India v South Africa, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo October 2, 2012

The ugliest shot of them all

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the Super Eights match between India and South Africa

The heave
Three batsmen in India's top five were bowled playing ugly shots, but Virender Sehwag will cringe the most when he sees a replay. He came down the pitch to Robin Peterson and, although Sehwag does not need to reach the pitch of a delivery to play a good shot as most batsmen do, swiped rashly across the line and missed the ball by a good six inches.

The trip
Fielders are taught to watch the ball into their hands but Dale Steyn might have done well to keep a slightly better eye on his surroundings as well when Yuvraj Singh launched Johan Botha over long-off in the sixth over. So intent was Steyn on completing the catch, he did not realise he was right on the boundary, and he tripped over it with arms outstretched, almost colliding with the hoardings. The worst thing was, the ball cleared the ropes by a good eight metres.

The sweep
The slog-sweeping of a medium-pace bowler is becoming more common but few batsmen can control the stroke, given the pace of the delivery. But that's exactly what MS Dhoni did when Jacques Kallis pitched one full in the final over of India's innings. Dhoni knelt and played a conventional sweep to Kallis, and the ball didn't leave the carpet until it hit the boundary.

The one-two
Peterson was caught at point playing a reverse-sweep off R Ashwin, but received a reprieve when it was discovered, upon review, that Ashwin had bowled a front-foot no-ball. The next ball was a free hit, and Peterson thought he'd attempt the stroke once more, but with Ashwin bowling flatter and faster, it turned out even worse for the batsman, and he had a stump uprooted.

The cheer
India have become Sri Lanka's nemesis over the last two years and the home crowd have realised that, at present, India seem to have the mental edge. As a result, the biggest cheer of the evening was reserved for a single, remarkable only because it was the run that took South Africa to 122 and put Pakistan in the semi-finals ahead of India. Sri Lanka fans added their voice to the Pakistan supporters celebrating in the stadium - though they are unlikely to be cheering with such unity when the teams play each other on Thursday.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pramod on October 3, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    It is becoming more and more painful to watch the way Sehwag getting out. Somebody has to get into his brains and let him know that once he has hit a 4 or 6, just take a single of the next ball or play it safe. He threw away his wicket against Pakistan and South Africa doing exactly the same i.e going for a big hit just after crossing the boundry line on ground and in the air on the previous delivery.

  • Sami on October 2, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    @cricraz I've never seen an English captain pointing to rain as an excuse in their defeat ever in England where it rains cats and dogs. You can vent your anger however you like!!

  • Jose on October 2, 2012, 23:32 GMT

    It's time to say goodbye to Dhoni as a Captain. He has become more of a politician rather than a good captain. India was not able to go beyond Super-8 under his captaincy for the last 3 times. Nevertheless, India played well and unfortunately they have to leave for losing one match badly. Good that India is in Group-2, they got a chance to assess themselves against high quality teams (unlike low quality Group-1).

  • Steve on October 2, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    I've read many posts and comments relating to the semis and one thing seems to emerge? As an Englishman I am naturally disappointed to see England go out of the WC - but they deserve it as they played well below their best. Ditto S.A. and India - only NZ seemed to punch above their weight. WHY can't Indian fans admit that their team didn't perform? Ultimately 3 of the 4 losing sides could have qualified with just a bit more luck going their way? Bottom line is that they HAVEN'T QUALIFIED and so go home. There's no shame in losing, it's sport and there'll always be one winner and one loser in T20 crciket. Good luck to all sides and all fans for the semis. I'm cheering for Sri Lanka - a wonderful country with warm friendly people!

  • Haroon on October 2, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    @kabaabRoll. Well said buddy. India helped Pakistan advance and South Africa followed the "no team left behind" exit strategy

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Why does Indian team have Gambir? He should be replaced..he is total failure from last 1 year.

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    im so happy pak won,, hope i cud see the indian team packing their bags :( ,,, :P :D

  • Kay on October 2, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    so lets see some excuses from the indians now shall we? was the ground too big? the ball too round? the bat too square? your team just wasnt good enough. end of story. you won just one game against pakistan and got pummeled by australia. only a run short of another loss today. and the so called pundits and analysts still reckon they were hard done. L-O-L.

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    @phoenixsteve how can you good equate India and Eng in this tourney? India won 4 matches out of 5, that is equal to Pak. Eng were poor not India who were average just like Pak. Gul saved them in one match and their bowling wasn't exactly good or consistent except Ajmal before today.

  • Madhu on October 2, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    The team that goes on to win the T20 will be one that loses to India regularly- Srilanka or Pakistan. No wonder the Srilankan fans were cheering wildly for SA to score 122. India played one awful game and were outdone by Watson and Warner. They need Sehwag, Zaheer, Bhajji to retire from T20 and not select Piyush Chawla again.

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