Watch this finish from the India vs Bangladesh World T20 2016. Simple equation: Bangladesh needs 2 runs of 3 balls, and India needs to avoid it from happening. But instead of just snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, India takes 3 wickets of the 3 balls. In other words, snatches food from Bangaldesh’s esophagus and then chokes it to death. A bit too harsh? Perhaps. But how else does a neutral observer puts it into words.
Skip to 2:33 and watch-
What seemed to be cakewalk for Bangladesh, and a dull performance from India in a home World Cup came alive from ball 19.4 onwards. Everything that needed to be right and fall into place for India, fell into place-
– A good death overs bowler
– Batsmen losing composure from the adrenaline rush of touching distance of defeating a superior (on ICC rankings) team
– The bowler bowling as per the field that is set
– The batsmen taking the aerial route
– The fielders managing to take the catches offered
– And, a cool calm captain having experienced similar situations in the past
But, remember, this is a post-match analysis. Hindsight offers a luxury foresight doesn’t.
Now, if there was a quizzing equivalent of such a victory, I witnessed it recently. It will go down in the annals of quizzing history as an ‘I was there’ moment. And, personally, I am so glad it wasn’t recorded on camera. It is a victory that excites you initially and makes you craving for the right words to describe it. But when the cows come home, it leaves you feeling sorry for the team that lost.
Cutting to the chase- (I will refrain from taking names of the teams involved)
After the prelims, a quiz with 6 teams on stage. 3 rounds in the quiz. Scores after round 2: Team E- 85, Team A- 46, Team C- 35 and other teams some points behind. The quiz was heading for a tame affair with an easy victory for Team E. So the story begins with 4 Qs remaining in the quiz. The pattern: Each team bids for an upcoming question by looking at the topic 20/-10, 10/-5 or 5/0. If they don’t answer, it is open on the buzzer for other teams. Scores before the final 4 questions: Team E- 105, Team A: 46, Team C- 35. Question for Team A- “We want a 5 pointer”, question was answered, Team A now on 51. Now the next question was for Team E. Team E and Team A, both belong to the same organization. Team E has the option of giving Team C an opportunity of overtaking Team A (by opting for a 20 pointer and not answering, thus giving Team C a chance on the buzzer to overtake Team A). But even after doing an audience poll and other such drama of giving Team C a chance, quite expectedly, Team E ignores the popular voice and opts for a 5 pointer thus eliminating Team C from the game and ensuring the Top-2 spots go to their organization. The question, as it happened, was unanswered by Team E, Team C by then had shut their minds as they were out of the game, so Team A seized the opportunity and hit the buzzer to answer correctly. Scores before the final 2 questions : Team A- 56, Team E: 105.
Now Team A, after mentioning umpteen times during the quiz that they had no hope of overtaking Team E and would just want to play safe, decided to take the bull by its horns and opt for a 20 pointer.
“Monopsony” Team A answered correctly for a 20 pointer.
Scores before the final question: Team A- 76, Team E: 105.
Now, it was Team E who had to bid. Since previously they ignored the audience and opted for a 5 this time they decided to oblige them as the audience continued to nurdle Team E to opt for a 20. This is when everybody, including Team E, forgot Mathematics was playing this game too (like South Africa against Sri Lanka in 2003, cricket reference #2). Team E acknowledged the audience and went for a 20 pointer. And missed! “That’s a -10 for Team E”. (Scores: Team A- 76, Team E: 95) “Well, that’s it ladies and gentleman.. Wait.. hold on a sec, Team A has hit the buzzer. Right then Team A, your answer?”
“Harrison Ford, Indian Jones”
“WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED? Would you believe it? Team A has drowned the unsinkable, overcome the insurmountable, summited the unscalable.”
Silence engulfed the auditorium as it dawned on everybody that Team A had just scaled Mt Everest with a sprint. In a matter of 4 questions, Team A moved from 46 to 96 and Team E slid from 105 to 95.
For all the brilliance that was on display by Team E, counting the chickens before they hatched proved to be too costly. And for Team A, who had a decent outing till before the final 4 questions but nothing worthy of writing about, had a sudden change in fortune as they happened to be the only ones who knew all the answers in the final stretch of the quiz. Apparently, saari qaayanaat conspired to ensure all questions would somehow reach them.
And then people ask “why do you quiz?”