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December 26, 2001

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The Lagaan team's winning streak continues

Bharati Dubey and Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai

Lagaan "I want to clean bowl Bhuvan (Aamir Khan)," says a confident Mona Iqbal (28).

"I want to hit a sixer on Aamir Khan's bowling," adds Nisarg Ajay Kumar Vakharia, not wanting to be outdone.

The enthusiasm at the Britannia Lagaan cricket match held at Brabourne stadium in Mumbai is infectious.

Thirteen lucky winners have converged on Mumbai to face the might of Aamir's Lagaan XIII on December 25.

The Players:

The Britannia-Lagaan Cricket match Britannia's XIII (13 lucky winners):
Rajesh Kumar Agarwal (Bihar), 28
Rukmini Basu (Kolkata), 18
Sudip Basu (Bhubaneshwar), 30
Rajesh Das (Guwahati), 11
Hardik Modi (Ahmedabad), 21
Nisarg Ajay Kumar Vakharia (Nagpur), 17
Haria Parin (Mumbai), 17
Sudesh Shandilya (Bhopal), 34
Reema Primel (Mangalore), 26
Sripad Puranik (Hyderabad), 27
Rakesh Sharma (Jaipur), 40
Mona Iqbal (Uttar Pradesh), 28

Aamir's XIII (Cast of Lagaan):
Yashpal Sharma (Lakha)
Amin Hajee (Bagha)
Raj Zutshi (Ismail)
Akhilendra Mishra (Arjan)
Rajesh Vivek (Guran)
Aamir Khan (Bhuvan)
Amin Gazi (Tipu)
Pradeep Rawat (Deva)
Sri Vallabh Vyas (Ishwar Kaka)
Daya Shankar Pandey (Goli)
Raghuveer Yadav (Bhura)
Aditya Lakhia (Kachra)
Ashutosh Gowrikar (Director)

Although, only 11 players were supposed to play, Aamir insisted that all the 13 play the 25 over match.

Rahul Dravid at the Britannia Lagaan Match Star attractions at the stadium included Sourav Ganguly (Captain of the Indian cricket team), Rahul Dravid, (Vice Captain of the cricket team) and commentators Navjot Singh Sidhu, Maninder Singh and Dalip Tahil.

Aamir Khan, who has just returned from Los Angeles after a month was seen practicing with the Lagaan team for the past two days in Mumbai to ensure that they had a fair chance in winning the match.

The Lagaan team wins the toss and decides to field, putting the Britannia Tigers to bat first.

The field placement of the Lagaan XIII has Isar Kaka behind the wickets and Deva opening the bowling. The only change in the Lagaan team is that now Bhuvan and Ismail wear shoes.

Virendra Sehwag and Shishir Hattangdi are the two guest umpires. Bhuvan makes changes the field placements: Isar Kaka is shifted to mid-on while Kachra is given the responsibility to keep wicket.

Memebers of the Lagaan team Devaa gets Bhuvan's team the early breakthrough by taking two wickets. But it was Kachra, who helped the Lagaan XIII bowl out the Britannia Tigers for 96.

The Indian cricket captain, Sourav Ganguly, also struts in for his small stint as an umpire at the fag end of the Britannia Tigers innings.

Santosh Shetty's troupe takes to field during lunch to entertain the crowds with the numbers from Lagaan.

Post-lunch

Bhuvan and Devaa open the batting for Lagaan XIII.

Just like in the film, Devaa, got out in the first few overs. Ismail loses his balance and falls on the wickets and has to return to the pavilion for a duck.

The pressure on Bhuvan mounts. In an effort to speed-up the run rate, Bhuvan hits a few stray shots and loses his wicket for 19.

The crowd is disappointed. But Kachra, rises to the occasion and his score of 17 off 26 balls is commendable.

But, it is Ashutosh Gowarikar's director's innings that help the Lagaan team win the match.

Sourav Ganguly and Aamir Khan at The Britannia Lagaan Match Kachra is unanimously declared the man of the match.

Undoubtedly, the Britannia Lagaan Match with Aamir played to the gallery is an entertainer. He dances to the tunes of Lagaan and does a Aati kya Khandala parody much to the delight of his fans.

Photographs: Pradeep Bhandekar

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