Cape Cobras v Trinidad & Tobago, CLT20, Chennai

A Mathews impersonation

Plays of the Day from the match between Cape Cobras and Trinidad & Tobago in Chennai

Nitin Sundar at the MA Chidambaram Stadium

October 4, 2011

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The overhead smash
With conventional strokes not fetching too many runs on the Chennai pitch, the batsmen had to attempt outrageous innovations to get the ball off the square. In the 11th over of the game, Kevon Cooper produced an offcutter that was clocked at 109 kph. It landed short of a length outside off and virtually stopped on an advancing Owais Shah before bouncing extra. Shah calmly altered his swing, brought the bat down from over the right shoulder and clubbed the ball into the off side. The shot was stopped in the covers, but Shah got marks for effort.

The reluctant runner
For a moment in the 13th over, the cricket turned into a comedy show. Sunil Narine bowled a full ball on Shah's pads, and he on-drove it wide of the bowler. Shah called Dane Vilas for a single but changed his mind when he saw Narine, one of the slower fielders in the generally sluggish T&T line-up, sprint after the ball with a series of short and furious steps that suggested a lot of intent. Having tagged the ball, though, Narine was reluctant to put in the slide, and Shah belatedly decided to go for the single. By then Narine had picked up the ball and flung at the bowler's end. If he had hit, Shah would have been on his way.

The yorker
It wasn't delivered by a bowler. In the 18th over, Shah got under a length ball and lofted it flat towards long-on. Cooper moved in for the catch, but suddenly realised he wasn't going to reach the ball and stopped short. The ball landed barely a foot in front of him - the fielder's version of the yorker - and Cooper did extremely well to stop it from either causing bodily harm, or escaping to the boundary.

The pace factor
In his menacing opening burst, Dale Steyn steamed in from the pavilion end and sent down a series of super-fast outswingers at the clueless T&T openers. The fact that there was no bounce in the pitch meant they skidded past late pokes and thudded into the wicketkeeper's gloves. Having beaten the outside edge on a regular basis, Steyn blasted out William Perkins with a beauty that straightened at lively pace to rap the pads. Slow pitch? Not when Steyn was doing his thing.

The wasted freebies
In his second over, Rory Kleinveldt over-stepped three times in five balls, including once while bowling a free-hit. Despite two of them being hittable full tosses, T&T could manage a grand total of only one run off the free-hits. To make matters worse, Lendl Simmons was out slogging the only ball in a sequence of six off which he could have been dismissed. Was he expecting that one - the third legal delivery of the over - to be a no-ball as well?

The Angelo-Mathews moment
In the 16th over of the chase, Sherwin Ganga connected well with a lofted on-drive that was set to carry over the long-on boundary. Andrew Puttick, the fielder in the deep, however, nearly pulled off a stunner with a gravity-defying leap straight out of the Matrix movies. Puttick back-pedalled to the edge of the field with his eyes on the ball and leapt upwards while arching his back. When he was fully horizontal, he thrust a hand out behind him, but the ball escaped his grasp and fell over the line for six.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Nitin Sundar Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.
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