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Sunday, September 4, 2011

the feat of Carrying the Bat through "Mawoyo" - Remembering that one of Gavaskar at Faislabad

Tinotenda Mbiri Kanayi Mawoyo is not exactly a household name but has joined the list of 47 elite batsmen, starting from AB Tancred in 1889.  The list has illustrious openers like Glenn Turner, Sunil Gavaskar, Mudassar Nazaar, Boycott, Haynes, Gooch to name a few and in this century – those in the list are : Javed Omar, Virender Sehwag, Simon Katich, Chris Gayle, Imran Farhat, Rahul Dravid and Mawoyo.   Yes it is the list of ‘batsmen who carried their bat through a completed innings’ – a remarkable feat to open the batting remaining unbeaten when 10 others fall down.. 

Mawoyo photo (courtesy : Cricinfo)

I fondly remember the occasion when an Indian first did – though that Series was a nightmare for the Team.  That was the Test at Faislabad in Jan 1983 – when India toured Pakistan with Gavaskar at the helm.  The First Test at Lahore was a honourable draw.  In the next at Karachi, Pak beat India by an innings and 86 runs. The third at Faislabad in Jan 1983 was won by Pak by 10 wickets; 4th at Sind by an Innings & 119 runs.  Indians salvaged a draw in the 5th and 6th.  Thirmalai Anandanpillai Sekar made his debut (Vengsarkar dropped 2 catches in one over of his); Mohinder remarkably made 3 centuries.  Gavaskar made only one.  Imran was at his peak taking more than 40 wickets with prodigious inswingers.

The Indians were mauled at Faislabad - Test no. 945 played at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad in Jan 1983.  The only consolation in defeat was Sunil’s 26th Test century – he equaled Gary Sobers and was hotly in pursuit of Bradman’s World record of 29 centuries.  He achieved another record – that of carrying his bat through, battling for more than 7 hours. 
Batting first India made 372  helped by Vishwanath 53; Kapil 41, Sandip Patil 84, Kirmani 66 and Madanlal 54.  Imran took 6 for 98.  Pakistan made a massive 652 with centuries by  Miandad (126), Zaheer Abbas (168), Saleem Malik (168) and Imran 117.  Kapil took 7 wickets but conceded 220 runs.

In the second essay Indians were all out for 286.  Mohinder made 78.  Gavaskar remained unbeaten on 127 facing 262 balls.  The fall of wickets would partly tell you the story :  1-27 (Arun Lal), 2-28 (Vengsarkar), 3-48 (Viswanath), 4-193 (Amarnath), 5-201 (Patil), 6-227 (Kapil Dev),7-236 (Kirmani), 8-261 (Madan Lal), 9-282 (Maninder Singh), 10-286 (Doshi)

Sehwag the most unlikely one achieved this at Galle during his great knock of 201 and Dravid did recently at Oval against England.

Mawoyo is 25 years of age and he entered this hall of fame against Pakistan in the recent Test at Bulawayo.  He played a good waiting game and frustrated the Pak bowlers exhibiting great patience and character in building an innings.  At the end of day one he had composed a patient 82 but went to grind the next day.  He faced 13 balls on 99 before bringing up his century with a single.  He ended up making 163 and helping Zimbabwe to make a good 412.
He made his debut only recently (in Aug 11) against touring Bangladesh and had an ordinary outing.  Zimbabwe won that Test but despite his heroics and good first innings score are in the danger of losing this Test as they have tumbled down in the Second essay

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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