ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
New Zealand v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Pallekele
Happy birthday Rose Taylor
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from Pakistan's encounter with New Zealand
March 8, 2011
Birthday gift of the day
Ross Taylor turned 27 today. Then he came across Kamran Akmal, who gifted him two lives in three balls, on 0 and 4. Then he got a career-best hundred. Happy birthday Ross.
Sign of the day
At least one fan in the crowd was prepared for Taylor's big day, with a computer print-out that was held up as a sign. There was only one problem. It read: "Happy birthday Rose Taylor". Ah well, a Ross by any other name would smell as sweet.
Opening of the day
Pakistan: land of strapping, wicket-taking fast bowlers who blow through you with the new ball and clean up with the old? Perhaps not. Shahid Afridi chose to open with Abdur Rehman for the second over of the innings, the first time a spinner had bowled one of the first two overs for Pakistan in an ODI since April 1998, when Mohammad Hussain - another left-arm spinner - did so. And until his last two overs went for 34, he hadn't done such a bad job of it.
Communication failure of the day
The Powerplays often create headaches for captains, but it was even more so for Shahid Afridi during New Zealand's innings. After 10 overs, he seemed to believe the bowling Powerplay had started, but one ball into the over was in an animated discussion with the umpire Nigel Llong, who had not given the signal. At the start of the next over, Afridi made it clear to the other official, Daryl Harper that he wanted the Powerplay to begin. Remarkably, the same thing appeared to happen with the batting Powerplay. Afridi had only three fielders outside the circle for the first two balls of the 41st over, apparently under the impression New Zealand had taken the Powerplay. Again, Llong clarified matters, and at the start of the next over, Afridi watched closely as Harper signalled that finally the batting Powerplay was under way.
Atmosphere of the day
It's to be expected that not all the neutral matches in this World Cup will be well attended, but the crowd at Pallekele was wonderful. Not for nearly a decade has Kandy hosted a one-day international, and the city's only international cricket in more than three years was the horribly rain-affected Test against West Indies last year. The locals have clearly been craving the game. A big crowd turned out and cheered vociferously for both teams, roaring their support of Taylor late in the New Zealand innings. No doubt the solid numbers were helped by the price of tickets - the cheapest were only 30 rupees, which equates to approximately 27 US cents.
Ask Steven: Which current international cricketer resembles Eddie Redmayne?
Nepal captain Paras Khadka talks about the road ahead for the game in his country
#politeenquiries: Your questions answered on Cook's "badly misjudged declaration", Shan Masood, and more
Ed Smith: It might sound counter-intuitive but players can convert the experience of mental strain into purposefulness, and derive strength from it
Also, losing ten-fors, and back to back Tests at Lord's