Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 1st day January 3, 2013

A tribute to Tony Greig

Plays of the Day from the first day of the third Test between Australia and Sri Lanka in Sydney

The tribute
Australia, Sri Lanka and the match officials had another team join them for a moment's silence to honour Tony Greig after the former England captain, World Series Cricket pioneer and strident commentator died last week. Also lined up at the SCG were Greig's commentary colleagues at Channel Nine, including Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell and Richie Benaud. Joining them were members of Greig's family, while on the stumps at the Paddington end was hung his trademark broad-brimmed hat. The players wore black arm bands in memory of Greig, while Australia's captain Michael Clarke donned a neck scarf reminiscent of those Greig wore when leading England in Australia and India. Many in the crowd also wore sunhats. Of the tribute, Greig's wife Vivian said: "I just wish he could have seen it. I'm so grateful, truly grateful."

The retiree
Michael Hussey led Australia onto the field for the start of his final Test, and in the first session the ball followed him too. He ran from the slips cordon to accept a high, swirling chance after Dimuth Karunaratne miscued Jackson Bird for the first wicket of the day, but had less success claiming the second. He lunged for a slips chance offered by Mahela Jayawardene when Sri Lanka's captain had made just four, but unlike in Melbourne the ball burst through his outstretched left hand and scurried away to the third-man boundary.

The exasperation
Mitchell Starc can be given to moments of intemperance on the field, and another arrived after he had dismissed Jayawardene to end a stand that frustrated the hosts. Fielding Thilan Samaraweera's push back down the pitch, Starc hurled the ball back in the general direction of the stumps. He had done this in Hobart and struck the batsman; this time the throw was much further awry, and eluded Matthew Wade's dive to skid away for four overthrows.

The catch
Lahiru Thirimanne was progressing so serenely towards a first Test century that it came as a surprise when he sliced an attempt to drive Lyon square of cover. The ball hung in the air for someone to attempt a catch, and David Warner obliged, running around and diving to claim the chance in his right hand. It was a vital moment: Thirimanne was beside himself with grief at missing out on three figures, Warner equally overcome, but with jubilance at hanging on to a catch that could so easily have tumbled out when he hit the turf.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Madhusudan on January 4, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    If the TV was mute or any other commentator was on air, a normal eye/mind could not feel that excitement what Tony's voice produced.......... we will always miss HIM.

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    @ late--cut: it was NOT a no-ball - the replay clearly showed the heel land inside the crease, THEN slide forward - which is perfectly legal.

  • Unni on January 3, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Tony Greig!! What an energy!!! The excitement he created with this words was something special!! Truly he will be missed! Especially when I watch Cricket on Channel 9!! My his soul RIP!! Good Bye Tony!

  • Peter on January 3, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    What a striking and touching image that is of Greigy's hat resting on the stumps. Also a lovely touch from Michael Clarke to wear the neck scarf. No doubt Tony's family have taken a lot of comfort from the outpouring of affection and respect for one of cricket's great names.

  • Edd on January 3, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    Great tribute to Tony Greig, very moving to see his two sons wearing his old hats and walking out to the middle as well. Miss his commentary already, it's going to be awful when Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell retire.

    Warming to Mark Nicholas and Michael Slater, not sure about Mark Taylor, but Ian Healy's 'commentary' is awful.

  • nandaka on January 3, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    Ah..Tony. We miss you so much. This match is truly a tribute to you. [ By the way How come nobody writes about how Mahela got out by a no-ball ? I am not sure how 3rd umpire gave the benefit of the doubt to bowler......... strange things keep happening n nobody talk about 'em.

  • Moz on January 3, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    That picture of Tony Greig's hat on the wicket is just so, so poignant. RIP to a great commentator. He (and his keys) will be sadly missed.

  • Pelham on January 3, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    the neckscarf Clarke wore, was, in fact, Tony Greig's actual neckscarf. Greig's son gave it to Clarke before the match began - Australian coverage showed footage of it.

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