The V for Victory
If Lou Vincent and Mark Richardson prospered yesterday by swatting deliveries to midwicket and square leg constantly, Scott Styris followed a different drummer. Only the results - a century, and the highest score of his career, and yet more pressure on India - were startlingly similar.
Of Vincent's 106 runs, 52 came to midwicket and square leg, while Richardson made 54 of his 145 in the same region - percentages of 49 and 37 respectively. Styris, however, made 50 of his 119 in the V between long-off and long-on - 42 percent of his runs.
Styris played balls by constantly getting behind the line rather than alongside or far across it. That enabled him to play strokes down the ground. It also enabled him to play Anil Kumble, by far the best Indian bowler on the day, and in the Test.
On the second day, Kumble bowled an astounding 159 out of 186 deliveries on a good length - a percentage of 85.4. Little was offered that was either too full to drive through the covers or too short to cut or pull. Accordingly, Styris did neither; he just tapped it back past Kumble, and the rest, and started to run. As the scoreline testifies, it paid rich dividends.