Monday, December 15, 2008

41 and still counting.......

Yesterday when Kevin Pietersen set India a target of 386 runs with less than four full sessions of play, the chips were definitely in favour of England.

Sehwag and Gambhir began the chase in contrasting manners. Viru played as if there were no tomorrow and it was raining boundaries. At end of play on day four India had scored 131 runs for the loss of Viru's wicket. Viru laid the foundation for a possible Indian victory with a defiant 83 of 63 balls.

On day five Dravid's misery continued as he was out for 4 runs. Sachin and Gambhir consolidated the Indian chase before Gambhir was out for 66 runs. Yuvraj came out with immense pressure on him to deliver and under Sachin's patronage he produced a wonderful knock of 85 runs of 131 balls. As the afternoon progressed and the crowd continued its support with chants of "East or west Sachin is the Best," England lost all hope of winning the match.

Sachin in an extremely sedate manner reminding me of Dravid's double ton against Australia in 2003 scored the winning runs. He hit a boundary to score 103 and complete his 41st test century. His innings holds special significance as there were no sixes at all in it. Nine boundaries but we still love him for his passion and dedication. The victory is significant as this is the fourth highest successful run chase in tests.

Dhoni's winning run continues and Sehwag won the man of the match award for his blitzkrieg-like 83. One should feel sorry for Strauss who scored centuries in both innings but still ended up on the losing side.

The second test at Mohali is evenly poised. Let us see what happens.

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