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Plays of the Day from the Group A match between Australia and New Zealand at Edgbaston
Nagraj Gollapudi at Edgbaston
June 12, 2013
"Yes. No. Yes. Okay." Perhaps that's how Matthew Wade and Phil Hughes communicated with each other as they decided to take a cheeky single in the fourth over of the match. Facing a short delivery from Mitchell McClenaghan, Wade played with soft hands and rushed for a tight single. Hughes was uncertain from the beginning. He started, but then stopped mid-stride. He then saw Wade running towards the non-striker's end. Though he tried to run hard, Hughes' failure to dive robbed him of an extra yard as Martin Guptill, who had run in swiftly from short cover, threw himself forward to hit the stumps and complete a brilliant run-out.
How often does a captain place a silly point for an offspinner, in addition a slip and a leg slip, in a Powerplay? It resembled a placement common in Test matches when Brendon McCullum walked up to field at silly point and encircle the new batsman Mitchell Marsh. The plan was to add pressure and tempt Marsh to go hard at the offbreaks of Kane Williamson. Marsh did exactly that and even though he did not get out, McCullum had sown doubt in the batsman's mind and tried to cut his areas of scoring. Soon after, Marsh fell top-edging a pull to the wicketkeeper.
The not so bold step
McCullum has a penchant for taking brave calls and remains one of the few aggressive captains in the game, but even by his standards the decision to bowl Williamson in the penultimate over of Australia's innings was taking it too far. Ultimately the move proved to be disastrous. Bowling his tenth over, Williamson erred in his length. In his previous nine overs, he had restricted the scoring rate by bowling gentle offbreaks on a tidy line and length. In his final over, however, Williamson faltered. His flat and short balls allowed Glenn Maxwell to charge, pull, and reverse sweep with freedom. It was the most expensive over of the match, costing 18 runs, which was what Australia had managed in the previous four overs.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Nagraj Gollapudi
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