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Plays of the Day from the fourth ODI between England and India at Lord's
September 11, 2011
The late entrant
Graeme Swann had to wait until the 26th over of India's innings before he was asked to bowl. He struck immediately, though, taking two wickets in his first over, an art he has mastered. Virat Kohli tried to glide an off break that was too close to him and gave the wicketkeeper a simple catch. Two balls later Rahul Dravid, who had countered Swann by playing on the back foot throughout the tour, took a big stride forward to a flighted delivery and punched it straight back to the bowler, who took a low catch with both hands.
Ben Stokes had been clueless against the offspin of R Ashwin at The Oval. At Lord's, Stokes decided the best way to gain the upper hand was to advance down the pitch. Against the first ball of Ashwin's penultimate over, Stokes stepped out a couple of yards to get his first four. He charged the bowler once again the very next delivery, but this time Ashwin pitched it fuller and into the body and accepted the return catch with both hands and a big smile. Watch out for this pair's contest in Cardiff.
England had lost two wickets in three overs and the asking-rate was more than seven an over. Ravi Bopara was going strong on 62 and he didn't want to let it get out of reach. He spotted RP Singh, one of India's weakest fielders walk in several yards on the long-on boundary. Bopara immediately tried to clear it. He hit the ball cleanly but not with enough power to clear the rope, giving India a wicket-taking chance. RP Singh, however, misjudged the trajectory of the ball and jumped awkwardly to try and catch it. He failed and looked clumsy. Suresh Raina, the bowler, looked on in disgust.
The brain fade
The costliest of India's several errors in the field was perhaps Ravindra Jadeja's throw. Tim Bresnan had pushed a straight delivery from Jadeja gently towards long-off. Munaf Patel, standing on the boundary, trundled in without urgency to pick up the ball. Bopara, running to the non-striker's end, was alert enough to realise he could take advantage of Munaf's lethargy. He called for two and rushed back for the second before Munaf's throw reached Jadeja. Worse was to follow for India, though. Jadeja, perhaps angry at Munaf's fielding, swivelled full circle and flung the ball towards MS Dhoni. Except that the ball flew to the left of the fielder at short third man instead and raced to the boundary. England got six runs where they should have got two. Every run became crucial as D-L came into the picture and Munaf and Jadeja had a lot to answer for.
After dropping that catch on the boundary, RP Singh did manage to bring India back in the match. Before he began the 48th over, England needed 19 off 18 balls. RP Singh used the crease intelligently, going wide from round the stumps to angle the ball into the right-hand batsmem. Bopara swung hard but missed the first delivery. A single brought Graeme Swann on strike and RP Singh pitched a perfect bouncer at good pace, forcing Swann to duck. He finished the over giving away just four runs.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Nagraj Gollapudi
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