Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Melbourne

A glut of debuts and run-outs

Plays of the Day from the first ODI between Australia and Sri Lanka, at the MCG

Brydon Coverdale at the MCG

January 11, 2013

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

A pitch invader manages to bowl a ball on the cut strip, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Melbourne, January 11, 2013
A spectator managed to get as far as the pitch and bowl a delivery with a tennis ball © AFP
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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 here

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Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

DrTchock as you as a intelligent cric info poster England has had a good team for a while now. They have certianly been beter than Aust for the last 4 years but what FFL posts is simply not true the lies get bites which is what he is trying to do. backing up such comments will put your own posts into question by all who know anything about cricket.RandyOZ could take the same advice as well.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 6:10 GMT)

@DrTchock More than a year between series is 'quick succession'? Trapper isn't looking bitter and twisted, he's being reasonable. Australia's Test ranking is three, one point on the rankings behind England. If that's 'decent' you're a tough marker, especially if you actually watched the Aus-SA series where we pushed them hard before falling down at the final hurdle.

Meanwhile, FFL has been telling us that Australia is the fifth-ranked (!) team all Summer and on the same level as Sri Lanka. That's clearly not true, as we've whitewashed them and it looks like the pain isn't going to end in the ODIs. That said, being on Sri Lanka's level isn't a big deal. They're a good enough team to beat England in a test.

Posted by pat_one_back on (January 12, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

@DrTchock, you sound sane, no need to defend the troll, a year or so where tests were lost to SA,SL,Pak,India is hardly outright bragging material. There is space between being 'poor' and world beaters, both Aust & Eng presently occupy it....

Posted by pat_one_back on (January 12, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

Poor Front-foot-Clunge, decades in the wilderness supporting the laughing stock of the cricketing world have left you so sad and bitter and deluded!

Posted by Buggsy on (January 11, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

Haha front foot - "long dominance" in Tests. Two Ashes series? Come back after 17 years of humiliation, then you'll be taken seriously. Oh, and a 5-zip whitewash as well.

Posted by OzWally on (January 11, 2013, 22:29 GMT)

@SurlyCynic - No worries, Inverarity has already said he (the spectator) will be rested for Adelaide.

Posted by OzWally on (January 11, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

@FLL - current ICC Test rankings #2 England @ 117.68 #3 Australia 117.05. Far recesses indeed! Any way I think that's what you meant (recedes??), is English your 2nd language? Just as your team's predominately English (by 2nd nationality).

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

Quick question for Front foot lunge..

How many World Cups have England won, mate?

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 11, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

I'm just surprised the guy with a tennis ball didn't injure himself. Bowled a longer spell than most aussie 'pace' bowlers manage.

Posted by fear_warner on (January 11, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge it sounds like the wilderness years/decades of the English team really hurt you mate. Those crushing, humiliating defeats of the past which poor english cricket fans have endured must be hard to get past . Isn't the english team part Sth African anyway?

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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