August 14, 2007

Dhoni in Test Match #20: Day 5

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India vs England, India in England, Pataudi Trophy Test Series (2007) - 3rd Test
Date: 9-13 August 2007

Day 5 (13 Aug 2007): India content with a 1-0 series triumph

The Indians have wrapped the test match series by a 1-0 margin after the England batsmen played with some character on the final day to force a draw in the final match.

The final day had its share of interesting twists, with Indian bowlers picking up wickets at regular intervals to keep the match alive until the last minute. The first session saw the departure of both openers. The match might have taken a different route if only Dravid accepted the catch from Vaughan off Kumble. Dravid spilled an easy chance just before lunch. Three wickets in the first session would have given much more confidence to the bowlers.

But, Vaughan and Pieterson played well to deny any openings for the bowlers to exploit. A short disruption to play due to bad light helped India get the next wicket. Lost his concentration after the break, Vaughan departed. Then, Pieterson and Collingwood continued. Both playing fluently, the runs started to flow. When everything seemed to be slowly meandering to a draw, the new ball created some buzz again.

Sree Santh struck with the first delivery of the new ball by getting Collingwood lbw. Pieterson continued to reach his second century of the series. A lapse in concentration just after completing his century cost his wicket. He flashed outside to a delivery from Sree Santh and was caught behind. With still about 20 overs available, the Indians hoped for a final breakthrough.

The thought would have been supported by the sight of Matt Prior walking in, who is out for nought in the first innings. But, Bell and Prior played out another 15 overs. When Bell was out, only 5 overs left in the match. Prior and Sidebottom finished the match without any further slide.

India is so near and yet left the match to meander to a draw. The fourth day's negative approach has let England to play out the match. The celebrations showed that Dravid and his men are happy with the 1-0 series win. To a certain extent, it is understandable as they have lost back-to-back matches after taking a lead.

Whatever it is, this is a happy moment for Indian cricket. A series win in England after 21 years should be memorable.

Result: The match is drawn. India won the three match series 1-0

Player of the match: Kumble
Player of the series: James Anderson (England) / Zaheer Khan (India)

1st innings:
India 664 (Kumble 110 not out, Dhoni 92, Karthik 91, Sachin 91, Dravid 55, Laxman 51, Anderson 4 for 182)
England 345 (Bell 63, Collingwood 62, Cook 61, Zaheer 3 for 32, Kumble 3 for 94)

2nd innings:
India 180/6 declared (Ganguly 57, Collingwood 2 for 24)
England 369/6 (Pietersen 101, Bell 67, Sree Santh 3 for 53)


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