As someone said, this was the Mahabharat of the World Cup (between estranged cousins) and as we head for the the Ramayana or the final with Sri Lanka in Mumbai, it is time to relive the match with the tweets of someone who was clearly the celebrity tweeter of the day.
Like many in India, Pakistan and abroad, the Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also clearly spent the day glued to his TV set, watching the India-Pakistan semi-final at Mohali. Not only that, he also kept a running commentary going throughout the match, as he confirmed to a followe who asked during his many tweets:
- @shivamthinks very much in Jammu glued to my TV at home.
When the match started, the CM was philosophical:
- Which jinx ends today? India has never won a CWC Semi in the sub-continent & Pakistan has never beaten India in a CWC match.
And also commented on the Indian team selection of Ashish Nehra in place of the impressive spinner Ravichandran Ashwin:
- Wow, not a single "expert" who believes going with 3 seamers was the right choice for India. Gotta admire Dhoni's guts. about 8 hours ago via SimplyTweet
And when Sehwag and Sachin provided a fine start, and then Gambhir steadied the innings after Sehwag's superb cameo:
- Drinks break. Wow, what a heart stopping first 14 overs. And where are all those celebrities the media told us about?????
- Anyway enough of Twitter for now. I'll come back after the match if I'm not back during the interval. Have a good match tweeple.
When a prominent TV journalist tweeted:
- One could sense Manmohan Singh’s sense of satisfaction at a creative initiative that has gone rather well
he perhaps spoke for the aam cricket fan by responding:
- @BDUTT I can't believe you are lucky enough to be in the stadium & you are more interested in the two PMs. Change places with me please :-D
in response to which another TV journalist tweeted:
- @abdullah_omar Mnwhile, since both of us are at work, why dont you join us on the 9pm news.. on just cricket without the diplomacy
@abdullah_omar You should have flown down on the pretext of representing the Kashmiri voice:-)
to which he replied:
@soniandtv and make the process tri-lateral? Not likely. Your lot seems to be having fun there :-)
He also took a crack at the local boy Yuvraj Singh who got bowled off the very first ball he received:
- Local hero my butt. He spent more time putting on his pads than he did using them.
One of his followers tweeted back, with a reference to a brand Yuvraj endorses:
- He didnt take Revital today :)
To which Abdullah replied:
@Dharmuneeb ha ha ha, unless he takes 5 of the top order wickets Ranbaxy will burn that add in a large bonfire.
But later, when Yuvraj's turn came to bowl, Abdullah quickly tried to make amends for his earlier indiscreetness:
- Now for the poor local hero to pull something back and do his magic with the ball. If he does I promise to say sorry for earlier tweet here.
And later when he did end up with two wickets and decent figures, Abdullah was reminded about this:
- @abdullah_omar I guess you will have to start preparing to apologize Yuvi. :-)
The CM was quick:
- @ahangal I have it ready & waiting to be issued. Will wait for his spell to end.
And sure enough he soon tweeted:
- Yuvraj Singh I'm sorry for my dig at your batting. You more than made up with the ball. Hat's off to you dude. :-)
When someone tweeted:
- @abdullah_omar Yuvi read your tweet and is out to prove you wrong!!!
The CM shot back:
- @rachittiwari I have absolutely no problem with being proved wrong.
He also had some comments on Sachin Tendulkar being repeatedly dropped by the Pakistanis
- LOL RT @sabharim: @abdullah_omar Enough is enough, I think Sachin should "walk" on next drop catch now ;)
- @sabharim: that was another drop. Seems he isn't checking your tweets out there. Should we ask the 12th man to carry your message???
- RT @Mehmal: Another dropped catch? Okay Sachin, pliss to make your 100th century and then get out. Thank you :p
- Ooooooooooops. Well Afridi said he wouldn't allow Sachin's 100th century & he wasn't wrong.
Abdullah was quite upset with Indian batting and all the commentator's predictions and came up with exactly what was on the minds of most fans:
- Why is it every time the commentary box says india is aiming for 350+ we struggle to get to the high 200s?????
And then, later, he answered his own question:
- @hinnac isn't it obvious. We do our best NOT to live up to predictions.
And when the captain came in to bat and did not exactly set the ground on fire, the J&K CM tweeted:
- Need to see the Dhoni of old now not the new sober captain of these days.
Soon enough, Dhoni was out, and a follower tweeted:
- Omar, you're jinxing the match! You mention Sachin and he goes out. Then you mention Dhoni & he's out. Don't mention these 2
And he tweeted back, ever aware of the sort of followers he has:
- @hinnac thanks Hinna now the nut jobs will blame me for all that has gone wrong :-S
The CM was also following the tweets of some of the Pakistani journalists and retweeting words of advice:
- RT @Mehmal: Dear Lala, pliss not to give the last over to Gul. Plisss #Afridi #indvspak
When India finished at 260, the CM had some more gems to offer:
- RT @fakingnews: We restricted Australia to 260. If Nehra can bowl a bit of spin, we can win this.
Suresh Raina was asked about the score and whether it was adequate and whether India would miss Ahswin's spin, to which the confident youngster replied that yes, the pitch was helping the spinners and: "I am there" which won him many admirers, including the CM:
- I absolutely agree RT @sidin: Raina just completely won my respect. Completely. Did you hear that answer?
In between, for his earlier response to Barkha Dutt about being more interested in the PMs and not in Cricket, he had been dubbed the sexiest Indian politician on twitter by some of his women followers, which he seems to have noticed but had refrained from commenting on. Later, when one of them tweeted something about a Pakistani cricketer, he responded:
- LOL. And for that earlier endorsement, thanks :-) RT @priyaramani: Wahab Riaz is quite nice #justsaying
The CM also kept up with interacting with his followers by retweeting and responding:
- RT @junaidmattu: Agra Mental Assylum - Official Sponsor of the Pallu Scoop on Wide Ball. #hafeez about 2 hours ago via SimplyTweet
- :-) RT @priyaramani: Maiden over, that's something to cheer #tweetlikeBrijnath
He also had advice for some TV journos commenting on the ad-breaks eating into the Cricket telecast:
- @priyaramani get the HD set box of TATA Sky and watch that. No ad breaks at all.
And when someone told him in response:
- Dear Sexy Politician, Stop flirting #kthnxbai RT @abdullah_omar: @priyaramani get HD set box of TATASky and watch that. No ad breaks at all.
he was quick:
@BPOkarmchari @priyaramani wow, if discussing Tata Sky is your idea of flirting you don't get out much do you :-D a
In between, other things intruded:
- Obviously militants couldn't care less for cricket diplomacy. They just shot & killed the Halqa President of NC in Tral. Injured the wife.
But the CM was back in good humour, with India's fortunes looking up:
- RT @nidhi_razdan: A distinguished commentator just informed us : "this is a huge game".
And he was appreciative of fine performances:
- Nehra turned out 2 B a bit of inspired captaincy on the part of Dhoni. Amazing how many experts called that 1 wrong. Lots of humble pie.
And when a concerned follower asked about Pakistan skipper:
- What Afridi will do? He will get hot welcome from Pak Peoples..let's save him, he is great cricketer not like Ponting!
The CM was very sportsmanlike:
- @DHHANAJIMULIK he's been a very good captain and his team should be welcomed with the respect they deserve.
On Indian victory, he was content to retweet:
- RT @nidhi_razdan: really great game by Pakistan!
- RT @junaidmattu: Well played India. Great captaincy and good cricket all round. A very well deserved win. :)
Meanwhile, he kept up his banter with a young Pakistani journalist:
- @Mehmal you are one of the most sporting people I have had the pleasure of following on Twitter.
And when she replied:
- @abdullah_omar thanks Omar :) would've loved to win this but challo kya karein. Aapki team ne jeetna tha :) Mubaarik ho :D
- @Mehmal now cheer for us in the finals.
At which point, someone told him:
- @abdullah_omar wud u pls shut the fuck up!! Psuedo indian fan!
But the CM was not to take it lying down, cattily referring to her profile picture
- @KahkashanAfrinn wow you live up to your DP.
A follower advised him:
- @abdullah_omar ur tweets can trigger unrest , so stop :p
To which his response was:
- @1ShahidHussain take a leaf out of Shahid Afridi's words after losing. A graceful & sporting acceptance & a lesson to many.
He finally stopped with:
- After an excellent few hours of cricket tomorrow is another full day of work so g'nite all.
And when someone asked him:
- @abdullah_omar last question...wat was the most exciting momet...other than the last ball....
His response was:
- @upmita Sehwag's cameo.