January 29, 2006

Sensational First Session.

The third test match began in a starkly different way, with a Pathan hat-trick in the first over. This is only the second hat-trick in test cricket by an Indian bowler after Harbhajan took his hat-trick against Australia in Calcutta. In spite of this tumble of wickets, the wicket was hardly unplayable. Indians bowled quite competently, but Pakistanis played irresponsible and lazy shots as well.

Pakistan ended the session at 101/6, a much improved score than 39/6. It is impossible not to think back to Calcutta seven years ago, when the match started in much the same way. In that game Pakistan went on to win from 28/6. That match was made memorable for the stunning dismissals of Dravid and Tendulkar in consecutive balls by Shoaib Akthar. Such inept batting display by India again seems unlikely. But let me not get ahead of myself. India have to first get Pakistan out soon.


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