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    January 21, 2006

    Faisalabad Test: Stumps, Day 1

    Pakistan 379/4 (90.0 ov) Inzi 79*(122) & Afridi 85*(84)

    I was starting to wonder if this was a normal day, post tea Afridi had gone all quite, in the sense that his strike rate was decidedly less then hundred, he hadn’t hit a six so far, he wasn’t the one having the lion’s share of the strike, the commentators where using ‘common sense’ and ‘sensibly’ and adjectives the like to describe him, it was all quite abnormal, by his standards that is.

    So he decided to bring about a sense of regularity to the proceedings. Rahul Dravid took the new ball, a decision, which with both Inzi and Afridi set, was always going to be a gamble. The first over from Irfan, a ball was pitched in short and Inzi rocked back on his back foot and pulled it away for four with disdain, Afridi didn’t quite like this apparently.

    Next over from R P Singh, another one came in short, and Afridi hit it the full distance, and there you go his first six. This was a point of no return, the new ball decision went horribly wrong, and the next couple of overs where subsequently dispatched accordingly.

    One over from Pathan, who was decidedly slow in this spell, cost 22 runs. It had 2 more sixes; one of them so big people in the stands took evasive action. The final ball went for a four straight back past Pathan but almost took out Inzi on the way. Normality restored fully. Afridi 85 not out of 84 balls, 3 sixes, 11 fours, and the full house all very happy. 90 overs were also possible in the day’s play, the first time this has happened this season.

    Two significant moments in this session was when Inzi was on 46, Kumble trapped him in his crease, the ball had pitched in line and straightened enough to hit a good part of middle and leg, but Simon Taufel probably wasn’t sure it was bat first pad later. The commentators insisted it was plumb but I though you couldn’t tell on full time replay if it was bat first pad later or bat-pad together.

    But you could say, if you wanted to, that Inzi might have been a shade lucky. Other umpires in the world, on other days (perhaps someday when the crowd was less noisy) could have given that out.

    Another interesting moment was when R P Singh tickled one down leg, it appeared on the full speed replay that Afridi (then on 57) had gloved it, Dhoni took a clean catch down leg and they all appealed but Taufel called no-ball, and rightly so too. Afridi took his glove off from the bat as if to indicate he hadn’t hit it, he'd done this before too, on another ball that didn’t quite carry to Dhoni.

    Dean Jones, who has learned his commentary skills from the same media school as Tony Greig and Mike Haysman, hinted the match referee might want to have a look at this footage, as if batsmen attempting to fox umpires in believing that they weren’t out is something sinister. Such fools do former cricketers sometimes prove themselves to be.

    A super slow motion replay confirmed that Afridi was indeed right; the ball had actually just come of his thigh pad. The match referee, Deno, might certainly want to have a look at his innings again, not because of what he might have done after gloving, or almost gloving, a couple of balls down the leg side, but merely for how entertaining it was. For God's sake, someone do me a favor and send Dean Jones back to Australia. It’s not like having Arun Lal and Shivaramakrishnan is not enough of a misery already.

    Cross posted on Sundries
    Thus spake Zainub Razvi @ 6:05 PM |
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