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Monday, July 11, 2011

The draw at Dominica and the result of 1983 at Sabina Park recalled !!

The debutant Windsor Park Stadium at Rosseau, Dominica provided some enthralling cricket and the last day was absorbing albeit it was a no result in the end !

At the end of day 4, it looked that only one Team had a chance and that was India.  West Indies were ahead by 84 runs with only 4 wickets at hand – a good bowling attack would have steam rolled past the tail setting up an easy target.

But that was not to be – primarily due to Shivnaraine Chanderpaul and some lacklustre bowling.  By first drinks, they crawled to 256 losing two – still Indians had a fair chance.  For the 9th wicket Chanderpaul added more than 50 with Fidel Edwards and finally folded up at 322  - that last 4 wickets could not be cleaned up speaks volume of the efficacy of the Indian bowling attack.  Munaf is hailed as a corridor bowler and a tough customer – he has been retained at a time when Ishant has done so well and was the Man of the Series, Zaheer and Sreeshant have come back for England, Praveen kumar also bowled well – but Munaf is in for the England tour and in the two full innings, he managed a meaningless one wicket…………..  and why Indians did not go all out to chase 180 in 49 overs is mystery !! 

There was no chase and when Indians started, Abhinav Mukund went cheaply, Murali Vijay and Dravid grappled – India’s first 50 came in 97 balls and the second wicket in a ball less.  At drinks, Indians were 94/3  and match meandered to a draw.  In the first innings there was a comical dismissal that of VVS Laxman – he got out to a less than ordinary delivery of Chanderpaul, who reportedly has not bowled for years together.

Shivnaraine Chanderpaul is worth his salt when it comes to saving test as he proved it once again.  He has an ungainly stance, helmeted, puts anti-glare stickers near his eyes, not so neat looking stance, no great footwork – never looks a compact batsman and has a limited array of strokes but is very difficult to dislodge.. he is a genuine team man having played under 11 captains and relishes the company of tail enders as this century also certified.

The Indians gave up the chase so easily and for us, the way lost way back in 1983 came to mind. 

It was the First Test under the captaincy of mercurial Kapil Dev and it was played at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica between 23rd – 28th Feb 1983 – it had a rest day and no play was possible on the 4th day.

The player who had made bucketful of runs at WI – Sunil Gavaskar failed cheaply and from 127/7,  Indians could post 251 mainly because of the excellent innings of Yahspal Sharma (63)  and the unlikely hero Balwinder Singh Sandhu who made 68.    WI could be restricted to 254 with Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri taking 4 apiece.  Srinivasan Venkatraghavan made a comeback after may years. 

In the second essay, Gavaskar went for a duck and match was petering out to be a draw as at tea they were 168 for 6 – a lead of 165 with 4 wickets in hand.  The first over after tea was dramatical as Andy Roberts bowling with fury dismissed Kirmani, Sandhu and Venkat and a couple of overs thereafter cleaned Maninder Singh.

West Indies  needed 172 in the last session and any team would have played for a draw with perhaps openers making some merry – but what followed was massacre.  Haynes started with 34 off 21 and Richards virtually bludgeoned the bowling.  He made 61 off 35 balls with 5 fours and four huge sixes.  In the end it was massacre with 173 scored in 25.2 overs @ 6.82 runs per over. The match had perhaps ended long back but that one over Andy Roberts after tea and one brilliant innings of Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards dramatically changed the result.  Kapil Dev bowled manfully with figures of 13-0-73-4 which would have been good under any other circumstances…..

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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