Thursday, January 21, 2010

An "Ordinary" Win

This was supposed to be a pretty boring & one-sided series with Test cricket's top ranked team taking on the bottom ranked one. But from the start, actually from the build-up itself, it was anything but boring.
Virender Sehwag started the pre-game hype by calling Bangladesh an "ordinary" team who weren't capable of taking 20 wickets in a match. His words were met with uproar. Bangladeshi captain Shakib-al-Hasan questioned India's No. 1 rating saying that Australia & South Africa were better. Their coach Siddons said that Sehwag's words would "come back and bite him in the bum". It was funny to have such a big war of words before an India-Bangladesh Test Series.
India lost the services of Dhoni & Harbhajan before the game & Sehwag led in Dhoni's place. India were put into bat. And were shot out for 243 with Shakib taking Sehwag's wicket. Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten century saved it from being a complete disaster. Bangladesh in reply in big trouble before Mahmudullah & Rahim bailed them out and they ended up one run behind the Indian score. Second time around India batted much better with Gambhir getting a hundred. They declared and set a target 415 for the home team. Mushfiqur Rahim scored a century in vain as Bangladesh lost by 113 runs.
The match was played under foggy conditions with bad light ending it prematurely on all days. Sehwag's statement really hyped up this match. In the end he was proved right that Bangladesh could not manage 20 wickets against India but they ran them close in the first innings. However it must be said that somehow the Indian team gave the feeling that they were never out of control in the game.
There were some good performances from both sides. Sachin's 1st innings century (which got him the Man of the Match award); Shakib & Shahdat's 5-wicket hauls; Mahmudullah-Rahim partnership; Ishant's bowling, Amit Mishra's nightwatchman 50 & 7 wickets, Gambhir continuing his golden run with another century; and finally Mushfiqur Rahim's fighting last innings hundred.
Coming up in the second match, the limelight would be on Gautam Gambhir. He has scored a century in his last 5 tests & could equal Sir Don Bradman's run of 6 consecutive centuries. With fifties in his last 10 tests, he is one behind Viv Richards's record of 11 consecutive fifties. Now that would be a nice company for sharing records.

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