Plays of the day January 18, 2008

Friends reunited, and a sense of humour

Cricinfo staff



RP Singh teed off for his first six in international cricket © AFP
 

Lee's rewind
India had lost a couple of quick wickets in the first session when Brett Lee steamed in to VVS Laxman. Lee was about to leap into his delivery stride when Laxman, possibly distracted by a fly or something behind the sightscreen, backed away. Lee stood surprised for a few moments before pretending to run backwards, as if he was rewinding the film. Laxman, who is never too far from an apologetic look, was one of many who let out a hearty smile.

Friends reunited
It's the first Test visit to Perth for Matthew Hayden since Justin Langer retired and Hayden's leg injury has meant the pair has had plenty of time to spend together. They had dinner together on Thursday and shared something that has not been seen publicly for 12 months - a hug. The former partners embraced after a brief stint in the ABC commentary box so the moment could be caught on camera and posted on the broadcaster's website.

RP's mighty swish
It was the penultimate ball before tea and RP Singh, who was facing Andrew Symonds, was expected to down the shutters. RP, though, decided it was time he smashed an international six. Planting his front foot out, he teed off like a golfer, lofting the ball over long-on. It was something he hadn't managed in eight previous Tests, 38 ODIs and eight Twenty20s. The next delivery, pitched on leg stump, was kicked away nonchalantly before RP proudly strode back to the pavilion.

Tortoise and hare
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had shelved his attacking shots in the national interest, taking 43 balls over 5 before his fire ignited briefly. India were pushing ahead cautiously when Dhoni broke free, launching himself at Michael Clarke and collecting a straight six which was more in tune with his usual method. However, he slipped back into a sombre mood until breaking out to hit his second six, which came off Symonds.

Ishant digs it out
Australia had just broken through a nagging 51-run stand when Ishant Sharma, India's No.11, walked in. His first-innings cameo in Sydney showed he could hit, but few would have expected him to dig out a dart-accurate yorker from Stuart Clark first up. Faced with one at 131kph, he juddered his bat down and the inside edge raced away to fine leg for four. Clark might have felt the effort was good enough to get a wicket; he saw Ishant grinning instead.

Local relief
Australia had to take quick wickets in the first session and after a slow first half hour things looked up for the home team when Virender Sehwag sliced a drive to Michael Hussey at gully. Except he dropped it. At the time it felt like a costly miss, but Clark bowled Sehwag in the next over as India lost 4 for 46.