Game Day, First Test , Day 1

India vs Pakisthan, Mohali 1st Test

I paid the money they asked; A nose bleed amount of $249.95 for the entire series. I see that it is being shown free in Canada. Took some antacids after hearing the good news from Kamesh aka , Kitkat. Romba thanks for letting us know. And I also know antacids are cheaper in Canada :)

Over to the game now, Gangully won the toss and elected to field; Most predicted this, Mohali wicket will have something for the bowlers. Irfan started of little erratic with super sized wides. However very soon he got back his rhythm, along with Zaheer, Pakistan was kept under control. There was great swing bowling moments in the first spell. First break through came from Irfan, a full length ball with a delayed swing, Butt played a lazy front foot stroke and lost his stumps. Just before this, he was distracted a little, he asked for batting glove change. 11 for 1. Crowd was cheering loud for the wicket.

Younis Khan walked in and survived some close LBW calls, however he did not trouble the scorers, Zaheer bowled a beauty that pitched on the leg and angled wonderfully to hit Khans pads. Plumb in the front, a definition. 30 for 2. Captain Inizi walks in. Indians were pumped up.

Taufeeq Umar, He was totally tentative but survived the swing festival. I wish he had purchased some of the local lottery tickets; he would have won millions, why? The amount of luck he had was quite high. Indians struggled to get this guy out. His technique was also kind of shaky. But had the grit to stay there and push for runs. He managed it quite well. He scored 44 and finally was bowled by Balaji.

"ஊஞ்சல்" Balaji: Actor Vadivelu often sings this line, "Swing in the rain" , yes, I saw it yesterday. Swing [ஊஞ்சல்] Bala returns with a bang. Balaji has changed his run up. He had slower run up before, now he runs little faster and bowls faster; he averaged more than Irfan on the speed clock. Balaji bowled accurately right from the world go, he was swinging the ball pretty well. After Kapil and Roger Binny I am seeing bowlers from India who could do justice to swing bowling. When it comes to bowling, Speed is secondary but accuracy with some serious swing you are destined to be the match winner. Balaji did it and got five, a great come back for his youngster from Tamil Nadu, he was wearing a wrist watch and the wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik kept asking him time [in Tamil] at regular intervals. “பால மணி என்ன” was heard twice on the stump microphone.

Inzamam , he is simply a great cricketer to watch, he makes it look very easy, the ball was swinging like a pendulum, but he never cared. He was cool and went on wit his natural game. While the other end was struggling Inzi started to hit boundaries at regular intervals, he proved his class quite well. He is the best Pakisthani Cricketer I have seen in the past decade.

Yuhana, well before the match began Pathan had already reserved Yuhana's wicket. Kartik took a faint edge, surprise! before umpire could raise, Yuhana walked!. Great gesture in sportsmanship, score was only 104 at that time, 104/4.

The wicketkeeper batsmen Kamran Akmal was amazing, he really played fluent cricket. He played second fiddle to Inzi to start with then took over the reign after his captain departed. He scored another 90 [again!] and was out bowled by Balaji. Some of the strokes he played were totally from the books. He was comfortable all through his innings. In fact I would promote him to number three. He has every quality a number 3 should have.

Inzi was out to Kumble, a close LBW call that could have gone either way, Inzi was given out. He had to go. Kumble bowling was predictable to the core. He donated runs in the process of nonstop donkey drops. He was bowling too fast for a spinner. He did take wickets however damaged had been done already by then. Zaheer also followed Kumble’s guidelines and donated runs. At close Pakisthan were all-out for 312. Pitch will swing in the morning with some moisture due to the cover sweating. Gambeer and Viru will have to face the music, if they see through the first session we have big score on the cards.