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Plays of the Day from the first ODI between Australia and Sri Lanka, at the MCG
January 11, 2013
Debuts of the day
Three Australians made their ODI debuts in this game: Phillip Hughes, Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja. The last time Australia had so many first-gamers in a one-day international, none of Hughes, Finch and Khawaja had been born. It was January 1986, when Steve Waugh, Dave Gilbert, Bruce Reid and Simon Davis all debuted together against New Zealand, also at the MCG. This time there was the added novelty of the three debutants batting in the top three spots, and they received their ODI caps from three former top-order batsmen. Mark Taylor awarded Finch his cap, Dean Jones presented one to Hughes, and Michael Slater handed one over to Khawaja.
Run-out of the day, mark I
One of Australia's debutants, Hughes, enjoyed the day with a century, but for another, Khawaja, it wasn't quite so memorable. Khawaja was on 3 when he pushed a ball to midwicket and took off for a single, but he was sent back by his partner Hughes. Khawaja dived at full stretch and appeared to have made his ground but on replay, it became apparent that the throw from Jeevan Mendis had Khawaja in trouble. Khawaja had indeed got his bat past the crease, but it had bounced awkwardly and while half the blade was clearly hovering over safe territory, none of it was grounded.
Run-out of the day, mark II
Khawaja's fielding was one of the areas of his game that Australia's selectors wanted him to work on when he was dropped from the Test side last summer. He has. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal had steered Sri Lanka into a position from which they could realistically dream of a successful chase when Dilshan pushed a ball to mid-off and took off for a single. Once upon a time, that might have been safe with Khawaja the fielder, but this time he pounced on the ball and threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end to find Dilshan well short.
Run-outs of the day, mark III and IV
As if the loss of Dilshan wasn't bad enough, Sri Lanka gave up two more wickets to run-outs shortly afterwards. From consecutive balls. And both from the fielding of Glenn Maxwell. The first one came when Chandimal pushed the ball to midwicket and sent his partner Angelo Mathews back, and he couldn't beat Maxwell's direct hit at the non-striker's end. Next ball, Chandimal again found Maxwell at midwicket but this time took off for a run. His partner Lahiru Thirimanne had no hope of making his ground at the striker's end and was out for a diamond duck.
Unexpected delivery of the day
37.4 good length ball outside off stump from an unknown shirtless bowler, the pitch displaying some tennis-ball bounce.
Throughout the day, the MCG scoreboard repeatedly advised spectators that fines of up to $8500 would be incurred for anyone who ran on to the field. It didn't stop one pitch invader in the 38th over of the Sri Lankan chase. But what made this man different was that he came prepared. Not only did he make it to the pitch but he brought with him a tennis ball, which he then ran in and bowled, before trying unsuccessfully to make a getaway. For the record, he hit a line and length that Glenn McGrath would have been proud of.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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