News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Mon. July 11, 2011: The “Tiger” has done it again. Playing in his 133rd test match, the most by a West Indian cricketer, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, has yet again saved the West Indies team from the jaws of defeat by the powerful Indian team.
At the age of 36 he is batting as good as when he was in his mid-twenties and he has certainly proven that he has a few years to go before his retirement, More so, he showed the world that he was right and that coach Ottis Gibson had no right to tell him how he should bat.
Shiv is known for his doggedness and ability to stick to the wicket for long hours. He did it again on Saturday and Sunday when he defied the Indian bowlers at the newest test venue, Windsor Park in Dominica.
He started his “doggedness” in Antigua in 1994, just months after he entered the test arena, when he partnered Brian Lara to see him reach 375 to break Sir Garfield Sobers 40 year old record of 365. Chanders was not out on 75 when Lara was dismissed caught off Andrew Maddick’s bowling, sharing a 219 run stand with Brian.
I recall a friend of mine who is an ardent cricket fan, Desmond Maynard, an attorney of St Kitts who is practising in St. Thomas, said 12 years ago that “Chanderpaul is as safe as money in the bank.”
Shiv had a bad patch a little over a year ago, no doubt because of certain personal problem, but he has bounced back as expected and it seems as if he is on his way to break more records.
He has several records under his belt including the only batsman in the world to have batted for 1,000 minutes in a test match on four occasions. He is also the only batsman in the world to face 1,000 balls without being dismissed and he is one of the few batsmen who scored seven consecutive half centuries in test.
Chanderpaul is said to be the best defensive back to the wall batsman in his generation.
Although the “Tiger” who loves to bat and is known for painstaking innings he nevertheless scored a century at Bourda Georgetown against Australia off 69 deliveries – the fourth fastest century in Test cricket.
Cricket commentators say he is India’s biggest obstacle, having batted for 37 overs with Fidel Edwards in the final day of the third test match certainly staved off India from victory. But after Edwards was dismissed and Devindra Bissoo failed to hold on, the West Indies side was dismissed for 179 giving the visitors 47 overs to reach their target.
Shiv was left unbeaten on 116 which raced his tally in test cricket to 9,367 – the second highest West Indian after Lara’s 11,953.
His magnificent batting helped the home team to force a draw against the Indians, but the match ended with severe criticism for the failure of the tourists to chase after the runs. They needed to score 180 off 47 overs, but after losing early wickets did not take the chance since they were already 1-0 in the series.
They decided to call off the match when the score was 94 for 3 requiring only 86 runs off 90 balls which is a gettable total and as such were severely criticized by the Indians commentators.