ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Canada v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Colombo

A Leverock moment, and an off day for umpires

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the match between Pakistan and Canada

Osman Samiuddin in Colombo

March 3, 2011

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Canada are thrilled with the dismissal of Wahab Riaz, Canada v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 3, 2011
Canada are delighted after the burly Balaji Rao manages to clutch a slip catch between his thighs © AFP
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The flashback
Overcast conditions, empty-ish stadium, Pakistan batting first, a minnow on the other side. Ireland anyone?

The over
Whether or not Harvir Singh Baidwan comes across such conditions often in Canada is not known first, but there could not have been a better use of them. From the very first over, in which snared Ahmed Shehzad, he hit the perfect length, allowing the ball to nibble this way and that like he was a Kiwi medium-pacer from the 1992 World Cup. The highlight was his fifth over, a maiden, so constrictive it could've been the hangman's noose, with one surprise bouncer right at Umar Akmal's throat, also slipped in. Deserved a wicket, but he got three anyway.

The Powerplay
The one Pakistan didn't take when Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal were set at the crease, or the one when Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq were briefly at the crease. Instead they took it with Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal. It lasted one over.

The Dwayne Leverock moment
There are worse things to do in life than watch the, ahem, generously waist-lined Balaji Rao stroll in to bowl his leggies. Rao is one of cricket's many 'coulda been a contenders'. He bowled a nice spell as well, ripping the ball on occasion and giving it some air for two deserved wickets. But his finest moment came at slip, when Wahab Riaz edged Jimmy Hansra. Rao took it, watched it slip out, tried to grab it a few times thereafter before somehow he pouched it between his not inconsiderably-sized thighs.

The System
Like any self-respecting celebrity, the DRS has rarely strayed away from the headlines in this tournament. With the BCCI it has enjoyed a particularly torrid hate-hate affair. But in Canada's response its utility was there for all to see, especially with Daryl Harper and Nigel Llong in the midst of a shaky spell. First Pakistan reviewed a leg-before decision Harper turned down from Umar Gul, one which even from behind Ravindu Gunasekera looked full enough to be not pitching outside leg. Zubin Sarkari was then given out leg-before next over by Llong though the ball looked high: on referral it was, comfortably. In the eighth over, Harper again gave Ashish Bagai out to a ball that looked without replays to be hitting the stumps only if they were a foot higher. Bagai was reprieved by Harper eventually in the 18th over only to find, as it appeared to the naked eye, that he was pretty plumb. On referral, he was duly given. Just for good measure, Harper had another decision overturned later. When the umpire is having a shocker, is the answer to the question, what use is the DRS?

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 22 
Posted by   on (March 5, 2011, 10:35 GMT)

Yes Pakistan have won 3 out of 3 matches and that is commendable. Nobody can take that away from them and the win against Sri Lanka was a performance that brought a smile back to Pakistani fans faces once again. Smiles have been in short supply for Pakistani cricket fans over the last year or so, and it was a fantastic effort to beat the Lankans on home soil again

Posted by aahd81 on (March 4, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

Too many commas in that article Osman, probably more than the combined 4s hit in the game you covered :)

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (March 4, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

@tusac: "Respect is something which they have never received in the past and never shall they receive in the future.".... erm, they've received plenty of respect in the past, (even when certain countries hated them for being just too good), and they continue to receive plenty of respect for their mercurial brand of cricket. Ahmad Shehzad must have learnt his sledging watching Sreesanth and Harbhajan. Give credit to the Indians where it's due. Masters of sledging.

Posted by   on (March 4, 2011, 4:03 GMT)

Remember Steve Buckner was not allowed to umpire the next match after couple of mistakes by him in India-Auatralia test. Now think if Harper would do this type of blindly partial umpiring against India, he would have to find a air plane ticket in 24 hours. I hope this person does not get another chance to conduct match when Pakistan is playing. Is ICC listening? We want to see all fair games.

Posted by Auaz on (March 4, 2011, 3:56 GMT)

It is a questionable performance by Mr. Harpr. Afer giving wrong decisions look at his body language it disturbed him alot. He surprise him self too by giving such bad judgments. Hope in knock outs or in big games it wont happen. I agree URDS made in some degree umpires less attentive but the URDS is good for the game.

Posted by calvin_n on (March 4, 2011, 0:57 GMT)

My goodness !!! I thought Daryl Harper was long retired..How did he sneak back in?

Posted by Demojay13 on (March 4, 2011, 0:40 GMT)

Gunasekera edged the ball thats why Harper gave it not out. Then they didn't show one replay to see if there was an edge what a joke Canada was robbed would have shown on hot spot.

Posted by cricket_for_all on (March 4, 2011, 0:25 GMT)

The bottom line is Pakstan and Canada know how to use the UDRS. They also know the rules of cricket (right or wrong -- ICC should check it). Well done both teams for good judgments. Still this Harper should be sucked (Remember He has some hearing problems too).

Posted by hulk777 on (March 3, 2011, 23:18 GMT)

It is unfair to have only 2 unsuccessful review.especially when there are too many bad decisions. What happens if there was a bad desicion and they ran out of reviews. ICC should instead change it as 2 free unsuccessful review and any additional unsuccessful review is made at cost of 6 Extra runs. So it prevents teams from just going for everything.

Posted by   on (March 3, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

seems like the URDS is helping out cricketers now but i must say that the class of umpiring that world has seen from harper is not of international standards at all. Even such umpiring will also spoil club cricket as well. Bad day for Harper but Hail to AFRIDI - Man you rocked the show :)

Posted by reolosman on (March 3, 2011, 21:06 GMT)

The ICC should sack Harper

Posted by KarachiKid on (March 3, 2011, 20:15 GMT)

UDRS is one of the best things that has happened to cricket in last many many years. This time the "hot-spot" technology should also have been there. Pakistan has been mostly at the receiving end of many an attrocious umpiring errors (in some cases umpire biase instead of errors). I love UDRS. Harper and Hair have always been harsh on Pakistanis (to saythe least) - UDRS is the answer I would say.

Posted by sophya on (March 3, 2011, 20:08 GMT)

i think umpiring was really questionable.. had it not been for the DRS ... We wud hav lost today .. down with harper ... i think this UDRS has relaxed the umpires a little bit n they think thay if it has to b for the technology .. let it b .. i sumtyms feel that they delibrately give wrong decisions so that the DRS cud cum to play .. may b its the ICC policy i dun knw .... but today was reallly bad ... i mean uncomprehendable decisions they made today

Posted by   on (March 3, 2011, 18:21 GMT)

This type of lousy umpires should not conduct games of internationa level who can not see plumb. They should try club cricket first. ICC needs to open its eyes or get few ex- ricketers to do the job. So many mistakes are not acceptable as human errors.

Posted by Z.Saleem on (March 3, 2011, 17:53 GMT)

The umpiring in this match by Harper was just shocking, he looked the worst umpire in the world today, but i think Nigel was good and had a better day than Harper, but I am sure if URDS was not there Harper would have been going to the eye Doctor :-)

Posted by tusac on (March 3, 2011, 17:38 GMT)

And you seemed to have forgotten to add the unspeakable sledges that were showered upon the No. 10 batsman, and that too Canada. Respect is something which they have never received in the past and never shall they receive in the future. Awesome bowling by Afridi, that man with his devious googlys and flippers and pace changes is either having them LBW or bowled.

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (March 3, 2011, 17:29 GMT)

How can you keep Mr Boombastic terrifying-tastic, Afridi out of the plays of the day. He WAS the highlight of the day. Yes just him, on his own, arms aloft.

Posted by   on (March 3, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

standered of umpirig was shocking ...especiallt that australian guy

Posted by   on (March 3, 2011, 17:20 GMT)

Without the UDRS that game would have been an ugly one. that's for sure.

Posted by   on (March 3, 2011, 17:17 GMT)

worst umpiring i have seen after a long time !

Posted by Z.Saleem on (March 3, 2011, 17:02 GMT)

The umpiring in this match by Harper was just shocking, he is indeed the worst umpire by far in the world. Guess Nigel was good and had a better day, but I am sure if URDS was not there Harper would have saved the day for Canada!

Posted by   on (March 3, 2011, 17:00 GMT)

Last paragraph, I lost track there.

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

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