ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
Kenya v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Hambantota
Misbah does a Gooch, and school's out
ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the day of the match between Pakistan and Kenya in Hambantota
February 23, 2011
Catch of the day
Seren Waters' effort to send back Mohammad Hafeez would've done the world's greatest goalkeepers proud. Hafeez's clip went well to the left of Waters at short midwicket, but a full length aerial dive saw him grasp on. Even then the job was half done; as he landed the ball bobbled out of his hand, bounced off his forearm, only for him to clutch it with his left. Less than a week into the tournament, it'll be difficult to better it.
Best Reverse 'Graham Gooch World Cup 1987 semi-final' impersonation of the day
In slightly less grand circumstances than the Wankhede, Misbah-ul-Haq reversed a leaf from Graham Gooch's strategy of the day by reverse-sweeping everything that came his way or at least every six balls or so. In a 69-ball innings, he reverse-swept seven times and attempted four conventional ones as well. Given the opposition, he probably didn't need to.
Favourite school lesson of the day
Given the hosts' absence and the fact that the stadium is as easy to reach as Atlantis, local authorities resorted to the oldest trick in the subcontinent, shipping in thousands of uniformed school children to occupy the tiered stands. A handy day off, bang in the middle of the week, beats geography any day. As the day progressed and the harshness of the sun lessened and the gates were opened for all, however, a handy trickle of older fans started coming through, including the arrival of Pakistan's Chacha Cricket.
Least attractive innings of the day
Extras. Pakistan's innings had four half-centuries of varying aesthetics, but the worst was the 46 directly contributed by Kenya's bowlers, of which a whopping 37 were wides. That is the joint-highest wides conceded in an innings ever, equaling the 37 the West Indies conceded, also against Pakistan in January 1989 in Brisbane. Forty-six is the fifth-highest score by extras.
Worst hat-trick ball of the day
Thomas Odoyo's wickets off two successive balls in the 49th over didn't make much of a difference to Pakistan's charge but a hat-trick would've been a nice, individual feat. Having had Umar Akmal caught at long-on and then a successful referral against Shahid Afridi for leg-before, things were nicely set up. In came Odoyo, glory in his eyes, and duly bowled a miserable wide two feet down the leg-side.
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