Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chennai 2004 or Kolkata 2001?

This was the stadium where play was called off temperately in the 4th one dayer between India and Sri Lanka after bad light threatened to deny India another win against Sri Lanka which finally didn't happen. That was regarding the flood lights. But, this time it is regarding the day light that threatened India to compromise with a draw when victory for team India was well on the cards. With just 157 minutes of play possible, not much was expected but South Africans would be dancing the whole night with already a win in their hands. Smith will have rejoiced a lot more with his wicket not being claimed by Zaheer this time.

For a change, it was Amit Mishra who got Smith leg before with the South African captain scoring 20 runs when a 200 was expected out of him. May be that Zaheer was sick of getting Smith every time he bowled. South African batsmen could manage to score 131 runs despite losing 3 wickets and that too at regular intervals. This was far too less compared to 357 runs that they were to score in case they needed to avoid an innings defeat. But, the score was too much in the 157 minutes that was played on the day. But, the main spoilsport was of course the bad light.

With India facing summer, there should have been scorching heat and no signs of rain whatsoever. But, the height of misfortune for India demanded a dim sunlight with which the players could just manage to miss the scorching heat on the ground. This has left with South Africa to just battle it out with 7 wickets in hand and India to claim the remaining 7 wickets in case they were to assure the world of their number one test status. Still, the upper hand lies with India, given the pitch in the fifth day of a test match. But, the weather can still come in the way of Indian victory and that'll be what Smith and co. would be looking forward to.

This reminds me of the Chennai test between India and Australia, where India had lost their first test in Bangalore and had a firm grip in the 2nd test at Chennai to make the 4 match series of the Border-Gavaskar trophy 1-1 with 2 more matches to go. India did well with Anil Kumble returning with figures of 13-141 at the end of the 4th day's play and India needed 219 runs to win out of which 10 runs were already scored. But, misery stuck India when the entire 5th day was washed off by rain without a single delivery being bowled. This was the match that paved the way for Australian victory on Indian soil after 34 years. Australia later won the next test and India the 5th to make the series 1-2.

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