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Plays of the day from the opening match of the Champions Trophy between India and South Africa
June 6, 2013
Blow of the day
It took South Africa until the 22nd over before they took a wicket but Virat Kohli got a rude awakening from the first ball he faced. Ryan McLaren banged in a bouncer that did not get as high as expected and followed Kohli as he tried to sway outside the line. He dropped his wrists skilfully enough but he was struck full on the helmet grille
Fluff of the day
AB de Villiers batted with panache but his fluffed stumping of Shikhar Dhawan was the low point of a mediocre South Africa fielding display. The bowler, JP Duminy, outdid Dhawan as he tried to defend, well out of his crease. De Villiers had a clear sight of the ball and took off the bails with a flourish but the ball was fumbled and Dhawan escaped. De Villiers' consolation was that Dhawan, 102 not out at the time, only added another 12.
Limping South African of the day
The last thing South Africa needed as India threatened to get close to 350 was the sight of Morne Morkel limping from the field. Morkel failed to finish his seventh over because of thigh trouble, leaving South Africa with the awful prospect that they could enter the next game without Morkel, Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis, three stalwarts in their fast-bowling ranks
Mix-up of the day
South Africa required 145 runs from the final 18 overs. Faf du Plessis, still new at the crease, had only faced five balls and JP Duminy and de Villiers had fallen in each of the previous two overs. There was no room for a mix-up but du Plessis flicked Suresh Raina towards the leg side and rushed out of the blocks, intending to take advantage of the gap at square leg. While turning for a second he slipped; David Miller did not notice and dashed back to finished the run. Ishant Sharma, who had earlier missed running out de Villiers, threw back to Raina, who relayed the ball safely back for MS Dhoni to knock off the bails. After the third umpire was consulted about which batsman, both at the same end, was out, Miller went on his way.
Gesture of the day
Morkel came out to bat, despite the injury that had prevented him completing his spell, with 75 needed off 44 balls and South Africa nine wickets down. It was a gesture of defiance which might have been better undelivered until one considered the importance of net run rate. Morkel could barely run, risked worsening his injury, and logic suggested India had the match won, but he had little choice but to take guard and South Africa gained 48 runs as a consequence.
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