Elements enough to save history

A combination of rain, bad light and ill-advised shot selection from Virender Sehwag were enough to bring India’s opening partnership, and their innings, to an ending three runs short of the Test record for an opening liaison as the First Test between India and Pakistan ended in a draw at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

Resuming overnight on 403/0, ten runs shy of countrymen Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy’s 413-run stand against New Zealand at Madras fifty years ago, Sehwag continued in his imperious form of the previous two days by adding seven runs from the first four balls he faced, moving on to 254*. However, it took until late in the Lahore afternoon for the two sides to return the middle following a combination of overnight rain and persistent murky light.

With the score now progressed to 410, and the Indians a boundary away from the record books, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan opted to switch to a short-pitched line of attack. Sehwag played identical strokes to the next three balls he faced, attempting to steer them over the waiting slip cordon.

He missed the first two, but connected with the third. Unfortunately for the batsman, the contact wasn’t firm enough to send the ball anywhere but the gloves of Kamran Akmal, ending his innings and the partnership. With little more to play for, India accepted the light three balls later, without the addition of any further runs.

No further play was possible, and a record-breaking yet farcical Test match reached its conclusion shortly afterwards with Rahul Dravid unbeaten on 128*, and VVS Laxman yet to score. The series moves on to Faisalabad on Saturday for the second Test of the series – and, in the name of cricket, let’s hope the wicket is a little more conducive to a competitive game.

Pakistan 679/7 dec
Younis Khan 199, Mohammad Yousuf 173
Shahid Afridi 103, Kamran Akmal 102*
Ajit Agarkar 2/122, Anil Kumble 2/178

India 410/1
Virender Sehwag 254, Rahul Dravid 128*
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 1/94

Match Drawn

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