Plays of the day January 19, 2008

Magic Johnson, and Sehwag does a Warne

Cricinfo staff



Adam Gilchrist succumbed to a masterstroke by the Indian captain, bringing Virender Sehwag on to break the partnership © Getty Images
 

One more over?
Had Ricky Ponting not been on strike, Ishant Sharma might not have bowled the 34th over of the innings. He had bowled seven overs on the trot, troubling Ponting with darting in-cutters, but he seemed to have finished his share. RP Singh, taking his cap and jumper off, began walking towards the bowling mark. Ishant had done the same too and Anil Kumble, meeting them near the pitch, needed to decide which one to go for. Sehwag intervened and told Kumble that Ishant usually bowls long spells in domestic cricket. "Will you bowl one more?" Kumble asked Ishant. One ball later, they were celebrating.

Magic Johnson
Time in the middle has been rare for Mitchell Johnson in his five-match Test career, but he made the most of his opportunity as the match wound down in energetic fashion. Johnson shared a comedic partnership with Stuart Clark (32) as they employed a death-or-glory approach. Anil Kumble was Johnson's main target as he took on a legside boundary that was peppered with fielders. He struck two sixes, five fours and numerous balls in between fielders during a personal Test best of 50.

More noise, please
Not only did Irfan Pathan gladden a billion hearts with his ball to dismiss Stuart Clark but celebrated uniquely: putting his hands close to his ears as if to tell the crowd, 'I can't hear you'. He smiled when asked about an explanation. "I just wanted to hear more noise. I heard a lot when they were hitting fours and I wanted to hear the noise for a wicket."

Pup's screamer
It was the most fitting way to reach fifty, a whiplashed cover drive, watching the ball speed away and raising your bat to the ovation. Michael Clarke didn't just hit that one, he caned it and watched as it bulleted away towards the hoardings.

Sehwag's coup
This one will go down as a masterstroke by the Indian captain. Brought on when the game looked to be drifting away, Virender Sehwag did a Warne, bowling a dangerous Adam Gilchrist round his legs. The ball ripped from outside the left-handers leg stump and Gilchrist, trying to slog sweep, saw it ricochet off his pad onto the stumps. Incidentally, it was only a few minutes earlier that he had put a squash ball into his glove.

Umpires lose count
The tension, it seemed, got to the umpires as well. For three overs in a row they just couldn't seem to agree on when six balls were done. As the lunch break approached, Irfan Pathan seemed to have finished an over when confusion reigned. Pathan returned to his mark, the fielders changed position, readying themselves for another ball, only to be sent back to where they came from. Neither umpire Billy Bowden or Asad Rauf seemed to agree on when the over finished and for two more overs, they dilly-dallied. How many umpires does it take to count six balls? Two, we learnt was surely not enough.

Harbhajan's run
Just moments after the game, as India's fielders converged close to the pitch, Harbhajan Singh appeared. Carrying an Indian tricolour, he sprinted maniacally towards the middle. He obviously couldn't contain himself after such a traumatic week and celebrated as if there was no tomorrow.