Australia v India, 1st ODI, CB Series, Brisbane February 3, 2008

Harsh initiations, and Gilchrist keeps walking


Manoj Tiwary had a harsh initiation to international cricket © Getty Images
 

Flash performer keeps on walking
Adam Gilchrist's farewell has become a blinding experience. So many people were desperate to capture his last game in Brisbane that the light created by the camera flashes was more like an Olympic athletics event than an ODI. His 14 ended when he walked after a leg-side edge that the umpire Steve Davis didn't look like giving. The crowd stood to applaud his career and his honesty.

Sing for Harbhajan
The banner "Go Bananas Roy" went up as soon as Harbhajan Singh walked out and the crowd bellowed "boo" to welcome and send him off. Between the greetings Harbhajan carved out a neat little cameo of 27. Having survived a tough Gilchrist miss, Harbhajan retaliated with a force that had some of the same crowd clapping. He cut hard, charged at the bowlers, drove and slapped at anything short. In the penultimate over he picked 12 off Nathan Bracken with the best shot being a cover drive on his knees. The crowd chanting continued when he fielded and he encouraged the spectators to make more noise by cupping his hand to his ear.

Debutant jitters
Ashley Noffke's initiation was as difficult as the one Brett Lee saved for Manoj Tiwary. Gautam Gambhir was the target when Noffke sprinted in for the ninth over, releasing a short and wide ball which was pushed through point for four. The second effort was glided to third man for two, the next offering was cut firmly to a fielder and a similar shot greeted the fourth, except it was lofted and raced to the boundary. A single was taken before Noffke got a roar from the slips when the sixth delivery was a dot. Having given up 11 off his first over and 27 from four, he did well to bring it back to 1 for 46 off nine.

Back, back ... bowled
Tiwary's entry was more frightening as Lee welcomed him with a series of short balls, including a couple which narrowly missed his helmet. The back-foot diet was continued until Lee surprised the batsman with a superb slower, fuller delivery. Expecting another short one, Tiwary was unable to convince himself to move forward and his feet barely moved before the stumps were upset. The way Lee worked him over was a repeat of Wasim Jaffer's dismissal in the first innings at the SCG.

Hit and run
There's always a first time, but Sachin Tendulkar wouldn't have imagined he could get out hit wicket. Lee bowled one into his ribs and Tendulkar, who had already braced himself for the short one, took a step back, tapped the ball to the onside and dashed for a single. However, his right heel brushed the base of the stumps.

Slips in slips
Michael Hussey, standing at second, wanted to clasp the catch, but instead he ended up spilling the low-down offering when Gambhir nicked an outswinger from Mitchell Johnson. Two balls later Gambhir played closer to his body and managed another edge, but this one was travelling high towards Ricky Ponting at first slip. He got his hands on it without controlling it above his head and the ball bounced behind him. It was a much harder effort, but not as difficult as the diving one Gilchrist almost reached off Harbhajan.

Caught short
While Australia's catching wasn't so impressive, Ponting made sure the fielding was memorable with a fine direct hit from midwicket that cut short Irfan Pathan's innings. After Michael Clarke's brilliant pick-up-and-throw in the Twenty20, Ponting showed he could match his young team-mate from a similar distance.

Listen to this
He had a false start on resumption after another rain break. He turned back and pitched it just short of a length and it climbed quite high to a surprised James Hopes who was caught unawares. But it was a no ball and to rub it in, Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave away four byes. Ishant Sharma's tail was up. Hopes had no clue to the next three deliveries as Sharma beat him equally with pace and bounce. The following ball pitched on a good length and jagged back in fiercely to flatten the off stump, ending Hopes' agony. Sharma celebrated his first wicket by cupping his hands around his ears to hear if the crowd had to say anything.