Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series 2nd final, Adelaide

Maharoof does it all himself

ESPNcricinfo presents Plays of the Day for the second final of the CB Series between Australia and Sri Lanka, in Adelaide

Sidharth Monga at the Adelaide Oval

March 6, 2012

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Shane Watson was run out despite his dive, Australia v Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Bank Series, 2nd final, Adelaide, March 6, 2012
After being dropped twice off Farveez Maharoof, Shane Watson was run out by the bowler © AFP
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The drop
Sri Lanka dropped several catches today, but this was the most surprising of the lot, as it came from arguably their best fielder. In the 12th over of the Australia innings, Shane Watson cut Farveez Maharoof straight to Tillakaratne Dilshan, shin high, at backward point, but Dilshan failed to hold on. It went straight in and straight out.

The repeat
In the previous game, Rangana Herath had misjudged a catch at the boundary, but redeemed himself by back-pedalling and pulling off a spectacular one-handed over-head pluck behind his body. He did the same today, but all he could manage was a touch on the ball. The beneficiary, again, was Watson, and the frustrated bowler Maharoof.

Having seen Watson dropped off his bowling two overs in a row, Maharoof finally took matters into his own hand. In the 16th over, when David Warner called Watson for a quick single after bunting the ball to the leg side, Maharoof fielded it with his left hand, turned around, transferred the ball in his right, and threw the stumps down to catch the diving Watson short. The funny thing is, despite doing it all by himself, Maharoof didn't get any addition to his wickets column.

The off glance
There have been many new shots added to cricket's repertoire, but you don't associate Michael Clarke with those fancy, unorthodox hits. In the 44th over, though, Clarke played one. He premeditated to paddle Herath, but got a full toss on the stumps, and belatedly reverse-closed the face on it to guide it past short third man. For the want of a better name, let's call it the off glance. Had it not been for his hampered running, Clarke could have run four for that one.

The redemption
It wasn't a good day for Herath in the field. Apart from going for 58 in his ten overs, he dropped a second catch in the 49th over, this time a sitter at midwicket. One ball later, though, opportunity presented itself again, when Clarke tried to pinch a single to midwicket. Clarke was slow because of some discomfort in his left hamstring, and Herath took aim and hit the stumps direct to claim his man.

Edited by Nikita Bastian

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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