India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata, 3rd day November 8, 2013

Ojha's knee of steel, and eagle-eyed Dhoni

N Hunter in Kolkata

The delivery
Shane Shillingford to R Ashwin. Being an offspinner himself, you would expect Ashwin to read his opponent's hand better than most. But even Ashwin was confounded by Shillingford's doosra, as he played forward to a well-flighted delivery that pitched on a length, on an off stump line, before straightening. Shillingford had bowled with a scrambled seam and imparted enough revolutions on the delivery to draw an appreciative glance from Ashwin, even as he got beaten. That it was him who eventually bowled Ashwin would have given Shillingford immense satisfaction, considering he had caused much distress to the Indian through the morning.

The no-brainer
Want to get rid of the West Indies opener? Bowl him a bouncer. If it was Kieran Powell who attempted an unnecessary pull against Mohammed Shami in the first innings, today it was the turn of his opening partner Chris Gayle to try the same against Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Gayle had got off the blocks in confident fashion. He had already hit two boundaries in that Bhuvneshwar over, the second one slipping through a closely-knit off-side cordon comprising a short-extra cover, cover and mid-off. However on the final ball of the over, Bhuvneshwar sent down a short-pitched delivery that was wide of the off stump. But Gayle quickly moved to his left and attempted a suicidal pull. It was a poor shot and Gayle realised it even before his top edge landed safely in the hands of the square-leg fielder, Virat Kohli.

Ojha knees one for four
Powell charged Pragyan Ojha, punching a powerful drive straight back at the bowler. The ball ricocheted off Ojha's bent knee and sailed through the covers. Normally you would expect the ball to stop after travelling a short distance. However, to everyone's surprise, the ball kept travelling quickly towards the ropes, forcing Sachin Tendulkar (wide mid-off) and Ashwin (deep square leg) to chase hard. The fast outfield beat the pair.

The run that wasn't
Powell pushed a fuller delivery from Ashwin into the vacant midwicket region and set off for a single confidently. However, he had to abruptly jump back into the crease because his partner, Darren Bravo, had raised the red flag straightaway. Bravo did not even take a forward step as he raised his hand to signal a firm no. Powell, annoyed, raised both his hands at missing out on what was an easy run. Perhaps Bravo was yet to recover from his run-out in the first innings, when he had attempted a careless single and was sent back by Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Llong and short shrift
Nigel Llong's decision to send Sachin Tendulkar on his way on Thursday had already caused a furore in Kolkata, the story and picture of Tendulkar walking back shaking his head splashed across the front pages. On Friday Llong backed the bowler yet again in another doubtful decision. Shami swung the ball into the back pad of Marlon Samuels and appealed for an lbw; Samuels was looking down to adjust his thigh pad when he suddenly heard the roar go up around the ground and realised he'd been given out. He stood there, stunned, and then looked towards Llong, pointing to his thigh to indicate how high the ball had hit him. Replays showed the ball would also have gone down leg.

Dhoni's eagle eye
Veerasamy Permaul would have felt the tension and nervousness as he took the guard to face his first delivery from local boy Shami. The whole of Eden Gardens cheered as one as Shami started his run-up. He had already broken through the defences of Darren Sammy and Shillingford. And when Shami successfully curved the ball in for the third time in the over, to Permaul, the crescendo rose to ear-drum busting levels. As Shami and Kolkata appealed, pleaded with, begged umpire Kettleborough to raise his finger, Permaul had moved out of his crease. One man who did not get carried away was Indian captain and wicketkeeper, MS Dhoni, who sensing an opportunity threw the ball under-arm to break the stumps and run Permaul out. Both the Indian team and Eden Gardens enjoyed a laugh as an embarrassed Permaul walked back.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on November 11, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    MoM should have been given to Aswin.. A century and 5+ wickets. Its an all-round performance. If Aswin can't hold on to his wicket Rohit would have not made a debut century. But Good thing is Aswin rose to No.1 all rounder... good

  • vaibhav on November 9, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    Haha.. irishhawks still seems to think that India are playing a one day series. Supporting gayle is fine. But its hilarious that you seem to think vinay kumar is playing tests for India.

  • irish on November 9, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Chris Gayle..On any given day he can swallow military medium lollies like Vinay kumar and almost hit them out of stadium...How can he get out attempting pull to 115 kph Vinay? We cant say pace surprised him! But Vinay Kumar save yourself if Gayle gets his timing right in next match..He can demoralise any bowler within few minutes..He is about to explode and dont try bouncer was just an odd mistake..

  • Parthiban on November 9, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    It is fitting that the match was over in 3 days. If not they would have gone through with that crass show of showering Tendulkar with 199 Kgs of rose petals. As it is this match was littered with displays of crassness to embarrass Tendulkar and thankfully it was all over before they continued with their non sense further. Did anyone see the wax statue of Tendulkar. It looked like Piyush Chawla!! Ridiculous.

  • Vinod on November 9, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    the last sentence would have been avoided - Both the Indian team and Eden Gardens enjoyed a laugh as an embarrassed Permaul walked back. definitely, i didnt see MS laugh at perumal mockingly and you have no right to embarass the indian captain or eden garden crowd by saying they laughed at the batsman. the fact is - both MS and the eden crowd were happy to get a crucial wkt as there was so sign of shiv chanderpaul getting out. it is this instinct of ms which have won a few matches when things go wrong.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    On 28th over Nigel Long didn't give Powell lbw onthe bowling of Sachin...Bowl was pitched on leg and middle and hit low on the pad..But umpire Llong gave it runs.. there was any bat on that, after seeing replays..

  • Krishnaswamy on November 9, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    In India, we forget that to win a test match, you have to take twenty wickets, in addition of scoring enough runs. We never give the bowlers their due as far as MOM is concerned. Look at the latest ODI between SA & Pak. Q d Kock of SA scored not only a century but also 42% of the team's winning total, but Dale Steyn was rightly awarded the MOM for his five wickets haul since it was the match winning performance. krish.

  • Aditya on November 9, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    "However, to everyone's surprise, the ball kept travelling quickly towards the ropes, forcing Sachin Tendulkar (wide mid-off) and Ashwin (deep square leg) to chase hard. The fast outfield beat the SLOW pair."

  • Allrounder on November 9, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    Everyone cringe about Cricket being a batsman's game, but sadly when a pace bowler takes 9 wickets in a match in which all the other seamers of both teams have failed, he does not get Man Of The Match award. No one seems to acknowledge the effort of the bowlers in unpacer friendly conditions.

  • Harish on November 8, 2013, 23:21 GMT

    Shami should have been the MOM as it was show of sheer skill in unhelpful (normally) conditions. Should remember there were 4 other pacers in operation but didn't came near Shami in any way. Hope he takes this as a challenge and goes for more than 9wkts from now on.

    R Sharma should have come a distant third in MOM race as i don't see his century happening without Ashwin giving him enough support. It was like like giving chocolates to a pampered child at a mere glimpse of right behavior.

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