Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Friday, March 11, 2005

Two giants

This first appeared on Cricinfo's Plays of the Day.

So there they were: India's would-be matchwinner and Pakistan's would-be matchsaver. Anil Kumble came in to bowl to Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was 86, having added 139 with Yousuf Youhana after Pakistan were 10 for 3. The match hinged on this partnership, and Inzamam was batting beautifully. All afternoon Kumble had toiled, and now he got his man. The ball pitched just outside off, and went straight with the angle to hit Inzamam, who took a big stride forward, in line with the off stump. He was quite far ahead, but was hit low on the pads. It was a fair decision.

Kumble jumped up and punched the air with both his fists, in childlike glee. Inzamam turned slowly and walked back to the pavilion, laboriously, in little baby steps. He had been out in a similar manner in the first innings, and this was quite the worst kind of deja vu.
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