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Osman Samiuddin and Anand Vasu in Kolkata
March 18, 2005
The twilight twist
With gloom settling in and bad light almost certain to be offered, enter India's favourite umpire, celebrating his 100th test. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were in the midst of a rescue act, quickly transforming into a match-turning one. Tendulkar had just completed his half-century, with a rasping square-drive off Abdul Razzaq.
Razzaq, in the middle of a disciplined and varied spell, started testing Tendulkar with short balls. In his next over, the first ball was again short, it went past Tendulkar's outside edge and swung away after going past his bat. As replays confirmed, the ball missed the outside edge by some distance. Kamran Akmal dived to take the catch and appealed meekly, as did Razzaq, protractedly. Nothing came from Steve Bucknor, Tendulkar moved away from the crease and as Razzaq's appeal withered, Bucknor suddenly raised his finger. Tendulkar jumped as if facing another short ball, stunned, Pakistan went ecstatic and the match took, on a day of twists, one final controversial one. A case perhaps for offering light to the umpire?
The Golden Arm
Younis Khan drove a full one back past Lakshmipathy Balaji and hared off down the pitch. Sourav Ganguly from mid-off and Sachin Tendulkar from mid-on gave chase, and Ganguly pulled the ball up just before the ropes. Tendulkar received the flick, and threw the ball to the longest distance on a ground that is acres big. The ball thudded into Dinesh Karthik's gloves at the far end, and he had the bails off before Asim Kamal got back for the third run. Tendulkar's throw was just another reminder of the man's presence of mind and his sheer natural ability on a cricket field.
Osman Samiuddin is a freelance writer based in Karachi. Anand Vasu is an assistant editor of Cricinfo.
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