Tuesday, October 5, 2010

India wins Mohali Test - What a match it was !!!!

This morning when I mailed my friends, the situation was glum – India requiring 216 to win, were tottering at 55/4 with Sachin and nightwatchman Zaheer playing. Laxman reportedly was down with a back spasm. I had written
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The real cricket – Test match is always most interesting and the Mohali Test is intriguingly poised. What will happen to Border Gavaskar Trophy Test no. 1972 at Mohali, Chandigarh is in the minds of all cricket fans.


When half the team was back at 222, Indians allowed Aussies tail to wag and reach 428, and from a position of 354/4, folded to 405 giving a slender lead of 23. Shane Watson was going great guns, hitting all over the park and at 87 without loss, perhaps things did not look bright. One good spell of Ishant changed the scenario. Cheteshwar Pujara made his presence felt with a good reflex catch and the good bowling performance ensured that Aussies were all out for 192 setting a target of 216.


Looks measly and Indians should have coasted to a win - Gambhir was done by an awful leg before decision by Bowden. Dhoni received one in his first when the replays revealed that the catch at slip was not clean. The umpiring of Ian Gould and Billie Bowden has not exactly been of a high standard. But all that have to be accepted. Now on the final day, plenty remains to be done. As has happened in the past, India looks to the little maestro to complete a grand victory for us. Apart from the historic 406 chase at Port of Spain in 1976 when Sunil Gavaskar and Vishwanath scored centuries, there have been some good chases in the recent past ; 387/4 at Chennai on 11th Dec 2008 against England remain etched in memory.


Indians were not very happily placed with the loss of 4/55 had done enough damage. Still Sachin is playing and that provides more than a glimpse of hope. Remember that recently good innings by Sachin and great one from Laxman ensured successful chase of 258 at Colombo this year.


When India completes a successful chase, it would be their fourth highest successful chase in India. Well, the target is small, the nightwatchman Zaheer is already back, there is bounce but we still have great hopes.


Cricket is a great leveller and many a times, past performances and records alone do not guarantee a certain verdict.


So what is your bet ? An Indian win ……………………..
 

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It was indeed a nail biting cliffhanger. It could not have got closer - Zaheer got out to Hauritz in the morning. Sachin and Laxman played positively and runs were trickling. A good catch at gully ended Sachin’s stay for 38 – certainly not good enough to win a test. Worst was to follow with Dhoni and Harbhajan leaving in quick succession.
At 124 for 8, when Ishant walked in, only the bravest of the Indian supporter would have spoken of an Indian win. 92 was needed at that stage.


Ishant exhibited commendable patience and grit while partnering Laxman, scored 31 crucial runs and took India painfully closer. Another wrong decision of Ian Gould ended his tenure and 11 needed of the last wicket – it appeared that it might be a cruel end for all the fight.


Many would have struggled to control their heart pulses – pragyan Ojha stood by Laxman who took India home. The final scores are : Aus: 428 & 192 Ind: 405 & 216/9 - most importantly, India is 1 up and have retained the Gavaskar Border trophy.


Regards - Sampathkumar

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