Friday, February 19, 2010

Re-defining thriller

By the way, what is the exact definition of thriller? Atleast, in cricketing terms, thriller refers to a match that was won by a team despite the opposition threatening to close in. But, in the second test between India and South Africa, India won convincingly by an innings and 57 runs that was far ahead of the innings + 6 run victory that South Africa took home in the 1st test at Nagpur. So, here came the other definition of thriller wherein India despite managing an upper hand in the game had to wait upto 15 minutes before the umpires would have called it all over.

There was no chance of South Africa either winning the match or the match ending in a draw with a minimum of 357 runs to be scored and to have saved atleast 1 wicket at the end of the day that would have also been the end of the match. Hashim Amla did stay at the crease threatening to pull back but not without the aid of the the bad light that had its say on the fourth day of the test match which lasted just 157 minutes. Extras recorded the 2nd best score of the innings with 35 of them being bowled by the Indian bowlers. Kallis, Prince, Duminy, de Villiers and Smith all could manage just above 20s with a hundred being required off them.

It was fantastic to see Hashim Amla's wicket not being able to be taken by any Indian bowler including Harbhajan Singh. Finally, India had to choose the other way of getting back to the game by cutting the tree ( with its roots firmly held by Hashim Amla at one end) from the branches. In this context, India failed miserably. One need not specially highlight the centuries scored by Hashim Amla in all the three innings that he played. However, would have Amla been able to do the same had the 4th day's play not been washed off? Amla batted for more than 8 hours of the day which justifies the man of the series given to him.

But, in no way was Amla eligible for the man of the match when there were the likes of Harbhajan Singh who picked up 5 wickets in the 2nd innings and 3 in the first. There were Sehwag and Laxman who notched up important half centuries without which the game would not have seen this result. Moreover, it was India who won the match and a man of the match award should have been an Indian and not from the losing team. It was the blunder created by the rest of the South African batsmen than Amla single handedly batting his innings. It is just foolish for a player from team that has sufferred an innings defeat to be given the man-of-the-match award.

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