Saturday, December 15, 2007

The 27 Year Drought Ends At Bangalore

Anil Kumble(left) is all smiles as he holds aloft the trophy, India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 5th day, December 12, 2007

The victorious Indian team(right) pose with the trophy, India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 5th day, December 12, 2007

If it was the Ashes that brought smiles on all faces of Vaughan’s men having won the ashes in 2005 after a gap of nearly 20 yrs,or the Steve Waugh’s dream of winning a test series in India which came true on Nov2004 after a gap of 34yrs,this time it was Kumble’s team which walked away with all credits after India drew the Bangalore test which it came very close to winning.India had already taken a 1-0 lead after it had won the Delhi encounter by 6 wickets,which realized a much awaited dream of winning a test series against Pakistan after a gap of nearly 27 yrs.All credits to team India which put up a great batting display it all the three games.

uvraj Singh plays one of his many drives during his 169

(right)Yasir Arafat can't contain himself after claiming a five-wicket haul on debut, India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 2nd day, December 9, 2007

It all started with Anil Kumble winning a cruicial toss on 8th Dec and elected to bat first on a wicket which offered much assistance to seamers.Yasir rocks Indian Top Order:As the wicket assisted the seamers,the Pakistani pace bowlers made full use of this advantage with (Yasir)Arafat-who was playing his maiden test sends top four Indian batsman(Wassim,Dravid,Laxman &Gambir ) back to the pavilion to see India reeling at 61/4.This gave way to speculations about Kumble winning the toss and electing to bat on a wicket that had much bounce and grass on it.Left Handers Save the day for India:After a blunder made by the top order,it was Yuvraj Singh and Sourav Ganguly who brought back smiles on the faces of the Indian fans by putting a mammoth 300 run partnership-which saw the Indian scoreboard reading 361/5 from the damage done by Yasir Arafat.This was the second 300 run partnership by left handers (after Brian Lara & Jimmy Adams).Then came the superb innings of Irfan Pathan who also notched up his maiden test hundred and that coming against arch rivals Pakistan made things better for the team.Adding to the party was a mammoth 626-the highest team total in this series (bettering the 617/5 they made at Kolkata)

Misbah-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal are all smiles after yet another solid partnership, India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 3rd day, December 10, 2007

The Pakistani batsmen showed no signs of pressure in handling the bowling of the likes of Anil Kumble.Earlier in the day,injuries took a toll on Indian players forcing Sachin,Dhoni,Zaheer Khan & Munaf Patel out of the contest.This paved way for Ishanth Sharma & Gautam Gambir.The Pakistani batsmen fought fire with fire,with once again Misbah scoring a ton along with Akmal’s 65.Pakistan put up a fighting total of 537 on the way avoiding follow-on.The highlightes of the innings was of course Ishanth Sharma’s 5/118 –who was playing his only 2nd test.With Pakistan riding high after Misbah's 133,the third test also looked heading for a draw

Ishant Sharma(left), who bowled with a lot of heart, w
as rewarded with the wicket of Faisal Iqbal, India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 3rd day, December 10, 2007

Once again,in the second innings,Pakistan’s pace duo Shoaib Akthar and Yasir Arafat struck deadly blows removing openers-Gambir & Jaffer to see India reeling at 26/2 untill Dravid and Sourav entered.Eariler,Shoaib Akthar could barely bowl in the first innings due to back spasms.The experienced duo of dravid & Ganguly set the scoreboard ticking with Sourav missing out another ton by 9runs.At the end of the day,India declared at 284/6.One more highlightes of the innings was Dinesh Karthik’s half century who failed miserably in the series with the bat as well as behind the stumps.

Anil Kumble(above) got a five-wicket haul, India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Bangalore, 5th day, December 12, 2007

The Pressure was back on Pakistan as even a draw,would see them lose the plot.Chasing a total of an impossible 374,the Pakistan could not plan anything on the last day,but to keep on going after every ball they faced.This time it was the old warhorse-Anil Kumble who bagged yet another 5-wicket haul in his career rocking the top order.The leg spinner is 16 short of the 600 wicket mark which he is likely to achieve in the upcoming series against Australia.It was 4:05 IST and Pakistan were struggling at 162/7 and umpires had to called the day off.Thus,the match ended in a draw,which would have otherwise seen India winning the series 2-0.It was all smiles for the local hero-Anil Kumble who not only won the test series against Pakistan,but also it was his first series victory as captain and acheiving it in front of his home crowd made it all the more special.
Brief Scores:I innings

India 626 all out : Sourav Ganguly 229; Yuvraj Singh 169 ; Irfan Pathan 102;
Yasir Arafat 5/161;Danish Kaneria 3/168
Pakistan 537 all out:Misbah 133*;Younus Khan 80;Salman Butt 68;
Ishanth Sharma 5/118;H'Singh 2/131;
II Innings
India 284/6:Ganguly 91;Karthik 52;Dravid 42;Sami 2/63;Arafat 2/49;
Pakistan 162/7:Iqbal 51;Yasir Hameed 39;Misbah 37;Kumble 5/60;Yuvraj 2/9

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