Today, England played Sri Lanka in a One Day International that turned out to be one of the most exciting games I have ever watched.
The Sri Lankans had a bad start losing a couple of quick wickets, but captain Angelo Matthews steadied the ship with an excellent 73 runs, balanced by an explosive 59 from just 28 balls by Prasanna.
At the end of their 50 overs, Sri Lanka finished with a score of 286-9 which was not considered enough by most observers (including me).
However, England started even worse than their opponents, losing their first six wickets for just 82 runs. Luckily, Josh Buttler (with 93 runs) and Chris Woakes (with 95 not out) made a record 7th wicket partnership of 138 to keep England in the game, though barely. When Buttler was caught at 7 for 220, followed by David Willey with the score on 235 it looked certain that Sri Lanka would win.
With just 2 overs (12 balls) left to play, England still needed 30 runs to win. Woakes and tail-ender Liam Plunkett managed to keep the score ticking over until, with one ball left, England needed a 6 (the maximum possible from a single ball) to tie — and Plunkett smashed it over the ropes to cheers all around.
It was a marvellously exciting game and a tie was a fair result in what was the first in a five-game series.
North Americans, with their minority sports of baseball, basketball, football, and hockey always require a winner, and they keep playing until that result is achieved. However, for the sports that the majority of the world watches and plays — soccer, cricket, and rugby — a tie is often an honourable and worthy end. And it certainly was a result that England will relish today after being behind for so much of the game.