Sunday, August 28, 2011

England v India: The Fourth Test, Day 5

Having been a jammy git and got my day 5 ticket on day 2, I spent much of my weekend hoping that India would turn up. So thank you Rahul Dravid. If I ever get to meet you, I'll buy you a drink. 
It's hot, it's frustrating, it's ultimately about Sachin and Swanny, it's day 5 of the final Test of summer:

The search for Sachin's historic feat continues. He reaches his half century (probably his billionth, but who knows) with a single off Jimmy.
It also brings up the 150. 
The packed Oval crowd are appreciative and begin to wonder whether this flat pitch will offer redemption for Sachin after a poor series.
Down at the other end though, the nightwatchman of Mishra is proving difficult to remove.
Unlike Dravid and Sehwag last night, Mishra is having little trouble playing Swann and hits him to the boundary for a four.
Bopara comes on to bowl to his hero. 
He, along with KP brought on at the other end, prove expensive as Strauss looks to give his strike bowlers a rest. 
Mishra is looking in far better touch with the bat than he has done at any point with the ball. 
He hits another boundary off Swanny.
India are having a good morning and Swanny is frustrated. 
His frustration becomes anguish as, on 70, Tendulkar finally offers a chance.
Cook palms it...
And cannot cling on. 
Swann is not amused. 
Mishra provides the perfect partner to Tenduckar and he reaches 50 with a two off Bressy Lad.
Swann gives chase...
But cannot prevent the two and...
Mishra joins Tenduckar in saluting the Oval crowd. 
India reach lunch at 216-3, still 75 runs behind. Sachin is still at the crease and his partnership with Mishra is proving difficult to break. The word in the crowd at lunch is the criminal underuse of Bressy Lad, who spent most of the morning session prowling the boundary.
After the break, Swann's frustration grows. He thinks he's trapped Tenduckar plumb in front. 
He appeals with gusto, but Simon Tailfeather is unmoved. Replays show that the ball would indeed have been hitting the stumps. Not clipping, hitting. 
At the end of the over, Swann continues his conversation with Mr Tailfeather and is less than impressed with his answer.
Swann finally gets the breakthrough for England. 
Mishra is bowled for 84. 
It's a huge relief for Swann and England. India are 262-4. Credit must go to Mishra though, as he played a lovely innings. 
Bressy Lad comes back on. And with his first ball, gets the big wicket.
Sachin misses a straight one and Bressy Lad has no hesitation in asking the question.
Rod Ducker raises the wing, but cannot bring himself to look at Sachin. Tenduckar can't believe it, but there is no UDRS and had there been, he'd have been gone as Hawkeye suggested that the ball was clipping the stumps and would have supported the umpire's call.
Tenduckar leaves the ground for 91. Many are distraught, others are delighted at a breakthrough for India, but everyone is appreciative of a truly wonderful player. 
With Tenduckar gone, it's up to Raina and Dhoni to save India. Raina, on a pair, still cannot get off the mark.
He is struck in front, although replays show he got an inside edge on it, and is given out.
Raina is not impressed, but with no UDRS in place, he can't review.
He trudges off and India are 266-6.They have lost three quick wickets and it's about to get a lot worse...
Dhoni slashes at one outside off from Broad...
Swann jumps in front of Strauss and takes the catch. 
With Gambhir struggling and Sharma and Sreesanth not exactly brilliant at 10 and 11, Dhoni is India's last hope.
RP Singh is next to depart. 
He's caught behind by Prior off the bowling of Broad. India are 269-8 and have lost 5 wickets for 7 runs. 
Swanny changes ends and Gambhir, having looked massively uncomfortable at the crease once again, gives Swann his five-fer. Swann had been denied earlier by Sharma making good use of the element of UDRS that is in place.
He somehow gets the ball to Eoin Morgan who takes the catch. 

Jimmy informs Swann to "milk it".
Swann salutes the very appreciative Oval crowd by raising the ball along with paying tribute to Flintoff, who retired from international cricket at the ground two years previously.
India are still behind England's first innings total with only one wicket left. Sreesanth doesn't look like he's going to hang around for very long.
And he is soon bowled. India are all out for 283. Swann finishes with 6-106.
India lose the match by an innings and eight runs. They lose the series 4-0.
Mike's back with the presentation party and a makeshift backdrop. Ian Bell is named man of the match and it's now over to the series presentations...
Rahul Dravid is named India's duck of the series. He has been superb and is, really, the only India player who consistently turned up, which is a massive disappointment from a team that was ranked number one in the world.
Meanwhile, Broad is named England's duck of the series for finally remembering where the off stump is and taking 25 wickets @ 13.84.

Strauss is presented with the series trophy and the Pataudi Trophy and the team celebrate by soaking him in champagne.
England parade around the outfield, along with Trott and Tremlett, with the trophies. Strauss clings to the Pataudi Trophy like it's his child.
The world number one Mace is brought out as England get very excited about them officially being number one in the world. 
Strauss poses with the mace as the England team are once again jubilant. 
The mace makes its way around the England team, where they pose for photos and hopefully use it as a giant microphone to blast out slowly more drunken renditions of 'Jerusalem'. 
So that was the Test series between England and India. I'll be catching up with the Ireland ODI soon and the ducks'll be back for the Twenty20 and the ODI series!