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Monday, November 19, 2012

Will India win today at Motera - Best bowled WI to victory

The first test at Motera is interestingly ! poised and for the first time, England has the lead, though a slender one.  The first session could hold the key and if they could be shot out sooner, the chances of an Indian win does not stand extinguished thus far.  Yesterday, I saw Ashwin do yet another new trick -  what usually left arm spinners do – bowling round the wicket, running in between the Umpire and Stumps – would have written appreciating that move – but for the fact that he bowled so ordinarily yesterday, that he remains wicketless in the 2nd innings.    Some of my friends were furious in blaming Antony Hill and Aleem Dhar in not adjudging what seemingly were plumb Leg before wickets..

The LBW decisions have always been debatable – and you Umpires tend to adopt a lot defensive approach of giving out only when the ball pitches in line, not too forward and not much of movement.. I was also disappointed on Sunday when in quick succession at least 3 of what seemingly outs were negated. But Anthony Lloyd Hill  from Newzealand is in the Elite panel, having stood his first game in Mar 1998 and Aleem Sarwar Dar,  a retired Pakistani first-class cricketer and a member of the ICC Elite umpire panel have been there for long.  It was a time, when we started thinking whether India was right in rejecting outright the UDRS.   As you would know, the  Umpire Decision Review System (abbreviated as UDRS or DRS) is a new technology based system currently being used on an experimental basis in the sport of cricket. The system was first introduced in Test Cricket for the sole purpose of reviewing the controversial decisions made by the on-field umpires in the case of a batsman being dismissed or not. The new review system was officially launched by International Cricket Council on 24 November 2009 during the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at theUniversity Oval in Dunedin.  The chinks in its system was so barrenly exposed during the World Cup 2011, when again England was to gain so much.  On October 29, 2012 The International Cricket Council made amendments on LBW protocols. The margin of uncertainty applicable to the point of impact with the pad has been increased so that it is the same as provided for determining the projected point of impact with the stumps.

At Motera, Indians were on top in the first session of Sunday – but after 5 wickets fell, England skipper Cook (batting on 168) and Matt Prior (batting on 84) taught their teammates a lesson in application as England finished the day at 340/5 a lead of 10 runs with Cook still at the crease after a marathon 505-minute vigil in which he faced 341 balls.  Cooks hundred was his third against India and the 21st of his career.He also became the only cricketer to score three hundreds in his first three Tests as skipper. His other two hundreds came against Bangladesh in Chittagong and Mirpur.  The pair has already added 141 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand.   

Ashwin tried everything but remained vastly ineffective – bowled a long spell, in fact has bowled 52 overs but that single wicket remained elusive in a Test in which he became the fastest Indian bowler to complete 50 wickets.  He was no mystery and there was no mystery ball either.  Maybe,Ashwin was also guilty of trying too many things.  Indians might complain that there was not much turn from the track either. 

Elsewhere at Mirpur, a Test which was meandering to a draw was brought alive by best performance by Tino la Bertram Best, who made his test debut way back in 2003 against Australia at Bridgetown

Bangladesh undid all the hard work done by their batsmen in the first innings, and by their bowlers in the second.  In the first innings, close to 1100 runs were scored and still it contrived to provide the result.  The final score card reads a WI win by 77 runs - West Indies 527/4d & 273; Bangladesh 556 & 167 (54.3 ov).  The batsmen's capitulation came after Sohag Gazi, the 21-year old offspinner, ran through the West Indies lower order to claim 6 for 72, the best figures by a Bangladesh Test debutant. Best has all along been inconsistent – he had hustled Bangladesh in the first innings with speed, but had too often sprayed it around. The game was still even when Bangladesh went to lunch needing 200 more with eight batsmen remaining. However, Best, letting it rip with both ball and lip, came harder at Bangladesh after the break.

To recap, Kieron Powell’s 117; Chanerpaul’s 203* and Denesh Ramdin’s 126 propelled WI to 527/4 declared;  Bangladesh helped by Naeem Islam’s century, supported by Tamim Iqbal 72; Nasir Hossain 96 and Mahmudullah 62 gained lead closing at 556.  Despite Powell scoring his 2nd century of the match and his partnership with DM Bravo 76, WI were bowled out for 273.  chasing 245 on the final day – Bangladesh were all out for 167 with Best 5 and Verasammy Permaul’s 3 for helped their win. 
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
19th Nov 2012.

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