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June 18, 2008
Daft decision of the day
Play didn't begin until 3pm, reducing the match to 24 overs. With heavy rain forecast at 6pm, it would seem only sensible to reduce the interval between innings as much as possible, in order to give the hardy Edgbaston crowd the chance of seeing a full match. Instead, they took 30 minutes while the rain petered down, and the race against the weather continued.
Shots of the day
It was only a reduced game, but Luke Wright took full advantage to prove his worth which, in six ODIs prior today, had yielded only one fifty. He looked out of sorts at Chester-le-Street, yet today appeared to resemble the fearless striker members of Hove have enjoyed for the past two seasons. His target? Michael Mason. The first rocketed over cover, going inside out, which was followed by the cleanest of sixes over the top. He saved the best for last, however, with a slog-sweep over midwicket so emphatic as to make Steve Waugh, the shot's pioneer, green with envy. Now, England just need Ian Bell and Wright to fire in the same innings and they might have found a useful, potentially destructive, opening partnership.
Unwise marketing of the day
Britons are renowned boozers, and never more so than at the cricket. And while international grounds have, for the most part, banned people from bringing in their own, one Australian wine company exploited Britain's thirst with unlimited quantities available to all, albeit in a tea-cup sized plastic container. With each rain break, the crowds came eargerly flocking for a top-up, but such was their increasing stupor that they remained beside the bar, ready for another. A traffic island of sozzled fans, none of whom were capable of remembering what they had enjoyed, blocked the entrance to the hospitality suites, prompting a naïve policeman to call for order. He failed.
Belly-flop of the day
Dimitri Mascarenhas is many things, but any aspirations he had of emulating Paul Collingwood's salmon-leaping catches came tumbling down to earth today. With a bump. Stationed expectantly at short fine-leg, Brendon McCullum flicked one aerially just to his left. He sprang forward, almost getting both feet off the ground, before collapsing flat on his stomach rather indignantly. It was a moment to make all aspiring league cricketers proud.
Also, most brothers in a Test XI, and the fastest to 20 ODI centuries