England v NZ, Champions Trophy, Group A, Cardiff

Nathan McCullum's juggling act

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the Group A match in Cardiff

George Dobell in Cardiff

June 16, 2013

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A

Nathan McCullum had a mixed day in the field, England v New Zealand, Champions Trophy, Group A, Cardiff, June 16, 2013
Nathan McCullum put down three chances but still took four catches © PA Photos
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Drop of the day
Alastair Cook, who went on to top score for England with 64 from 47 balls, had only 14 when Nathan McCullum, at midwicket, put down a chance off the bowling of James Franklin. Cook had hit the ball pretty hard but it was, by the standards of international cricket, a straightforward chance. To compound the error, McCullum dropped Cook again - a juggling chance at midwicket again off Franklin - when he had 37 and, remarkably, once more at point off the bowling of Kane Williamson on 45; as easy a chance as you will see dropped in international cricket this year. It will have been of little consolation to Franklin or Williamson that McCullum finally held on to a chance to dismiss Cook off his own bowling.

Toss of the day
When the toss took place, at 10am, there was still a chance that this could have been a 50-over-a-side game. But, after a lengthy rain break delayed the start until 3.45pm, the match was reduced to 24 overs each and decisions made earlier were rendered largely obsolete. With that in mind, might there be a case for annulling the toss and allowing a new one to be taken and for new sides to be selected?

Record of the day
The wicket of Jonathan Trott gave Kyle Mills his 25th wicket in 15 Champions Trophy matches. That took him past Muttiah Muralitharan's tally of 24 and made him the leading wicket-taker in the competition's history. It was also Trott's first single figure international score of the year and his lowest ODI score since February 2012.

Review of the day
Joe Root was adjudged leg before by Rod Tucker off the bowling of Daniel Vettori when he had scored 28. While replays suggested that the ball may well have gone on to hit the stumps, Hot Spot revealed a thin bottom edge and saw the decision over turned. It made Root's delay before calling for a review surprising; had he known he had hit the ball, he would surely have called for it immediately.

Throwback of the day
The sight of the groundstaff clearing rain from the covers with brooms revived memories of a bygone age. There are no water-hogs (the tractor-like machines that absorb water) at Cardiff. While a club spokesman insisted that the machines cause as many problems as they solve - he claimed that they damage the covers and push water further into the ground creating boggy areas as it eventually seeps back to the surface - it is worth noting that just about every other international venue uses them. Money may well be a more relevant explanation for their absence. That having been said, the groundstaff deserve credit for ensuring that a game was possible despite substantial rain in the first half of the day.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 17, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

@Roger_Dodge on (June 17, 2013, 9:10 GMT), this incident doesn't necessarily because we still don't know for sure what Root was thinking. As I said though, there was an occasion not too long ago where Ian Bell nicked the ball and obviously didn't realise. I can't remember when or who against but I recall that he was given out LBW and didn't review but HotSpot later showed that he did get an edge.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (June 17, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

Surely the 'noball' should be a play here, it gifted the match to England as NZs best batsman was incorrectly removed and a free hit was not given?

Time for neutral officials.

Posted by Roger_Dodge on (June 17, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

I once gave my friend out caught behind playing a cut, but he later claimed he didn't touch it. I was certain that he did, and we've had numerous discussions about whether it is possible for a batsman to nick it but not realise.

Does this incident prove me right after all these years?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 17, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

I think that it's quite possible that Root wasn't really sure whether he'd hit the ball. We've seen an instance where Ian Bell nicked it and didn't realise. We've also seen a number of occasions where the batsman was sure that he'd hit it but it turned out that he'd hit his pad or the ground. As JG2704 said, Root was probably telling Cook that he thought he'd hit it but he wanted to get his captain's OK to use the review. He would obviously know that the captain, of all people, would never waste the team's one and only review, right? ;-)

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 17, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

@JG2704 on (June 16, 2013, 20:49 GMT), I think that pretty much every batsman looked scratchy. Cook was struggling for timing as well and it was only the occasional stroke that looked comfortable. Based on that, it was my hope that it was actually a difficult pitch and that NZ would have similar trouble, which looks to have been the case. It was only in the latter stages of Williamson' and Anderson's partnership, when they threw caution to the wind, that anyone managed to string together a number of good strokes.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 16, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

Thought Root and Morgan (bar the 6s) both looked scratchy today.

I'm guessing Root said to Cook he thought he might have nicked it but wasn't sure? I'm guessing there are such thin nicks where a batsman genuinely isn't sure?

Nathan's drops (the 3rd one in particular) were horrendous

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 16, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

@BoycottsGranny on (June 16, 2013, 19:14 GMT), the thing is, as soon as one thing changes then everything following it changes as well. If Root, or Cook for that matter, had been dismissed earlier then Morgan would have been in earlier and would have played a different innings. Maybe he would have scored the same number of runs but he may have scored more or even less. We simply have no idea.

Posted by BoycottsGranny on (June 16, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

Perhaps Joe Root knew he had hit the ball when he was adjudged lbw, but was checking with his captain as to whether he should decline the referral, walk and allow the "big hitters" to the crease. Good job for England Root stayed!

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