Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Rainy Session Review :4th Day Eden Garden Test Match, 2010
Kolkata woke up this morning with a gloomy sky , an after effect of the unseasonal rain that hit the city last night. The wet outfield has delayed the start of the match but India has the luxury of time besides a 347 run lead to accommodate minor delays. In spite of an eventful test match in Eden Gardens where spectators got to see 2 centuries per day over the last 3 days, the front page of the local dailies here in Kolkata portrayed gory pictures of the after effects of a dastardly Maoist attack on a temporary police camp in West Medinipur district in West Bengal. 24 para military jawans were killed by the outlaws in a guerrilla "hit-run-and-disperse" tactics. It might be a good idea to have a minute's silence in the honour of the departed jawans before the start of the day's play. While cricket is entertaining the largely unemployed (direct or hidden) audience in Kolkata, its a war zone in the south-western districts and what better way to suggest that the citizens condemn the attack & mourn the deaths but life will not stop because of such terror tactics.
The DG of Bengal police has reportedly stated that the attack was" unexpected." With precedents of similar ambushes in the neighbouring states from the same marauding outlaws , how can the top cop say that the attack was unexpected , is unimaginable. Maybe the attitude of the men in uniform is the same at all levels, everywhere. Even in Eden gardens, one can see uniformed policemen are keeping a passionate watch on the game from the club house stands instead of watching the crowd.
The match started on Day 1 with the Proteas winning the toss and electing to bat but their carefully compiled first innings total , (thanks to a ton each by Hashim Amla & debutant Peterson,) crumpled like a pack of cards in the session after tea when they crashed from 228/2 to 296/9. Day 2 & 3 belonged to Indians . A century each from Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman Dhoni and a matured knock of 28 by night watchman Amit Mishra ensured that India get a commanding lead as they declared at 643/6 nearly half an hour before close of play on the 3rd day. South Africa's complacency after a resounding victory in the first test in Nagpur showed up in their sloppy batting & fielding. Predictably, they choked in the big stage and injuries to Boucher & Smith added to their woes.
South Africa now have to chase a 347 run deficit before they can make the Indians bat again and for sure , Indians will have only themselves to blame if they lose from such a commanding position and hand over in a platter the number one ranking in test cricket to South Africa.
Unless of course , the nature in the form of 'unseasonal rain' decides to play her role too by returning.
Picture Source: The Telegraph, Kolkata