South Australia v Warriors, CLT20, Hyderabad September 25, 2011

The showman and a thunderbolt

ESPNcricinfo presents Plays of the Day from the South Australia v Warriors CLT20 game

The showman
There are very few certainties in life. One of them is Makhaya Ntini's toothy grin. It's always on, whether he is playing, whether he is training or whether, like today, he is carrying the practice stumps from the ground during the innings break. There was some loud music playing, and Ntini, ever the showman, danced all the way from the square to the Warriors dugout, whirling the stumps in both hands to the delight of the crowd close to the dugout.

The thunderbolt
On the rare occasion that Shaun Tait gets it on target, there is not much that a batsman can do, except hope that his legs and stumps are not in the way. Today, it took Tait just three deliveries to get his radar tuned. After a couple of loose ones, the third ball seared in full at Ashwell Prince's stumps. Prince got the first part right, safely tucking his legs out of harm's way, but before his bat could come done on the ball, it had uprooted middle stump. Unfortunately for Tait, that was the only moment he would have enjoyed in an otherwise utterly forgettable game for him.

The letdown
Nathan Lyon came on in the fifth over to bowl his first delivery of the Champions League Twenty20 to a left-handed No. 3 batsman. There was even a slip in place. As the anticipation rose for a possible repeat of his first-ball wicket in the Galle Test, Lyon's delivery proved that the game's shortest format was very different from the longest. Lyon had tossed it up his first ball in Galle; this time he speared it flat and full for a wide down the leg side. By the end of his first over, the slip had disappeared to become a second short fine leg.

The déjà vu feeling
What is it with South Australia and Lonwabo Tsotsobe? Redbacks were chasing 175 in the 2010 Champions League semi-final when he took the life out of the innings with two early wickets. Today, they had to overhaul 171 and South Australia were wary enough of Tsotsobe this time to practice specially against the left-arm angle leading into the game. It was all for naught though. Tsotsobe struck with the fifth ball of his first over, getting Daniel Harris to nick one to Mark Boucher and give Redbacks the start they dreaded. He would strike again in his second over, again with the fifth ball, to give Warriors the ascendancy that they would never relinquish.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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