ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
Shifting the Leverock
Who said fat men can't dive?
In an age of fitness-focused players, the 280lb Dwayne Leverock was an anomaly on the cricket field. In the lead-up to Bermuda's first appearance in the World Cup, he quickly built up a fan base on account of his large frame.
Bermuda opened their campaign with a massive defeat to Sri Lanka, and were next up against an Indian team smarting from a shock loss to Bangladesh. India needed to win, and win big, to not crash out of the competition in the first round.
The day's second over was to be bowled by 17-year-old Malachi Jones, playing his first World Cup match. His first delivery was a length ball just outside off, which Indian opener Robin Uthappa prodded at nervously. The ball flew to the right of Leverock at a wide first slip, and he responded with an athleticism unexpected from a patently overweight man, launching himself to his right to pull off a spectacular one-handed catch.
Perhaps astounded with his own feat, he then set off on a joyous, celebratory run to nowhere - screaming and blowing kisses at the crowd. The bowler, Jones, had also sprinted off in triumph, weeping with joy at getting a wicket off his first ball, before being tackled by his team-mates.
"India 3/1, and you could hear the sniggers all around. Would Bermuda actually do a Bangladesh now?" wrote Ajay Shankar in the Indian Express as a nation that was still reeling from the loss to Bangladesh watched their first wicket go down cheaply. The Bermuda Sun was effusive: "What a catch, what a moment in the history of this tournament as Jones races to the boundary in celebration and is mobbed by his exultant team-mates."
What happened next
There was very little for Bermuda to cheer after that as India set a slew of records on their way to a thumping victory. A Virender Sehwag century helped India pile on 413 for 5 - the largest total in the World Cup - and the 257-run margin of victory was a record for all one-dayers. Jones didn't get another wicket in the match as he was taken for 74 in seven overs, and Leverock's left-arm spin was smashed for 96 runs, the second most expensive 10-over spell in World Cup history as Bermuda exited the tournament. Still, the Leverock catch remains the most indelible and heart-warming moment in Bermuda cricket.
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