June 18, 2016 will go down the cricket history books, not for those flashes of brilliance from Mohun Bagan batsmen amidst the pink ball doing its bit on a greentop at the Eden Gardens, it was about a point to be proved.
The pink ball had to pass the test of longevity, which was under serious threat even after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) deciding to play the Duleep Trophy with the pink balls this time. And, it has passed with distinction.
Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly must be the happiest man for his idea to meet such success via proper execution.
It was the 70th over of the day with Mohun Bagan reeling on 199 for six, the ball looked in great shape with not even mud sticking to it following a rain halt quite early in the day. Even commentators were taken in for a shock when television screen zoomed the ball in.
Even the ball episode apart, game was quite enjoyable at the Mecca of Indian cricket with some good quality contest between the bat and the ball on offer. A greentop ensured the quick bowlers get into the party pretty early with few whizzing past the Bhowanipore wicketkeeper.
There wasn’t an iota of doubt that the batsmen were uncomfortable against some quality pace attack of the Bhowanipore Club after it chose to field on winning the toss in overcast conditions. Rain indeed posed a threat and even halted the game once, but couldn’t avert history being made at Eden.
Arindam Ghosh initially showed some strokeplay under losing the first wicket of Jayojit Basu early in the afternoon. Bowlers tried their best to use the conditions and beaten the bats on number of occasions. But somehow, Anustup Majumdar stood rock solid to remain unbeaten on 74 at stumps.
The match which has created a lot of hype, not only in Kolkata, but outside it too. More spectators are expected to hit the venue on the weekend to experience a new thing in cricket, which the experts are saying the future of the game.
With Mohun Bagan 278 for eight at close on Day One, It’s only matter of time that Bhowanipore will bat on the second day of the four-dayer on Saturday and India’s pace sensation Mohammad Shami will be seen in action with the pink ball for the first time. A contest worth watching.