The highlight of the final day’s play came just before the game was called off at 4.05pm when Mahendra Singh Dhoni kicked off his pads and decided to bowl seam up. It summarised the pointlessness of the on-field action as the match had been stripped of any seriousness by the loss of time due to bad weather. When fog finished off the first session, taking the total time lost to over a day’s play, there was little chance of a result emerging.
But India were happy to milk the day for what it was worth and though Gautam Gambhir (97) missed out on a century, he won the Man of the Match award and Yuvraj Singh (86) got one more big innings under his belt. The tame draw meant that India had taken the series 1-0 after their Chennai win and reclaimed the No. 2 spot in the ICC rankings, displacing South Africa.
When play finally got under way on the final day, Yuvraj and Gambhir had little pressure on them and put up a genuinely entertaining display of batting. Yuvraj in particular was imperious in his strokeplay, attacking the bowlers at will. When Stuart Broad was pulled back over long-on for a six and then dismissed over extra-cover next ball memories of Yuvraj’s wenty20 heroics flooded back.
Yuvraj dabbed one to short fine-leg and rushed off for a single and when he was sent back it was too late as the throw found its mark.
India batted on in the hope that Gambhir would complete his ton but he fell to a soft dismissal, hitting Graeme Swann uppishly towards gully where Ian Bell took an athletic diving catch. They declared on 251 for 7, leaving England with a ‘target’ of 402 from a minimum 43 overs. Ishant Sharma added the wicket of Alastair Cook to his kitty, having the batsman caught at slip, but there were few surprises in a passage of play that ended with England on 64 for 1.
As early as the rules allowed it the game was called off.
The intensity of Chennai was missing for the best part in Mohali with the weather ensuring that only one result was really possible.