Sunday, February 7, 2010


A lot happenned today. West Zone's unbelievable win in Duleep Trophy Finals and Kallis' unbelievable knock in the Battle for No. 1. I want to talk about how the day passed for me today.

0900 - Dhoni lost his third Test toss in a row and his counterpart, Smith expectedly decided to bat on a very brown pitch. But what followed next was a shock. W Saha makes his debut replacing VVS Laxman and Rohit Sharma (who also injured himself in the morning). A line up already missing out on Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh (not that he is a big loss, but still!), now misses out on VVS Laxman and also the man who was to replace him. How many more things could go wrong!

1000 - The morning started well! Zaheer Khan struck twice early and South Africa were 6 for 2. An opening spell of 6-4-2-2. Exciting stuff. A few hundred kilometers away in Hyderabad, Yusuf Pathan had also resumed his battle for West Zone and closed in on his century.

1100 - Kallis and Amla were playing sensibly. Pinal Shah was also batting sensibly with his broken finger. But Yusuf Pathan had gone mad. Maintaining a strike rate of over 100, he made the South bowlers feel helpless (not helped by the fact that their fielders had buttered their fingers instead of the toast on the breakfast table).

1200 - Lunch break scheduled to end in 10 more mins. West looking set for a win. India and South Africa even stevens though the momentum was certainly shifting towards the Proteas.

1300 - Yusuf looked set for a double hundred and a domestic match was turning out to be more interesting than a Test match between the two top nations in the world.

1400 - West Zone had completed a historic win (chasing 541 is a world record for the highest fourth innings successful run chase in first class cricket). Yusuf was 210*. Will this innings be the turning point of his career? Meanwhile, Kallis and Hashim Amla were continuing serenely, untroubled by the happenings around them.

1500 - Tea break came and went. Zaheer induced a couple of edges off Amla's bat with his reverse swing bowling. But luck was with the Proteas.

1600 - The truth is sinking in - Kallis and Amla have played faultless batting roles (Kallis - faultless; Amla - near faultless). Hats off to them, man! Even when they come against the team you support, you have no option but to appreciate strong performances such as these.

1635 - End of 1st day's play. For a change, India was ahead of the over rate and managed to get in 91 overs for the day (can they take credit of this the next time they are slow?). But the day belonged, without any doubt, to Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla... and of course, Yusuf Pathan.

A good Saturday, on the whole!

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