India v Sri Lanka, 2nd semi-final, Champions Trophy, Cardiff June 20, 2013

Dhoni fancies a bowl

Plays of the day from the second Champions Trophy semi-final between India and Sri Lanka in Cardiff

The body blows

Tillakaratne Dilshan was the first, and heaviest, casualty of a plague of leg injuries that hit the first hour of play. He sustained his injury in the fourth over and left the field in the fifth. Umesh Yadav had Lahiru Thirimanne hobbling after hitting him just above the knee before Suresh Raina conspired to put players' legs in more danger. First his throw from second slip hit Yadav in the back of the knee leaving the bowler with a limp for the rest of the over and then from cover, he struck Thirimanne again, with a return throw at the non-striker's end, prompting more pained hops.

The surprise

With the ball swinging and seaming around, Virat Kohli might have fancied his chances of delivering a few overs of seam-up, but ever the unconventional thinker, MS Dhoni had other ideas. Before the 23rd over began, Dhoni peeled off his pads and handed them to Dinesh Karthik, as he began warming up at short fine leg. The largely-Indian crowd came alive when he marked out his run-up and roared when the umpire gave Mahela Jayawardene out lbw in his first over, but the celebrations were short-lived, as Jayawardene's inside edge became apparent on review.

The other one

R Ashwin was the least disciplined of India's bowlers, and when he pitched the penultimate ball of the 48th over wide of leg stump, Nuwan Kulasekara justifiably assumed he would add to India's extras tally. Only Ashwin had not bowled his stock offspinner. Coming from around the wicket, he slipped in the carrom ball which turned appreciably to clip the leg stump as Kulasekara shouldered arms. Not sure if he was bowled or stumped, the umpires asked the third umpire for help, perhaps more in confusion and disbelief, and the replays confirmed that the ball had dislodged the bail on the way through to the keeper.

The steal

The sight of Dilshan limping back onto the field with a wounded leg with just thirteen balls remaining raised more than an eyebrow, considering he was seen having trouble placing any weight on his right leg. With five deliveries left, Lasith Malinga lofted Ashwin towards wide long-on where Rohit Sharma was lining up to take the catch. Suddenly, a spectator carrying a banner, jumped the fence and charged into the ground. The intruder had caught everyone unaware and even mildly shocked Rohit, who got distracted. The spectator had rushed towards the middle, having left a couple of security stewards in his trail. Amidst this chaos, and as the crowd went berserk, Dilshan had smartly stolen three runs. Even if it did not count much in the context of the result, it was a steal by all means.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments