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Plays of the Day for the Champions League semi-final between Lions v Delhi Daredevils in Durban
October 25, 2012
Selection of the day
When Ross Taylor was named Delhi Daredevils captain for their match against Titans on Tuesday, it was thought of as nothing but squad rotation. New leader Mahela Jayawardene stepped aside for Australian opener David Warner* to be a part of the starting XI. In the semi-final, when Taylor appeared at the toss, it was the real surprise. Jayawardene had dropped himself again and given Warner another go.
Tension of the day
There was always going to be some needle when Morne Morkel faced up against a South African side and he had a few things to say to Gulam Bodi. But the real tension came when Pietersen had to bowl to Bodi. Pietersen had named Bodi as the reason he was denied a place in the Kwa-Zulu Natal team of the late '90s and called Bodi a "quota player". The hostility was there but Bodi proved his worth when he hit Pietersen for back-to-back boundaries.
Under-19 battle of the day
Quinton de Kock and Unmukt Chand will probably know each other from the recent Under-19 World Cup and could become two of the most talked-about players in future. They provided a small glimpse into their battle today. De Kock tried to end a slow run-scoring period for Lions by pulling Umesh Yadav but Chand was waiting at deep midwicket. He did not have to move much to take the catch but lost the ball in the background and it burst through his open palms. Two overs later, de Kock tried to pull again but top-edged and Chand had the last laugh.
Drops of the day
With the wind blowing at 50kph, there were bound to be some errors in the field. Daredevils did not fare too badly until consecutive deliveries from Morkel. Birthday boy Yadav put down Neil McKenzie at long-on and then Pietersen dropped him at deep square leg. The latter drew more jeers from what used to be his home crowd. Pietersen was himself dropped later on when Chris Morris could not hold on at long-on.
Flop of the day
Virender Sehwag's tournament was not as dismal as some other openers (Herschelle Gibbs and Sachin Tendulkar come to mind) but he still disappointed on the big day. After a near run-out to get on strike, Sehwag did not justify that action. He holed out to mid-on off the first ball he faced to put Daredevils in trouble early on. Sehwag last scored a hundred in South Africa 11 years ago, in a Test match in 2001 and has never brought up three-figures in a limited-overs game in the country.
Promotion of the day
Daredevil's batting tactics continued to be flexible and they tried something different when they sent Irfan Pathan in at No. 5. With 78 runs required off less than nine overs, Pathan was sent in to bat ahead of Ross Taylor as a pinch-hitter and the move backfired almost immediately. He managed just a single before top-edging an attempted pull off the left arm-spinner, Aaron Phangiso, and was caught at deep backward square.
Celebration of the day
Lions haven't had that much to be cheerful about in recent seasons and this must rank as one of their best, if not their best, moments of the last few years. The Red Thunder, as they have chosen to nickname themselves, stormed the Kingsmead pitch and hugged and high-fived. But the face of their captain, Alviro Petersen, remained unchanged as, in the words of Rudyard Kipling, he met with "Triumph and Disaster and treated those two imposters just the same".
* Oct 26 5.50am The name of the Australia opener has been corrected
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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