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N Hunter in Kolkata
November 8, 2013
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.
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.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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