Tendulkar strolls, but a lady toils
As Sachin Tendulkar deftly guided the final ball of the match to bring up not only the winning runs but also his 41st Test century, a banner was held up in front of the Test Match Special Commentary box which read "India's great victory - dedicated to the people who died in Mumbai". It was of course particularly poignant that the "little master", a Mumbaiker, should be the man to win the game.
In any circumstances the thrilling Test match which has just taken place in Chennai will be celebrated as one of the best games in recent times. But when you consider the context of the game then the events we witnessed at the MA Chidambaram Stadium are all the more remarkable. Only just over a week ago the tour was in the balance, but both sides managed to compensate for the troubled build-up to produce an amazing spectacle.
I have been very fortunate to watch cricket in India before - but the atmosphere generated here in Chennai has been amazing. The public here have really embraced the occasion and turned out in their thousands despite the fact the fixture was only confirmed a few days ago. As long as we have occasions like this then the future of Test cricket should be secure despite the growth of the Twenty20 game so popular in this part of the world.
The cricket in this match was so entertaining that it managed to overshadow the incredible levels of security that have been in place here. Although in my personal experience the daily bag search was made less arduous if you enthusiastically declared that you believed that India were definitely going to win the game.
Thankfully there was little work for the amazing amount of security forces gathered here in Chennai. The head of security came into our commentary box during the game to boast that he has provided not only the best protection available in India, but also in the whole of Asia.
According to the press release he was cheerfully handing out to all media during the game "Three thousand police personnel were deployed, including 300 commandos of the Swift Action Group, Swift Action Force, Rapid Action Force, plain-clothes policemen and women, Armed Reserve Police, Sharpshooters Team, Anti-Sabotage Check Teams, Frisking teams, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad team, VIP Security teams, Intelligence Gathering teams, Escort Parties and horse mounted police along with local Chennai City law and order police."
One of our team was grateful for the efforts of the security forces. Reporter Alison Mitchell was unfortunate to find herself locked in the toilet and despite her loud cries and banging on the door could not raise the alarm for 20 minutes. She also managed to leave her mobile in the commentary box so could not phone for help. Fortunately, two female members of the "Rapid Action Force" went to use the lavatory and heard Alison. It then took 10 members of security staff to break down the door as she took shelter on a ledge above the cistern.
Alison now informs us every time she makes a visit to the lavatory and takes along two phones in case of a repeat incident. The event has made Alison into a local celebrity following descriptions of her ordeal appearing in local and national newspapers, on the television coverage and on cricket websites throughout the world.
The incident even inspired one TMS listener Peter Wilson to burst into poetry. He e-mailed us with this offering.
With the Chennai bogg door stuck fast
Ms Mitchell was very downcast
In spite of her frantic cries
The ladies the lock could not prise
But a Police boot just saved her broadcast
But what is particularly apt is that the sign outside the ladies bathroom at the stadium says "Ladies Toiles".