7 April 2010

A match I would have loved to watch

29th Jan - 1st Feb 2006

Pakistan v India, 3rd test

Dravid wins the toss and fields, there is a little bit of green on the pitch.

Pakistan 1st innings:

0.4 Salman (0) out, bowled by Pathan caught by Dravid
0.5 Younis (0) out, lbwed by Pathan
0.6 Yousuf (0) out, bowled by Pathan

Irfan Pathan becomes only the second Indian in the history of the game to achieve a hat-trick. And Pakistan are three down after one over. Cringe time.

5.2 Faisal Iqbal walks for 5 after inspecting the perforation of his pad, which has been caused by Zaheer Khan.
9.5 Afridi (10) falls, Khan is the sniper once again. 
10.3 Farhat edges RP Singh to Dhoni, he has managed to collect 22 and to outlive the five others, for 10 shaky overs at least.

Kamran enters the arena. The match calms down, but only in terms of flying wickets. Kamran has a strong drive to the boundary. He is partnered by Abdul Razzaq.

36.6 Razzaq's innings ends on 45 (7x4) as he exposes his pad to RP Singh.

Shoaib Akhtar comes in, determined to contribute.

56.2 The party is over. Kamran (113) has to walk, he has saved the face of his country, Dhoni collects Pathan with a nice dive and puts an end to the fun.

Asif comes in to live a short life.

59.4 Asif says o hai - o bai, the duck is handed over by RP Singh and VVS Laxman at second slip.
60.1 Lone fighter Shoaib (45) walks the way of all mortals, Pathan bags another one as the ball lands in Yuvraj's hands. Dani stands unbeaten on... umm... 0.

Pakistan are all out for 245. So far, so Pak.


India 1st innings

3.2 Dravid (3) out! Kamran happily accepts a beautiful gift, handmade and wrapped by Mo Asif.
4.3 Sehwag leaves the hall! Shoaib Akhtar denies him the 6th run and Kamran agrees!

Sachin and Laxman are now doing their best to take roots. Sachin goes for a handful of boundaries.

11.6 The end of Laxman (19)! Asif takes a mighty good gulp of his wonder water and gets the lax man with a stunner.
12.4 Sachin's gloriole falls off his head as he gets locked in by a Razzaq delivery after just 23 runs! Clonk goes the leg stump.

Yuvraj and Ganguly are trying to get some calm in, while keeping the scoreboard ticking. But all good things come to an end.

29.3 Ganguly (34) edges Razzaq into the open, Asif in the deep confirms the reception of the parcel.

Dhoni comes to the rescue! He thinks.

34.5 Yuvraj (45) feels a muffled thud on the pad as the air starts to smell of happy Asif. One of these eight 4s must have been bad.
35.1 Dhoni has to catch the bus! There was only just enough time for 13 runs. Razzaq and Kamran sell him the ticket.

The tail is in. But so is the night.

42.4 The first blood of the day is dripping from Kumble's shin. Shoaib finds that Anil's 8th run should be the one back to the dressing room.

Pathan knows the shop's closing, and tries to grab everything in reach.

53.4 Afridi (yes he is playing) tells Pathan (40) in his cordial manner that he is blocking his sight. Yousuf underlines it with a well-measured catch.
54.1 Khan (21) surrenders to the combined charm attack of Asif and Kamran.

India have accumulated 238 runs in their first innings. The scores are almost level, anything goes from here. That's been some steaming hot action so far, but now (!) it is getting interesting!


Pakistan 2nd innings


24.1 Oh! A wicket! Salman (53) was allowed to complete his 50 at about one boundary per over (10x4). Ganguly find this pace inappropriate and acts.

Younis pops in for a visit.

27.4 Poor Farhat (57) is aching. He can't be without Salman and entrusts his wicket to Pathan, after Sachin's safe hands convince him that he should mourn in private.

Yousuf has started to air his emerging beard out.

Chhrrrzzz....chrrrzzzzz... chrzzzzzz...

Good night everybody. (Pak are at 173-2 after 39 ov. )

Good morning everybody.

Chhrrrzzz....chrrrzzzzz... chrzzzzzz...

 67.6 Kumble sends a ball-shaped probe to Younis' shin and finds out that Younis isn't safe out here with this old pad. Younis nods knowingly, with 77 to his name including 11 boundaries.

Faisal Iqbal leaves his cave and winks into the sunlight.

77.1 Kumble the scientist sends out another probe! Yousuf doesn't like result, especially as he is on 97. But the probe doesn't lie, you won't get a pat if you bat with a bad pad.

Afridi comes in and immediately starts to Rock'n'Roll, but Kumble and Sachin are squeezing the air out of the batters, until Afridi can't hold his horses anymore and fires the cannons.
The 95th over reads: Pathan to Afridi 1,3(Iqbal),4,4,6,0.
He tries the trick in the next over again, this time with Yuvraj. (...), 4,4...OUT:

95.6 Afridi mistimes the pull, hits it up in the air and finds the aforementioned safe hands of Sachin. A predictable Afridi dismissal. But Pakistan have already  reached 402-4!

Razzaq and Iqbal are sharing the attention of the bowlers now. After settling in they give Pathan, Sachin and Kumble some fist to smell. The ball flies for six multiple times before stumps. The new day begins the way the old one ended, the batsmen let it rip whenever possible, the captain bears a declaration in mind and needs some more quick runs now. The bell tolls after 12 overs:

139.4 Iqbal has to go after doing a great job (139) for his team. Khan and Tendulkar collaborate. This innings makes me want to have a closer look at his stats, something I haven't deemed necessary so far.

140.1 The good Razzaq has to make way, undeservedly on 90. He forwards Kumble to Yuvraj at long-on.

Kamran looks disappointed as he hasn't even got off the mark, but Younis' lucky number is 599, so he declares right away.  

607 is the goal for India. They have a strong batting line-up and Pakistan gathered 599 at the expense of just 6 lives, the wicket has obviously lost its initial demons. One should think.


India 2nd innings

0.5 Dravid edges Shoaib to the keeper. He obviously thinks that 2 runs are an appropriate contribution to the aim of 607.
1.3 Sehwag stands and stares in horror as he sees Dravid trotting off. Asif takes his chance. India get 4 runs from Sehwag, nothing more. 

Sachin and Laxman are now planning how to make a double each.The plan seems to work for a while.

12.1 But Asif shows no mercy. 'Vivious' Laxman (21) opens the gate, Asif walks through and takes the middle stump with him on his way.

Ganguly seeks to put out the fire.

16.3 Sachin (26) sits in his Tendulcar and takes a ride to the dressing room! Asif's third removal!

Yuvraj comes in and immediately starts to go hard at Razzaq, it's hailing fours. But Pakistan aren't going to take any prisoners now.

36.1 Razzaq gets his revenge, Ganguly departs via lbw for a meagre 37.

Yuvraj is still alive though. Dhoni enters. But Razzaq has tasted blood.

46.6 Dhoni edges Razzaq to Nearshoe at second slip! Just 18 runs from the keeper.

Razzaq is getting into a frenzy, he refuels his flame thrower quickly and...

48.6 ...takes Pathan on 4, Iqbal at gully collects the remains!

Intimidated India gave up early, stubborn Yuvraj is the only fighter. And he still lives! But his partners are dying like flies.

51.3 Dani gets a wicket! Whoohoo! Spinner takes spinner, Kumble waddles off for 5 after Farhat collects the prize.

Yuvraj keeps living while he sees another comrade sink to the ground.

55.6 Zaheer Khan (10) waves the white flag, as Dani windmills him out of the ground with a direct hit.

58.4 Razzaq fires a last time and fells the resistant Yuvraj (122), the taste of revenge sweet on his lips; Kamran picks up the edge.

Pakistan win by 341 runs. Sensational.  And it won't happen again so soon :(

Younis wasn't too unlucky losing the toss and batting third again. This killer innings broke India's will. India's lack of faith in themselves is a bit shocking though. Maybe the Karachi crowd distracted them a little. Pakistan bowled exceptionally well and showed teeth with the bat.

But here comes the best bit... enjoy Mo Asif going rampant!


Maz said...

Great memories Wes......... :))))))))))

What a game that was!!

Pakistan rocked and somehow won from 39-6... heroical stuff from our lads...

Eventful test cricket indeed!!

Rishabh said...

I think this was the last match where Irfan Pathan had decent pace, or swing that lasted more than 2-3 overs, he's spiralled since than!

Such a frustrating match, I remember watching it almost entirely in my school library instead of studying :P

Your first-over hattrick is kinda inaccurate though, Salman's is correct, but Younis was lbw and Yousuf bowled. Seen it too many times to forget! :P

Wes said...

Maz, yes I was amazed only reading it. Hopefully some time in the future Pakistan will win by such an enormous margin again.

Rishi sry dunno how this could happen, I'd checked it twice and thrice. Corrected. :)

greyblazer said...

Great blog. After making use of the initial seam movement on offer the Indian bowlers perhaps lacked the penetration and the batting line-up too was more unpredictable at that time.

In the end Akmal and the superior bowling attack of Pak. helped them to win the match.

Suhas said...

One of the great games of the modern era, and it was a bitter pill to swallow if you were an Indian watching it. Greyblazer's right, the support bowling for Pathan was a little predictable and hittable ..Zaheer was unfit and down on pace, RP Singh was pretty flat too... and Akmal got away. Also, Asif's bowling was terrific and always a threat - not unlike Glenn McGrath at his sharpest.

India were in a real selection hole before this game. Ganguly had just been replaced as captain a few tests earlier, and most people felt he didn't deserve his place on batting form. They controversially played him at number 6 anyway, but it meant an opener had to be sacrificed..and we saw Dravid and VVS opening the innings at various points in that series, which cost India eventually.

Wasim said...

The sad part is that the team minus Shoaib Akhtar is still more or less the same yet we haven't been able to win any test series in last three years.

Pakistan needs another wicket taking bowler like Akhtar, I think he has won us the most test matches in the last decade than any other player, we can hope that Aamer will improve as a test bowler in a year or so and will fill the void left by Aktar, but the main problem is batting, we over extended the test career of Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan,Imran Farhat and a few others, the selectors have been consistently ignoring some really good batsmen since last four years.

Wes said...

Hello Wasim, and as long as Pakistan keep scheduling "home series" in the UAE they will also be without Asif. For example later this year against South Africa. Aamer needs to watch his body. I think he is a little frail. What you say in the last sentence touches those inner matters of the PK cricket administration again and can't be changed soon I think.

Wasim said...

You are right WES somethings can never change, unforunately they are deeply rooted in the culture. Asif for sure will miss out against SA if that series happens, Shoaib Akhtar is making a come back, he is going to play in the pentangular cup if he is in good shape then Pakistan will have nothing to worry.

As regards Aamer I think he is getting stronger we shouldn't forget that he is under 20, I am more worried about Umar Gul who is slowly fading away.

st1ng said...

Great blog Wes. Glad you posted the link on Suhas' blog. Will be back more often. And yeah no comments on this particular game - it certainly was a super match; but as an Indian, frustrating is an understatement!

Wes said...

Thank you st1ing, welcome :)

Wasim are you sure Aamer is under 20, I have heard a lot of funny things about Pakistan cricketers and their official age (vs. the biological one), also about Aamer :P