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Plays of the day from the Group A match between England and Australia
George Dobell and Jarrod Kimber at Edgbaston
June 8, 2013
Selection of the day
It was some surprise that Steven Finn was not included in the England side. Finn is currently No. 3 in the ODI bowling rankings and much of the warm-up to this game was dominated by speculation over his fitness. So it seemed odd when Finn, having come through the third ODI against New Zealand at Trent Bridge, was omitted with Alastair Cook specifying that it was a selection based on form not fitness. Bearing in mind that Graeme Swann was declared unavailable due to back spasms on the morning of the game, it left England without three players - the other being Kevin Pietersen - who are all expected to play a large role in future encounters between these sides. The England camp strenuously denied the conspiracy theory that any of the players, and Finn in particular, were been kept back to deny Australia further exposure to them ahead of the Ashes.
Spat of the day
Both umpires were obliged to intervene after Matthew Wade vehemently expressed his annoyance with Jonathan Trott after an incident which left the Australia keeper sprawling on the pitch. Replays suggested it was simply a misunderstanding and that Wade, in attempting to collect an errant throw, had tripped over Trott's bat. Wade, apparently believing that Trott had hung out his bat on purpose, was clearly irritated and treated Trott to a full expression of his feelings. Trott appeared unruffled and unimpressed, but the umpires intervened before the incident escalated.
Decision of the day
Ravi Bopara had the odd distinction of being given out despite everyone on the ground knowing he wasn't. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena, standing at square leg, noticed a bail on the floor moments after Bopara, on 5, had faced a delivery from James Faulkner and asked the TV umpire, Billy Bowden, to review what had happened. Bowden - and every spectator in a sold-out Edgbaston - subsequently saw that one of the bails had fallen off, not due to the ball or due to Bopara's foot or back-lift, but simply due to a gust of wind. As one wag said on Twitter, England's innings was so dull that even a bail had dropped off. But Bowden somehow pressed the wrong button and adjudged Bopara out on the replay screen. It was a decision quickly rectified, but it left Bopara, and the crowd, bemused.
Let-off of the day
Mitchell Starc's delivery was hit straight to point, yet for some reason, England thought there was a single on. Cook eventually realised there wasn't, and got his bat back in the crease. The problem was that Bell was already at his end. But because the ball had hit the stumps, it evaded the player backing up, and England ended up running two from the overthrows after what should have been a certain run out. To make it worse, the original delivery was a no-ball. It was a lose, lose, lose situation for Australia.
Cheer of the day
Mitchell Johnson was recalled into the attack for the last over, his eighth. Perhaps George Bailey got his sums wrong. But the Edgbaston crowd loved it. It was like the ICC had let the fans vote on who they wanted to bowl. They cheered every step of his run up and hoped for something bad to happen. For the fourth ball, he slung down a predictable wide and overpitched Mitchell Johnson type delivery. When it was called a wide, the crowd had their biggest cheer of the day. Few cricketers can make so many happy through being so incompetent.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the Day from second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan, in Port Elizabeth