Plays of the day December 28, 2007

Jumping Jaques and a singing Harbhajan

Cricinfo staff
  shares



Harbhajan Singh has dismissed Ricky Ponting six times in eight Tests © Getty Images

Jumping Jaques
Phil Jaques continued his fine scoring streak since replacing Justin Langer with his fifth consecutive innings of at least a half-century. Since re-entering the team in November he has 100, 150, 68, 66 and 51, which make him the team's leading run-scorer of the year. This is only Australia's fourth Test of 2007 and Jaques (435) is ahead of Michael Hussey (374) while Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke are both on 320.

Harbhajan sings when Ponting steps out
Harbhajan Singh has moved to third on Ricky Ponting's list of least-liked bowlers. The pair has played in eight Tests together and when Ponting glided Harbhajan to Rahul Dravid at first slip on 3 it was the sixth time he had fallen to the bowler. "I have some success against him, but I don't know how or why," Harbhajan said. "It was my 250th wicket, that means a lot." Anil Kumble, who will have to wait till Sydney to try to add to his tally, is second in Ponting's nightmares on seven, one behind Darren Gough.

Costly misses
Zaheer Khan delivered the ball of the match with an outstanding offcutter that bowled Andrew Symonds on 7. The initial problem was that it was a no-ball, but as the Indian fielders questioned their luck, the ball squirted passed Mahendra Singh Dhoni and was ignored. Once Symonds realised he wasn't headed for the stands he signalled Michael Clarke for a cheeky run. "It was an amazing ball, it skidded on, and both Symmo and myself were a bit surprised," Clarke said. "Then he called me through for a single. I was like: 'What are you running for? You've just been bowled.'

Out of step
A couple of overs later Zaheer transgressed again and his loud lbw appeal for Clarke was cut short by Billy Bowden's out-stretched arm. Anil Kumble did well to remain calm during Zaheer's 12 no-balls for the innings.

Things we learned today
"I call the MCG Shane Warne's ground because I used to see him on TV bowling here," Harbhajan said. He also revealed what Ponting said after Harbhajan was hit a stinging blow on the chest by Brett Lee on day two. "He asked me if the ball had gone out of shape. I'm still fine." Harbhajan then patted the area and smiled.

Cap's on for Clarke
Three years ago Clarke called for his baggy green when he was in the 90s so he could wear it when he made his century on debut. With Kumble and Harbhajan operating in tandem, Clarke had another chance to send the helmet to the dressing room, but this time there was no bat raise. He missed Kumble's wrong'un and was stumped on 73.