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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the Group A match between England and Sri Lanka
George Dobell and Andrew Fidel Fernando at The Oval
June 13, 2013
The 'Trott's fault' of the day
If it's an England ODI, then there is some way Jonathan Trott has found to royally shaft the team. What shape did Trott's unflappable self-interest take today? He was at the non-striker's end when Rangana Herath had Alastair Cook trapped in front, and when the batsman asked for his advice on whether to review the decision, Trott did not make an objection. Predictably, the ball was found to be hitting the middle of middle stump on replays. Is it not enough that Trott is selfish for himself? Now he appears to be becoming selfish for other people as well.
The slow hug-tackle of the day
Cook and Trott appear to have mastered cricket's version of the "screen" strategy - often used in basketball - by hitting the ball along the ground just wide of the non-striker, who stands his ground until the ball has passed him. This prevents the bowler from getting across to complete what might otherwise be a standard save. Tillakaratne Dilshan attempted to counter this strategy by going through Cook when Trott hit down the ground in the 28th over, but ended up half-tackling, half-hugging Cook to the ground. He couldn't prevent the run though, as Cook sprang up and sprinted to the other end before the throw came in.
The chase of the day
There were plenty of balls flying around the park in the final over of England's innings, but the most entertaining chase by far was Billy Bowden attempting to track down his rogue, windswept hat. Setting off after his misbehaving headgear immediately after Ravi Bopara had struck a four, Bowden bent down once, then twice, and again, as the gust kept teasing him by taking the hat just out of his reach. Resolving not to be bested by air in front of 20-odd thousand people, Bowden dropped to the turf to pin the hat to the ground, and finished up almost performing the splits. As soon as he had the fugitive clothing in hand, Bowden rose and signaled a four from mid-on.
The chant of the day
Had anyone said, a year or so ago, that an international ground would reverberate to the name of Bopara, many would have thought them insane. It was at this ground in July last year that a sad looking Bopara traipsed off the pitch after what remains, for now, his last Test innings having played-on as he looked to force one he could have left from Dale Steyn. England subsequently subsided to an innings defeat and Bopara, hampered by personal issues, withdrew from cricket for a time. But despite a few bumps on the road back into the England team, Bopara has so far enjoyed an impressive Champions Trophy. Here he thrashed an exhilarating 33 from only 13 balls including 28 from the last over during which he thumped three sixes. Walking off to chants of "Ravi, Ravi" from a full-house crowd can have done his confidence no harm and suggested that his return into the England team was progressing well.
Drop of the day
It didn't cost them too many runs but Kumar Sangakkara's drop of Joe Root in the 44th over of the England innings summed up the manner in which Sri Lanka lost control towards the end of the innings. Root was on 56 from 48 balls at the time he top-edged a slower ball from Lasith Malinga only to see Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper, perhaps put off by the encroaching Angelo Mathews, put down a simple chance. Root went on to add 12 from seven more deliveries and help England plunder 68 runs from the final seven overs of their innings.
Ball of the day
The umpires' decision to change one of the balls midway through the Sri Lankan innings was clearly a disappointment to England. Their captain, Alastair Cook, pleaded to keep the ball that had just started to offer a little reverse swing but the umpires insisted on changing it. While not unique to change a ball without the request of the fielding side, it is unusual. And, bearing in mind some of the whispers that have accompanied England's ability to gain reverse swing of late and it is inevitable that some will presume something untoward, but an ICC spokesman confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the ball was changed as it was "mis-shapen" and not due to any other reason.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; Andrew Fidel Fernando is Sri Lanka correspondentFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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