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Day two ruled by Rain God at Mohali

Only one-hour action was possible due to poor weather. Kumble has to wait for some more time to get his 500th wicket. Eng 200/5 | Scorecard

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 10:29 IST

The weather God is flexing His muscles in Mohali. And the shadows they created were so big that umpires decided cricket could not be played, and at 3:30pm, Darryl Hair and Simon Taufel abandoned the second day's play of this second Test at the PCA Stadium.

It was four hours after Andrew Flintoff (26 not out in 45 balls, 6 fours) and Geraint Jones (7 not out) accepted the light.

Though the umpires did inspect the ground conditions, light drizzles didn't help the matter, and they had no option but to call off play.

England were 200 for five, adding 36 runs to their overnight score of 164/4 in the 13.3 overs that have been bowled on Friday.

With only three days remaining in the Test, and with England only half way through in their first innings, getting a result is a highly unlikely prospect.

It's not without some irony that the last time India played five bowlers— Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Sunil Joshi and Sarandeep Singh— in a home Test, a result had eluded them. Though, that was more to do with an Andy Flower inspired Zimbabwe scoring 503 in the second innings to deny Sourav Ganguly's men a party at the Orange City (Nagpur) in November 2000.

The Action in 60 minutes:

Play started half an hour before the scheduled time (10:00am) to make up for the loss of time on Thursday. And when the action did resume under a gloomy sky, it was Flintoff who was shining the brightest. He seemed a man in a hurry without apparently taking any risk at all.

Such was his assured display that he actually made batting look easy. Hitting through the line, he played a straight drive off Munaf Patel. It was a shot played with care. Actually with the same care that he, once this series is over, would take while lifting Corey, his son who was born on Thursday in London.

Here England needed to be taken care off by this talismanic allrounder, who is not only their primary weapon when it comes to bowling and batting, but also the captain in the absence of Michael Vaughan.

But fortunately for India, there was this man called Anil Kumble whom you could write off at your own peril.

Just when it seemed Paul Collingwood (25 in 77 balls, 3 fours) would give Flintoff the support he needed to keep the momentum going for England, the leg-spinner bowled one on the middle and leg, which beat everything Collingwood had to offer— bat, pad— before hitting the off stump.

A classic dismissal to keep Indian hopes alive.

Collingwood became Kumble's 498th victim. Two over later, it could have been one more when Flintoff, his only flaw of the day, succumbed to the Indian's change of pace, and his mis-timed shot just fell wide of mid-off.

Flintoff vs Kumble. One man was carrying English hopes and the other was on the threshold of creating history. We were deprived of a battle which could have been engrossing. Was it raining when Jesus was crucified on that Friday more than two thousand years ago!

Teams:

India: Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla.

England: Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, G Jones, Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison, L Plunkett, Monty Panesar.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 09:45 IST