Plays of the Day November 12, 2007

Another Stuart, another milestone

Stuart Clark reached 50 Test wickets from ten games (file photo) © Getty Images

Hooray for helmets
The selection of Farveez Maharoof created a headache for the team before the first Test and the bowler finished the match with one. Brett Lee's bouncer is mean most of the time, but it is even more dangerous on a murky morning and Maharoof was unable to avoid it. He turned his head as he ducked and the ball thudded into the back of his helmet, ballooning to Adam Gilchrist. It was the second helmet Lee had struck in the game after finding Marvan Atapattu's in the first innings.

Not yet safe hands
Phil Jaques staged a verbal defence of his fielding before returning to the Test team on Thursday and he has spent much of the match at short leg, a position he has been working hard to master. His efforts in close have been fine but he made a mistake at square leg in the second over of the morning. Lunging to intercept Chamara Silva's flick off Stuart Clark, he was unable to grab the chance that was comfortable by Test standards.

Nifty fifty
After Stuart MacGill's speedy achievement of 200 wickets in 41 Tests comes Stuart Clark's acceleration to 50. Clark recovered quickly from Jaques' spill to trap Prasanna Jayawardene lbw in his next over and bring up his half-century in 10 games. Charlie Turner reached the mark in a record six matches while other Australians to beat Clark included Fred Spofforth, Rodney Hogg and Terry Alderman (eight matches) and MacGill, Arthur Mailey and JJ Ferris (nine).

The immoveable feast
Tea times have permission to switch due to rain or a team being nine wickets down, but the lunch reservation is always the same. Sri Lanka lost four wickets in the 18.5 overs allowed by the rain and regulations in the first session, with Lee making the penultimate breakthrough two minutes after the food was due. The 40-minute break was taken and the players returned for 15 balls before Muttiah Muralitharan was bowled by Clark.

Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo