Chawla feasts on helpful pitch

Piyush Chawla prepares to bowl during a practice session at Nagpur Manan Vatsyayana / © AFP

If the batsmen were looking for trouble, boy, they came to the right place. The Feroz Shah Kotla track was back to its Champions League shenanigans, and Piyush Chawla was at the top of his game. On a pitch that offered variable bounce and appreciable turn right from the first ball, Chawla didn't get carried away. He was smart and accurate, mixing the straighter ones and googlies well with the legbreaks.

After Gambhir's flier, and then the two quick run-outs, the game was in the balance and Chawla was introduced. Helped by Yuvraj Singh and Ramesh Powar, he employed a vicious vice grip on the batsmen: only two boundaries came in the rest of the innings.

Paul Collingwood's lbw wasn't as bad as it looked; it was worse. He sat back and intended to read Chawla off the pitch, and was caught dead plumb to a straight topspinner. Daniel Vettori was defeated by a perfect Chawla googly. Thirty-nine for 1 in 3.3 had become 58 for 4 in 10 overs, and he had ripped through the lower middle order in matter of two overs.