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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the final one-day international in Cardiff
September 16, 2011
Cloudburst of the day
As bum notes go, this one could not have been more of a raspberry. At the start of every England home international, the PA belts out the hymn Jerusalem, the most distinctive line of which refers to "England's green and pleasant land". As is often overlooked in cricketing circles, however, Cardiff is in Wales, not England, and at the precise moment the final chord was being struck, the heavens delivered a very personal verdict on the whole sentiment. A vile and blustery squall of rain blew in from the West, and the start of play was held up for 40 minutes.
Cloudburst of the day Mk 2
To give the weather its due, it did choose its moments to get involved with the action, with the first actual break in play not arriving until the tenth over of England's run-chase. The most impressive involvement, however, came moments after the conclusion of India's innings. MS Dhoni brought up a 26-ball fifty from the last delivery of the innings, whereupon the teams were chased from the field by another violent deluge. However, this one was so brief that, seconds later, a glorious rainbow appeared in the outfield, forming an arc in roughly the direction that his final six, off Jade Dernbach had just travelled.
Departure of the day
Rahul Dravid had assumed he'd played his final ODI at the Champions Trophy in Johannesburg back in September 2009. However, India's injury crisis on this tour, coupled with his effortless negotiation of English conditions, persuaded the selectors to recall him for one last hurrah - one that even included a Twenty20 debut at the age of 38. His last innings in coloured clothing was typically important yet understated, as he helped guide India past 300 for the first time in the series with 69 from 79 balls. When he was eventually bowled through the gate by Graeme Swann, the entire England team rushed up to shake his hand, and bid farewell to a legend who has amassed more than 10,000 runs in two forms of the game. He'll be around a while longer in Test cricket, but he's not going to be batting in England (or Wales) in a hurry.
Six of the day
On Monday night at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Jonathan Trott was unveiled as the new ICC Cricketer of the Year, after a stellar 12 months of run-harvesting that had included more than 1000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. Until this evening, however, he had never scored more than four runs in any one shot in the two longer formats of the game - his three sixes in seven Twenty20 appearances hadn't been enough to spare him the axe from that version of the game. But, with a duty to keep the run-rate ticking, he waltzed down the track to smash Munaf Patel back down towards the River Taff.
Flurry of the day
Virat Kohli's first over was eventful, to say the least. From his third delivery, Alastair Cook dabbed his leg-rollers exquisitely through third man with a well-timed reverse sweep, to bring up his fifty from 52 balls. One ball later, and emboldened by this sudden onset of subtlety, Cook dropped to his knees again to attempt a paddle over his shoulder, and so flummoxed Rahul Dravid at short backward square that he made a complete hash of a routine catch, and then missed the run-out opportunity with a follow-up shy. But next ball later, Kohli had his man, as Cook reverted to a mow across the line, and lost his middle stump.
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