April 15, 2002

First Test ends in washed out draw

With puddles the size of little lakes all around the outfield, play was called off without a single ball being bowled on the final day. Heavy overnight rain meant that the inevitable draw came a touch earlier than looked likely. Called a 'bowler's graveyard,' 'fast-bowler's nightmare,' or a 'batsman's paradise,' the wicket at the Bourda Oval tends to produce more draws than anything else. Throw in the rain, and life becomes all the more hard.

Both teams would have been at least a touch relieved that they did not have to toil through a final day when a result was almost impossible. Rahul Dravid, however, may have liked the chance to add 6 to his overnight 144 and bring up 150. More so with Sarandeep Singh, who needed just 11 runs for a maiden Test 50. That apart, at 395 for seven, India will not be remembered as much as the home side.

The Guyanese players provided much of the action. Carl Hooper (233) with his maiden double-ton and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (140), both scored personal bests. Ramnaresh Sarwan, compact and elegant in the top-order, made a half-century.

Then, came leggie Mahendra Nagamootoo. Bowling cleverly, Nagamootoo troubled several batsmen and ended up scalping the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.

At the end of the day, both teams will come away from this match with many positives. There is everything to play for when the teams clash again at the Queen's Park Oval at Port-of-Spain in Trinidad & Tobago on Friday, April 19th. With the Guyana boys doing well in their backyard, Brian Lara will want to keep the trend going and come good at his home ground.