Eden Gardens hosted India’s first-ever day/night game, and after the end of first day’s play of the CAB Super League final between Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore Club, everyone seemed happy with the experiment. Batting, however, looked difficult upfront as the sprinkle of grass on the deck made things lopsided in favour of the seamers.
Did the pink ball hold up?
The pink Kookaburra held up well. The Eden outfield was damp following showers in the first session, but the ball retained its shine. “I was surprised to see the hardness of the ball even after 57 overs. And unlike the white Kookaburra, the seam was still standing up,” umpire Premdip Chatterjee said.
Was there any visibility issues?
Not quite. In fact, the pink ball looked brighter than the white Kookaburra under lights. Arnab Ghosh took a skier at long-on to dismiss Wridhhiman Saha and he never had any problems sighting the ball against a dark background. Batters, too, looked pretty comfortable in picking the ball against white sightscreens.
What were the changes made to pink Kookaburra for this game?
The Australian ball manufacturing firm made changes to make things favourable for Indian conditions. They made it a little heavier, changed the colour of the seam from green and white to black, and also made it more pronounced.
Did they doctor the pitch ?
Yes. A green-top has been laid out to ensure the ball holds up well. One side of pitch, too, had decent grass cover. The methods worked. Lacquer barely came off. The second new ball was taken after 75 overs.
Was it an even contest between bat & ball?
Not exactly. Ravikant Singh opened the bowling for Bhowanipore after they won the toss. His fifth ball swung a mile after pitching outside the off stump, brushed Jayojit Basu’s pads and went to the fine leg boundary for four leg-byes. The ball moved in the air and off the deck throughout, especially after sundown.
Did the ball turn?
No quite. The ball skidded off the surface but turn was virtually non-existent. To be fair though, the two Bhowanipore spinners, Writtick Chatterjee and Sujit Kumar Yadav, were not the biggest turners of the ball. They got one wicket apiece.
Was dew an a concern?
The overcast conditions meant there was very little dew. But it was not a major concern.
How did the fans respond?
Barely 1,000 fans turned up for the game today. Though organisers expected more footfall after supper break. That did not happen though. Blame it on Euro 2016.
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