Plays of the day November 11, 2007

Timely rain, and a game of millimetres

A fine line: Stuart MacGill nearly dismissed Michael Vandort on 49 (file photo) © Getty Images
Shutting up
Marvan Atapattu's "muppet" outburst had people throughout the ground humming Jim Henson songs today, but there was not much coming from the mouths of the Sri Lankans. According to Trevor Bayliss, the coach, the comments were not talked about within the visiting camp and everyone was singing the same tune.

Turning in the rain
Sri Lanka's defiance was admirable through most of the day, but dealing with the constant interruptions eventually wore them down. Rain breaks occurred in each session and it was not until late in the afternoon that the batsmen's concentration suffered. Michael Vandort was the first to slip shortly after returning from an interval and an over later he was followed by Thilan Samaraweera, who slashed limply to gully.

A game of millimetres
What's the difference between a 200th Test wicket and four byes? Two centimetres, according to Nine's technology. Stuart MacGill's skidding short ball was missed by Vandort's pull shot and it somehow avoided skimming the top of the bails before racing past Adam Gilchrist. "When it went over middle stump I wondered if there was such a thing as bad luck and whether I'd been slapped around the head with it," MacGill said. More precision was needed and he finally got there when he bowled Vandort on 82.

Lest we forget
The first time the weather intervened was shortly before 11am, which was particularly timely for the minute of silence to mark Remembrance Day. Australia's players were able to line up on the boundary edge as a mark of respect for those who died in war.

Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo