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Plays of the Day from the one-off T20 international between England and West Indies
George Dobell at Trent Bridge
June 24, 2012
Disappointment of the Day
Alex Hales' dismissal for 99. In a game where personal milestones sometimes obscure team achievement, the disappointment of Hales and his home crowd was perfectly understandable. Had Hales scored just one more, he would have become just the seventh man to record a century in a T20 International and it would have been the first for England. He later said that he could not have asked for a more obliging delivery from which to score his century - it was a quick half-volley, really - but instead he was bowled. He need not worry: it is a team game and here he produced the matchwinning contribution.
Wicket of the Day
West Indies recovered well through Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, but the early wicket of Chris Gayle was still a vital moment in this match. It meant West Indies endured a sluggish start - they scored only 38 off their first eight overs - and, despite some steep acceleration towards the end of their innings, they never fully made up time. Gayle was the victim of good planning and good fast bowling: cramped for room by a sharp, short ball from the distinctly hostile Steven Finn, Gayle was unable to control the stroke and top-edged to fine leg. It was the first of two very well judged catches from Jonny Bairstow and also reward for some smart captaincy from Stuart Broad, who had just moved the deep fielder from square to fine leg.
Catch of the Day
Sometimes, given his skill in the outfield, it is hard to remember that Bairstow is also a wicketkeeper. His catch to dismiss Lendl Simmons, running in from the midwicket boundary and diving, was exceptionally good. Bairstow not only covered the ground quickly but, despite the potential distraction of Hales, running back from midwicket, threw himself forward to cling on to the ball. It was an example not only of Bairstow's value to England, but also of the team's athleticism and skill in the field. In a format where games can be decided by such moments, it provides England with a substantial advantage.
Shot of the Day
As ever in T20 cricket, there were several contenders for this: Ravi Bopara, with some elegant cuts, and Hales with a series of pulls and hooks, were impressive, but for sheer power West Indies' batsmen were hard to beat. Smith, in particular, hit the ball murderously hard and struck five sixes in all. The second of them, a lovely straight drive off Graeme Swann, landed in the second tier of the Radcliffe Road Stand and almost hit a cameraman. It was an enormous hit.
Milestone of the Day
So long has Broad been a fixture of the England team that it can easily be forgotten how youthful he remains. Broad celebrated his 26th birthday at Trent Bridge and, while some people might balk at the idea of working on their birthday, the prospect of leading his side to victory on his home ground would have softened the blow. Already the most-capped player in this side, Broad could have the best part of a decade of international cricket ahead of him and may well break every England wicket-taking record in all formats. He and Graeme Swann already hold the record (41 apiece) for most T20I wickets for England.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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