by Anura Guruge
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Since I am an avid West Indies follower I try to watch as much of the Indies as I can — and have for all my adult life. I can relate to the way they play cricket. That is how I played.
I watched the Day 1 highlights on Sunday night. It was ‘ho-hum’ It was good Test Cricket, and that is always a treat, but it was bereft of drama. So, I had kind of given up on this match. But, WOW. WOW. WOW. I watched Day 2 highlights last night and really enjoyed the Kiwi middle-order batting. Jimmy Neeshan seems quite a find. That was a classy century. Two centuries in his first two Tests. I gather 8 have done it so far. I can only think of one. India’s Azharuddin. I remember his early feats well. OK. I need to look it up, though I am desperately short of time.
OK. I looked it up. I was right about Azharuddin — but that was easy. Three. Yes, 3 — all against England, 1984 – 1985. I was still in England. So I remember that well. The other 7: Ponsford (1924), ‘Dougie’ Walters (1965), Alvin Kallicharran (1972), Blewett (1995), Ganguly (1996), Sharma (2013) & now Neesham (2014). I do not remembers the others.
The West Indies 1st innings batting was bloody typical. Marlon Samuels breaks my heart. I feel so bad for him. I think he is up there with the best — Viv and Gordon. [And what is this that Richie Richardson got knighted. Of course, I am glad. Of course, I like him. He was good. Just slightly surprised. But it is all good. Congrats Richie. Way to go, Man.]
Just watched, over a late lunch, all of Day 3 highlights. What a cracker. This is the absolute sheer joy of Test Cricket. I have always maintained, since I was in my late teens, next to sex there is nothing better than good Test cricket for unsurpassed sensual titillation. And that this match has had on days 2 & 3. Plan to watch day 4 highlights tonight. I kind of know part of the score though I am trying not to know too much.
But, seriously, watch this Test. It is good. Could be one of the greats. You have been warned.