Agatha Christie's famous novel did have one left in the end though the readers find that out only in the end. Similarly, when Edwards walked in,walked in the latest thriller @ ARG(ggg), England could have been forgotten for thinking that it was a matter of time for the last one to fall. But like in the book, this one remained till the end. There are many columns devoted to them but this one is not one of them. Instead this columns lists at the other "and there were one" episodes of the 2000s and the media coverage if any.
Thanks to statsguru in cricinfo, there seems to be 8 other such games where in the Jack and 10 scathed the bowling teams hopes of a win. Interestingly Windies of 2000s have been invovled in 4 of them including the latest @ ARG. Of the 8, 3 resulted in wins. The first part of this column "cover points" these wins titled with headlines perhaps not written anywhere else but in cover point !!!
Padams does a Lara
The first of these close shaver of the naughties was on 25th May in a classic between the Windies and Pakistanis at (drum roll please....) ARG The match entered day 5 with Pakistan needing 6 wickets and West Indies 72 and all rested on 2 gentlemen named Adams and Sarwan. Cozier had a write up where he was disappointed with the way yet another Hinds (Wavell) had lost his wicket end of 4th day and setting up a thrilling 5th day while Jamaica Gleamer put it clichedly down to the wire and mentioning not just importance of Hinds innings but also Jacob's runout of Razzaq
Saqlain, the night
watchman, went back cut fast bowler Reon King, and with Hinds fielding
brilliantly at backward point, the batman, after a grand mix-up, were
in mid pitch and retreating when the ball was thrown to Jacobs. Instead
of running out the tail-ender, however, Jacobs, in a brilliant piece of
cricket, threw the ball to Franklyn Rose standing over the wicket at
the bowler's end.
The West indian went on to win this game by 1 wicket and thereby the series. Cozier sings hosannahs about Adam's captain innings. He quotes
It was a replay of the scenes that followed a similarly pulsating,
one-wicket triumph over Australia at Kensington Oval just over a year
ago, also engineered by a left-handed captain who also had Walsh as
his partner at the finish.Brian Lara's breathtaking strokeplay then may have been utterly
different in execution to Adams', but both innings accurately typified
the two players. while Moin Khan brushed aside any biased umpiring decision led to their loss and instead says here
I am bound by the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct
but its for all of you to decide if we got a raw deal (from the
umpires). As far as I am concerned, they did a good job and in the end
we are ourselves to be blamed for the defeat."
Haq Hacks Bangla "sapne"
The second of the classics was 4 years later in the land of multans in first week of September, 2003 when Pakistan hosted Bangladesh. End of day 4, the numbers were 4 wickets for Bangladesh while Pakistan needed 113. Chandrahas chaudhry exhibits a typical hope of history in making whilst recognizing the danger in form ul-Haq whist talks about Rashid Latif's controversial catch claim. He also disses Ashoka de Silva's umpiring as he says
The match referee also needs to direct Asoka de Silva, the umpire, to
another page of the rulebook: for the umpteenth time he gave a batsman
out lbw to a ball pitching outside leg stump.
Guess 5 years has not done much change to Mr Silva. But i digress. Bangladesh , as the author quotes would have been restless with excitement and anticipation as they approache 5th day. 5th day was a heart breaker for Bangladesh as Haq used all his experience and talent to see Pakistan through for a win. A mighty embarassment saved as he was showered upon return to pavilion with rose petals!!!! Samanth Subramanian mentions here that Inzamam farmed the strike to perfection, protecting the tailenders from bowling that was alternately on target and slipshod
Jayawardene sets up a one wicket "jaya"
The last of the "and there were one" wins of the naughties was the Sri Lanka South Africa game @P Saravanamuthu Ground, Columbo, 4th -8th August. The number games this times was 352 in the 4th innings, 90 in 5th day, 5 wickets in 5th day. Charlie Austin mentions here that the target was 26 more than highest ever chased till then and that situation could have been worse as he quotes "were it not for Muttiah Muralitharan - who
finished with 12 for 225, his fourth consecutive ten-wicket haul - and
a miraculous short leg catch from Tillkaratne Dilshan that left
Boucher, who had just middled a slog-sweep, utterly gobsmacked"
The catch is a stunner and can be viewed here. In the presence of Prasanna Jayawardene, Mahela, on a purple patch, looked steady on 77 but SA quickies still had some fight in them at end of 4th day with Steyn and the old warhorse Ntini giving it all. The match was already wrought with other issues, with Dean Jones getting suspended from commentating for calling amla the terrorist and Murli getting his 4th consecutive 10 wicket haul and now a humdinger of a day pretty much had all test cricket fans salivating. And they were not let down as the day turned out to be yet another classic as Austin again rightly termed the theme of the match was unpredictability The pendulum was stuck well in Srilanka's quarter till lunch thanks to Jayawardene and Austin quotes this innings of jaya which hardly chanceless ranked superior to most. But equally dramatic was his dismissal as quoted as follows
Nevertheless, just when it seemed impossible for him to make an error
of judgement, he took an ill-fated gamble, skipping down the track to
launch Nicky Boje over extra cover, an incredibly difficult stroke but
one he normally plays with majestic simplicity. But this time he was
deceived by the flight and caught off-balance. Herschelle Gibbs reacted
in a flash to pouch the thin edge at slip. Suddenly, the tension, which
had been easing, snowballed as Chaminda Vaas walked out to bat.
Vaas edged out to prince and Murli, whilst the brilliant bowler, slog bowled himself to the background music of Jayasurya's yelp from the pavilion. But Maharoof and Slinga Malinga sees South Africa suffer yet again. Prince, the stand-in skipper felt proud of his team's achievement while Mahela blamed this test as a reason for his balding problem. Mathematical journos started plotting the demise of Pollock as a strike bowler while praising Vaas adaptation. But in the end, this is the last of the 1 wicket test win of the naughties (yet) and a classical pot boiler at that.
This covers the wins. The part 2 intends to cover the 5 other games which the teams saved from a definite loss. And the hero of the latest @ ARG, Edwards does a cameo role in one of the other 5 too. That all in part 2.