court witnessed an astounding Wimbledon final, between the two greatest players ever to grace the game of tennis. It was an absolute nerve-wracking game where unstoppable Roger Federer lost to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after taking the game to five sets and tie-breaker.
The Wimbledon final was a test of skills, temperament and stamina. The epic contest, which is being regarded as one of the greatest ever final played in sports history, continued for 3 hours and 57 minutes; there were long rallies, never-say-die attitude of both the players; a number of flawless back-hand shots and superb serves. But in the end Djokovic clinched the second consecutive Wimbledon title -- fifth of his overall career.
But the greatest match was played at Lord’s with 30,000 witnessing two teams unwilling to give up. The final was played between two teams which had never clinched the world cup before: England and New Zealand. New Zealand scored 241 courtesy 30 extras given by England bowlers. The target seemed a modest one for England’s power-hitters but New Zealand bowers made full use of the slow pitch. Their tight line and length brought England down to 86 for 4 but marathon batting effort from Jos Butter and Ben Stokes led them to a sensational victory. They notched up a partnership of more than 100 runs. Buttler’s amazing a-run-a-ball 60 turned out to be the decisive effort.
It was after his wicket that the Kiwis got back into the game. We saw some remarkable fielding, superb batting, favour of luck (when Trent Boult’s leg touched the rope) and error of judgment (that extra run allowed by the umpire). The final had all the ingredients to prove Eoin Morgan’s statement after 2016 World T20 final loss that cricket is a cruel game. It proved to be exactly that for New Zealand. Kane Williamson, dubbed Mr Cool, won the hearts of millions through his sportsmanship.
I think standards of umpiring have been exposed in this world cup. The final result should not have been determined with the erroneous award of six runs instead of five.
People may debate forever if Lewis Hamilton is the greatest-ever Formula-1 driver of all time; if the final between England and New Zealand was the greatest cricket match of all time; whether the Wimbledon’s epic final decided by the fifth-set tie break for the first time is the greatest tennis match of all time.
But the world might not get to see such an all-round sporting day ever again. It was a day when we witnessed the brilliance of such stalwarts as Djokovic and Federer, Lewis Hamilton and Ben Stokes. For the fans, the magic of the day will never fade. The England fans will cherish this day for their entire lives as they won the cricket world cup for the first time and their racer Lewis Hamilton romped to a great victory.