When Sehwag fell just one run short from a tremendous feat

Krishna Chopra / 05 June 2015

Virender Sehwag was known to be the tormenter of every possible bowler. He is undoubtedly India’s most destructive batsman and has some insane records to his name. Scoring the quickest triple century in the history of the game is one such record. Or getting to a triple ton by a hitting a six over midwicket is just another one! Frankly, records don’t even bother the Nawab of Najafgarh. All Sehwag wants to do is enjoy his outing and ensure that he does his bit for the side.

Bowlers have often being found wanting against Sehwag. Providing him with even an inch of width outside the off stump can be fatal for the bowlers. Sehwag wouldn’t really care about the fielders in the slips or at gully or point; all he will do is slash and slash hard! Sehwag’s blade has wrecked havoc in every cricket playing nation and all possible crowds have been entertained by Sehwag’s courtesy.

One such entertaining knock from Sehwag was against the West Indies in Saint Lucia in 2006. The Delhi dasher was so ferocious in the very first session of the match that he fell just one run short from registering a ton in just the first session of the test! This could have been just the fifth time when a batsman notched up his ton in the very first session!

Despite the pitch being lush green, skipper Rahul Dravid had no hesitation in batting first and that paid rich dividends for the side. Along with Sehwag, it was Wasim Jaffer who came out to open the innings. Sehwag got off the mark in his typical style by hitting a boundary off Pedro Collins. It was a shot which the opener played very smartly as he created the width to play the cut shot. Poor Collins was shown no respite as he was frequently thrashed away by Sehwag.

In the 8th over, Jerome Taylor was hit for back to back boundaries, and it was evident that this was going to be Sehwag’s day for sure. In that very over, he once again played a cut to make it three boundaries in an over. Soon Dwayne Bravo was introduced and he too was welcomed by Sehwag in his very own style and swagger.  In the 12th over bowled by Bravo, the scorecard read 6, 0,4,4,6. It was as if someone was flipping over the pages during book cricket! Bravo was taken to the cleaners by the well set Sehwag and the openers seemed to be bracing up for a T20 knock, than a test innings.

But unlike T20 cricket, all shots played by Sehwag were clean and from the middle of the bat. There wasn’t even a single mistimed hit or a wild slog. Another interesting ploy used by Sehwag during this innings was that he batted from well outside the crease. This provided him with an opportunity to get under the ball with ease and convert them into half volleys.

Correymore, Bravo, Taylor, Collins and Bradshaw; all were dispatched to the fences and shown no mercy. Even by Sehwag’s very own standards, this had been a herculean inning. It was to be remembered that a few months ago, Sehwag had scored 254 against Pakistan in another rapid innings. And here he was, on his way to another epic knock overseas!

With just one over to go before lunch Sehwag was on 93 and needed 7 runs to script history. On the second ball off Correymore, he played an upper cut over the slips for a boundary. On the next ball, he got a single. Wasim Jaffer handed Sehwag the strike on the last ball of the over. With two needed, Sehwag was in a rush and was almost run out. He could get just one. After the end of the first session, the numbers beside Sehwag’s name read 99*(75).

The Delhi batsman surely made it large as he was eventually dismissed for 180. The game ended in a draw as the entire fourth day was washed out. That deprived India of a famous win overseas. Nevertheless, the Indians won the series 1-0.  

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