Chocolate and Gold Coins

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Five years ago today, perhaps the most remarkable test match in that last 20 years started. It was Kolkata: India vs. Australia. The match didn’t start well for India at all. Australia tore into a fairly weak and inexperienced bowling attack and laid a solid foundation for a great innings. After two sessions, Australia were 193/1.

I turned on my compute and checked Cricinfo early in the morning. It was the 72nd over of the match. The score was 252/5. The scoreboard read:

Ponting had just fallen to Harbhajan; Waugh was on 14.

I thought, “Oh well, at least India has 5 wickets. Maybe they can hold Australia under 400.” But I was disappointed that they had once again let Australia get a good score.

I checked the scorecard. I saw Hayden had scored 97 and Langer got a half-century.

I went back to the scoreboard half expecting Gilchrist to rip the game wide open. The scoreboard read:

Gilchrist had just fallen first ball to Harbhajan.

“Wow! Harbhajan is on a hattrick.” I just stared at the screen hoping I would see another W come up.

I remember one other time I sat looking for something to happen. I was following a match on Cricinfo: New Zealand vs. South Africa. It was just one of a 6- match series of ODI’s. South Africa need 7 runs off of the last two balls and Klusener was batting. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be incredible if Klusener hit two boundaries in a row and won it for South Africa?” Needless to say, Klusener did it. He was awesome.

But a hat-trick is really rare. In fact, no Indian bowler had ever bowled a hattrick in a test match before. I just looked up at the screen wondering if it could happen. And then I saw it:

Harbhajan had just gotten Warne for a first-ball duck!

I nearly fell out of my chair.

Later, I bought the video just to see that hattrick. It was a stunning catch by Ramesh (who was a decent opener and should have played longer).

A few overs later, Kasprowicz fell to Sourav Ganguly (he would get only five more wickets in the next five years). It seemed then that India was going to hold Australia to a gettable score.

But that was just day one.


  • question: being in the gargantuan Fairfax county, why do you care about cricket, it's not baseball.
    Yes, it's one of the greatest test matches of the last 20 years. Loved it.
    Senor, you're a Ph.D in economics, worship you. I love the subject though I'm struggling with it now. Being in some college of the 'has been' commie infested institution called the Calcutta University just sucks.
    BTW, former Virginia gov. Mark Warner is getting huge publicity.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:24 AM  

  • Following the match on cricinfo has its own cult following when there is no other resort.

    By Anonymous Pratyush, at 10:28 PM  

  • And then on 14th March, the gods decided to smile on India. We were blessed with one of the most majestic batting displays!

    Dravid got rid of a few demons and Laxman mesmerised! Remember the shot from Laxman, Warne bowled onto the leg, Laxman went back and hit through extra-cover!!!Mind-blowing!

    I saw the first 20 minutes of Laxman-Dravid batting and called my friends to tell I won't be attending college for the next two days!

    I didn't budge away from TV and my dear mom had a hard time figuring out why I was yelling my guts out the next two days!

    Michael you brought back a lot of wonderful unforgettable memories!

    By Blogger Minal, at 1:53 AM  

  • Hi Aragorn, Pratyush, and Minal

    Aragorn: There is not major league baseball inf FFXco. I have been the a Nationals game. I will get back to post econ questions later this week.

    Pratyush: Indeed.

    Minal: You have anticipated my next post. Yes, that was the match. I really didn't care much for test cricket until then.

    By Blogger Michael Higgins, at 12:08 PM  

  • That was an awesome test match...dare I say, one of the best ever. Unfortunately, I watched it neither on TV nor on 'live' scoreboard. Reading countless accounts was a solace though.

    By Blogger Patrix, at 10:14 PM  

  • Hi Michael: Did I ruin your next post?:-( Aww sorry did not intend to do that!

    I hope now you care for test cricket a lot more:-)Somehow there is magic that ODIs somehow seem to lack and no, I'm not being overtly critical of the shorter version. Over the years they have become too predictable (Unlike the one on sunday! Those are rare to come by!) while test cricket still carries on with that uncertainty.
    Now who would have thought at the end of day 2 and 3 of Mohali test match that India might win so convincingly!

    By Blogger Minal, at 11:36 PM  

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