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Plays of the Day from the first one-day international between England and Sri Lanka at The Oval
June 28, 2011
Tickle of the day
All eyes were on Alastair Cook as the match began because Sri Lanka's decision to field first meant he had an early chance to prove that his game can adapt to one-day cricket. Much of the build-up had been dominated by talk over his strike-rate, but that wasn't a problem today as he clocked in at 166.6. Sadly for Cook, however, the innings only spanned three balls. He was off the mark straight away with a nudge off his hip, then clipped a boundary through midwicket before feathering Lasith Malinga down the leg side where Kumar Sangakkara held a fine catch. It didn't prove anything.
Long hop of the day
Kevin Pietersen, who survived a mighty close run-out appeal on 5 by the width of a missing TV frame, avoided falling to 41-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya for the second time in two innings but still departed in less-than-glorious-manner to a spinner. Jeevan Mendis, a part-time legspinner, was thrown the ball for the 17th over. His first delivery, perhaps an attempted googly, came out as a long hop and Pietersen's eyes lit up. He rocked forward, then back to pull through midwicket and couldn't believe it when he picked out Tillakaratne Dilshan at midwicket. Pietersen, though, had batted with confidence and aggression which promises many more runs this summer.
Farewell of the day
So that is that. At least we presume it is. Matches 445, runs 13,430, 28 hundreds, 323 wickets. They aren't bad numbers for Sanath Jayasuriya. His final innings didn't add many runs to his tally as he cracked a signature square cut to backward point where Eoin Morgan held a stinging catch. How England's 1998 vintage must have wished he'd done the same. "There are no fairytales in sport," Steve Waugh once said and given Jayasuriya's time away from the top level a farewell innings of note was always a long shot. But the bowling has held up better and his 323rd ODI wicket came when he trapped Ian Bell lbw trying to sweep. He said this would be his final game. It will be, won't it?
Innings of the day
Eoin Morgan again added the dazzle to England's innings but it's well known what he's capable off in coloured clothes. For a longer-term significance it was Craig Kieswetter's 61 off 56 balls that was most impressive, not least because he had to stop after seven overs and wait three hours to resume needing to play a different innings than he may have initially planned. However, he never rushed or tried to be overly aggressive, instead picking his strong areas straight down the ground, and didn't actually move over a run-a-ball until reaching fifty with a towering six off Suraj Randiv. Although his downfall was ugly it was an innings that should set him up well for the series.
Fluke of the day
Some wickets come from hours of planning and perfect execution from the bowler. Some are just plain lucky. James Anderson's first-over scalping of a fit-again Tillakaratne Dilshan falls into the latter category, for all that Cook did well to have a deep square-leg and not a long leg. Anderson speared a good length delivery towards Dilshan's pads which he extravagantly flicked upwards and even on a gloomy evening Tim Bresnan had time to run in and snaffle the catch. It was such a tame way to go after missing the last two weeks of the tour that you'd have preferred him to be caught playing the Dilscoop.
Catch(es) of the day
Anderson was everywhere at the start of Sri Lanka's run chase. If he wasn't taking wickets he was plucking catches and, on one occasion, did both together. His reflex caught-and-bowled to remove Kumar Sangakkara was a wonderful effort for a fast bowler following through from his delivery and he made it look easy. A short while later Anderson then showed what an outstanding all-round fielder he is - one of the best in the world - as he flung himself horizontally to his right at midwicket to hold Angelo Mathews' pull and give Jade Dernbach his first ODI wicket.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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