Plays of the day January 27, 2008

Thx Gilly

Cricinfo staff


One of three spectators who tried to invade the pitch © Getty Images
 

Thx Gilly
The sign-writers had either had a tip-off or worked late last night because when the public rocked up to the Adelaide Oval today the advertising hoardings from his mobile phone sponsor read "Thx Gilly", echoing similar signs for Australia's Ashes departees, Glenn, Shane and Justin.

Gilly fires at Billy
It was the only four of Adam Gilchrist's 18-ball stay but wasn't short on shock value. Gilchrist latched on to a full ball and drilled it straight down the ground, bulleting nearly two feett over the non-striker's stumps. Umpire Billy Bowden could have been threatened with decapitation had he stood his ground but showed sharp reflexes to duck and swerve. 41 fours were struck in Australia's innings but this was a potential umpire killer.

Catch and clap
Virender Sehwag's sharp catch to dismiss Gilchrist prompted a mighty sigh in the ground but the fielder seemed to realise the value of the moment. Sitting cross-legged, he began to applaud as Gilchrist began his walk to the pavilion. As the rest of the fielders stood beside him and saluted a champion, Sehwag, ball in hand, clapped heartily.

Scores level, play halted
Soon after Andrew Symonds flicked a ball away to midwicket to get Australia to 526, a masked spectator jumped over the fence at the Cathedral End and pranced around the outfield. Policemen surrounded him as the crowd roared but he was up to the task for a while, dodging a couple of cops like a rugby pro.

Just as he was overpowered, another spectator jumped in, this time with an Australian flag. He didn't make any dodging attempts, though, and was led out without too much fuss. A third was merely pitiful: he didn't even make it as far as the boundary rope, stopping to admire himself for getting onto the grass, before he was apprehended.

A case of dropsy
Australia's fumbles continued when they came out to bowl. Michael Clarke was the culprit when, with Virender Sehwag on two, he spilled a straightforward chance off Brett Lee at second slip. Visibly nervous he appeared to have the ball covered before letting it slip through his fingers.

India fumbled too. Two days' fielding in the sun must have made Anil Kumble sleepy. He was hardly awake at midwicket when he dropped a sitter - some wag shouting "You've got to have at least one eye open, Kumbles" - to allow Mitchell Johnson to enhance his batting average, albeit briefly.

From Bradman to Dravid ... in one stroke
Johnson began his innings with a Bradman-esque average of 99. Getting off the mark with a back-cut four, he passed the 100-mark and soon equalled Andy Ganteaume's average of 112, the highest for any Test cricketer. He couldn't do much more, though, and, trying to clear the field with a slog-sweep, holed out to long-on. Immediately his average dipped to a more Dravid-esque 56. A classic double-or-quit situation on a cricket field.