Friday, January 18, 2008
UPDATE. India bowling well, but no breakthrough. Australia 2/100 - Ponting 38, Hussey 21.
UPDATE III. Lunch. Australia 3/142. Hussey 39, Clarke 11.
UPDATE VI. Halfway there, with half our wickets gone: 5/208.
UPDATE VII. Clarke’s 50 off 88 deliveries (playing Kumble very late); Gilchrist calmly to 15; target now below 200.
UPDATE XI. Painkiller-induced hallucinations kicking in; either that, or Stuart Clark really is pulling fast bowlers ahead of square and Mitchell Johnson is smashing Kumble for successive fours. And now Johnson is bowled - off a no-ball! Australia 8/290.
UPDATE XII. Fifty partnership (in just eight overs) between Johnson and Clark. Australia 8/303.
UPDATE XIII. Johnson’s 40 is his highest Test score. Clark (21) is seven shy of his best. Fewer than 100 runs remain. Australia 8/314.
UPDATE XV. A Test 50 to Mitchell Johnson. Australia 9/339.
UPDATE XVI. Tait bowled. India deservedly wins by 73 runs, although unseemly celebrations at game’s end - several players were waving flags, in the manner of rabid nationalists - will require captain Anil Kumble to be sacked>.
UPDATE XVII. Peter Roebuck need only lightly rewrite his January 7 column to cover today’s events. Rewrite follows:
Symonds found himself facing Anil Kumble. Beyond argument Symonds’ was the crucial wicket. Although not exactly an immovable object, he looked solid enough to save his side.
Then came the moment that compromised all subsequent events, rendering meaningless the continuation of India’s existence as a nation. Symonds swung his bat at a straight delivery. The ball clearly nicked the bat before hitting the pad. Anil Kumble and his comrades immediately roared a raucous appeal. Kumble was especially animated.
Doubtless the fieldsmen heard two noises, as canvas and wood make different sounds, a fact known to every cricketer. That the bat struck the ball was surely more obvious from the bowler’s view. Doubtless the Indians will argue that excesses of this sort are commonplace elsewhere.
If the appeal was bad, the decision was worse. A mild-natured and intelligent man, Symonds departed shaking his head slowly as the Indians celebrated. Instead they should have been fearing the damage done to their reputations.