Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Melbourne March 2, 2012

The flying bat and the baffling fine

ESPNcricinfo presents Plays of the Day from the CB Series ODI between Australia and Sri Lanka in Melbourne
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The run-out that wasn't
The throw came in, the wicketkeeper whipped the bails off, the umpire raised his finger and Dinesh Chandimal began to walk off the field. But there was more to what looked like a straightforward run-out than first met the eye. Lahiru Thirimanne's cut was collected at deep point by Ben Hilfenhaus, who slid and relayed the ball to David Warner, who in turn sent it on to Matthew Wade to catch Chandimal short. But replays showed Hilfenhaus' heel had touched the boundary while he had the ball in his hand. That message was relayed to the on-field umpires and it was a reprieve for Chandimal, and a boundary for Sri Lanka.

The catch
The old catch it on the rope, toss it back into play, fall over the boundary and step back in to catch it again. It's a routine that had hardly been considered, let alone seen on a cricket field a few years ago. Now it's so common that such catches are almost passé. Almost, but not quite. Michael Hussey's catch to get rid of Thisara Perera was perhaps not as spectacular as some other such takes, but any man who thinks fast enough and is good enough to pull off such a catch in the deep deserves praise. It's a catch that requires awareness, skill and dexterity, all of which Hussey possesses in abundance.

The fortunate finger
The Hussey catch was the first of Daniel Christian's three hat-trick wickets. The second was an lbw that was close, but according to Eagle Eye, out. The third was not. Whether the umpire Rod Tucker got caught up in the moment or whether he simply misjudged how far the ball was moving towards the leg side, Nuwan Kulasekara was unlucky to be given out lbw and Christian was fortunate to become the fourth man to take an ODI hat-trick for Australia. Replays showed the ball would have missed the stumps.

The disappearing bat
Wicketkeeping can be a dangerous business, as Kumar Sangakkara well knows. But this time he was not the man in peril. During the 24th over of Sri Lanka's innings, Sangakkara pulled a delivery from Xavier Doherty with such force that he lost his grip on the bat and it flew past behind him and just missed the gloveman Matthew Wade. It could easily have hit Wade, or the stumps, but did neither. All's well that ends well.

The fine
Visiting fans often struggle to understand the strangely specific amounts that they can be fined for various activities in Australia. A few would have been puzzled when the big screen told them they could be fined $488 for any behaviour that resulted in them being evicted from the MCG by police. That figure is the result of fines being issued based on "penalty points" written in to Victorian law. One penalty point is worth $122.14 - another mystery in itself - and a behavioural breach at the MCG clearly brings a fine of four penalty points. What happens to the extra 56 cents is anyone's guess.

Edited by Nikita Bastian

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Senthil on March 3, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Great Play from Srilanka & Australia, But Mr. Mikeys Ros, Its a cricket somebody should win the seriers, those who loosing the game is not that means they are not better team ok, I come to your point, Whether " PONTING CRIED" when india won the world cup................why should Dhoni should cry for this series. whoever says anything but the true is Indian the World Champions.

  • Yusuf on March 3, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Great to see Sri Lanka back and roaring! Should make for an exciting Asia Cup -- with India also back on flat tracks. Go Pakistan!

  • narbavi on March 3, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    @MikeyRos: Australia a great side on all wickets?? WOW!! they lost 2-0 in india in 2008 and again 2-0 in india in 2010!! they hav lost the last two ashes series that they played in england!! wake up bro from the steve waugh era!!

  • narbavi on March 3, 2012, 4:27 GMT

    @Fireballz: but because of ipl only malinga is bowlng like this u know!!

  • Ron on March 3, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    Rod Tucker's competency at this level comes under the spotlight yet again. He clearly blundered with Nuwan Kulesekera's LBW and didn't gives balls that were wide by quite a bit. Those blunders can cause a side dearly especially during the qualifying stages of a tournament. Christian will tell his grand children of how he took a hat trick, but did he really? Tucker needs more experience before he is entrusted with declension making a this level.

  • Kinshuk on March 3, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    btw, if sri lanka win this then the aussies r in trouble in the odi format... losing 5 times to a sri lankan side at home....

  • Sehajpal on March 3, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    Well Done SL !! Great game. Very happy for my SL brothers :) and Many Indian fans will also feel SL deserved to go to finals after the kinda of recent few series theyve had and the last two world cup finals. SL supporters needed this win desperatley. India didnt play to their potential and will be disappoiinted but they showd glimpses of what they can do in the Hobart Humdigger. Kohli's innigs was the best Ive seen from an Indian batsmen under pressure and one of the most beautiful wristplay Ive seen for a long time. Kohli will win big games for India.They showd why they were favs and won the world cup easily. Cannot wait for the Asia cup and ICC World T20. If the Hobart game was the turnaround the Indian team needed, we will see some firwerks at Dhaka. Bad Tour India but having to chase in every game under lights is not easy as we saw last night. Now the Indian fans will feel they should win in Dhaka. No reason they cant.

  • Dummy4 on March 3, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    aussi is sell out to sri lanka

  • Johnathon on March 3, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    And this is why Mahela is considered a better captain than Dhoni. Who else can defend scores of 230 TWICE against a resurgent Australian side in their own backyard and tying with the Indians on a flat pitch. The same Indian side that chased down 320 in 37 overs were restricted to 230 on another pitch

  • Adrian on March 3, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    Malinga's ball to dismiss Watson was a classic! A Malinga special that sent middle stump flying! And Senanayake's catch off his own bowling. Wow! Looking forward to the finals! Go Aussies!

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