ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

India v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Nagpur

A Kamran Akmal moment

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the World Cup, Group B match between India and South Africa

Firdose Moonda in Nagpur

March 12, 2011

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

Faf du Plessis is all smiles after bowling Virender Sehwag, India v South Africa, Group B, World Cup, Nagpur, March 12, 2011
Faf du Plessis filled in for Imran Tahir as a legspinner © Getty Images
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Potential handover of the day

It was at least an hour before they had to put their boxing gloves on when Gary Kirsten, in red and blue, and Corrie van Zyl, in green and white, led their squads on to the field for the warm ups. Before they got down to business, the pair met in the middle to exchange pleasantries. Rather than just a quick handshake the two chatted for a brief moment, perhaps with van Zyl adding the words: "This lot are yours after this," to Kirsten. Both will step down from their respective positions after the tournament with Kirsten the favourite to take over as South Africa coach.

Kamran Akmal moment of the day

It would have been a dream start for South Africa: Virender Sehwag out in the second over for four. It could have been a reality when the India opener edged a Morne Morkel delivery. The ball flew to wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk's right, but the gloveman did not even flinch. He may not have seen it at all, because he made no attempt to get to it. Graeme Smith, at first slip, rightly thought it was van Wyk's catch and didn't make any attempt of his own, leaving the whole incident looking remarkably similar to the moment when Ross Taylor's edge was allowed to fly between Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan in Pallekele. The cost that time was 131 runs. This time, it was 69 more runs from Sehwag's bat before he was dismissed.

The first for Faf

With no Imran Tahir to turn to, Graeme Smith tossed the ball to Francois du Plessis, his part time legspinner. He filled in Tahir's suddenly big boots very quickly, with a wicket in his first over. And who and how. A rampaging Sehwag was bowled by du Plessis, who fired one in and got the batsman to edge onto leg stump. A 142-run partnership that looked like it had knocked all the air out of South Africa was broken. Surely now, he doesn't deserve the nickname Faf - a colloquial verb for hanging around doing nothing. No faffing around for him, now.

The no-ball

After 787 legal deliveries in the tournament, spanning just over three matches, South Africa bowled their first no-ball in the fourth over. Morne Morkel, who has had a history of no-ball problems in the past, overstepped while bowling to Sachin Tendulkar. The ball was angled towards third man, destined for four before Kallis cut it off on the boundary. The resultant free hit only cost an extra one.

The moment of deluge

It wasn't Tendulkar's wicket or the fall of Gautam Gambhir, or even Yusuf Pathan that gave the glimpse of India's 9 for 29 impending doom. It was when Yuvraj Singh, the team's Cup crisis man, went that the alarm bells began to ring. A meaty six off Johan Botha promised much, but an over later a full toss from Jacques Kallis was clumsily holed into Botha's hands down the ground. Within 16 runs, India had lost four wickets. Oops, cometh the choke.

The grand-daddy of the field

India's fielding has come under fierce criticism for not being as agile or as eager as other teams but there was a general improvement in this match. Although we saw Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra put their bodies on the line it was the man with the oldest legs on the field, Sachin Tendulkar, whose fielding display really caught the eye. Tendulkar was a sharp and accurate and even when it looked like he would be beaten, he wasn't. With Jacques Kallis playing the reverse-sweep off Harbhajan, Tendulkar was beaten at short third man twice but the third time he got down and made sure he only gave away one.

The 2.5 metre jinx

No matter what MS Dhoni does, he can't escape the DRS system and its 2.5 metre rule. The first referral India asked for in this match was an lbw appeal that Zaheer Khan had against Jacques Kallis. The on-field call was not out but replays showed that the ball pitched in line and would have gone on to hit off stump. But the catch? Kallis was more than 2.5 metres in front of the stumps at the point of impact and that meant that the ball had to be hitting some part of middle in order for him to be out. The on-field call was upheld and Dhoni's bugbear bit him again.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 47 
Posted by D3r3k on (March 15, 2011, 2:58 GMT)

I think Dhoni was sending a message to the selectors by sending Nehra to bowl the last over. We know that Dhoni favours spinners (remember when he preferred Ashwin to Bollinger in the IPL last over bowl out). In reality we should have had an additional spinner in the team and not an extra seamer. Yes unfortunately we lost 9 for 29 but 296 was a good total that could be defended. I still prefer to see Raina in the team but it would have to be at the expense of either Gambhir, Kohli or Pathan Well lets hope India pick up their game and do it for Tendlukar (this is what the team said that they wanted to win the world cup for Tendulkar and at this time 9-29 does not seem to be like it)

Posted by hasil12 on (March 14, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

India don't deserve to be in next round looking at the performance other day. It is shame when non-test playing countries like Kenya and Ireland performing so well. Even state level teams play sensible cricket.

Posted by givemefood on (March 14, 2011, 18:52 GMT)

Granted India's batting lineup folded miserably but 296 was defendable and they didn't. It will be interesting to see how the South Africans fold up in the subsequent matches. Smith - for all his monkeying antics... will surely be fun to watch.

Posted by ikey on (March 14, 2011, 8:08 GMT)

@kktharan10: mate u seem to know nothing about cricket pls stop following cricket and do something useful which might atleast a penny on u!!

Posted by CricSamraat on (March 13, 2011, 21:32 GMT)

Dhoni choked and blinked. Now, he is blaming everyone else. What a loser!

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 14:54 GMT)

India actually might face NZ in QF now unless NZ beat SRI (unlikely given the past) and Bad news for Pakistan fans as PAK-SA QF is imminent unless they beat AUS(Due to NRR ) so better not praise SA too much.

Posted by IMObserver on (March 13, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

May be Dhoni want's third position in the Group B so that he can play Quarter Finals in Indiarather than in Mirpur or Columbo. Not bad strategy. Mirpur could be particualarly bad. Bonus is you don't get injured before Quarter Final knock out by trying too hard in qualifiers: use them as practice games.

Posted by   on (March 13, 2011, 13:31 GMT)

I´d love to see the faces of those who were making big statements (during the ODI series between India and SA), that Steyn & company will be buried on Indian pitches. They claimed that Steyn and other SA bowlers were only good on their home turf, with supporting pitches. Now see what Steyn did to Indian line-up. Bottom line is that Indian batting is not good as claimed, and Indian bowling is no where near taking 10 wickets, if you cant defend 338 or 296, what can you defend?

Posted by Laki1993 on (March 12, 2011, 23:09 GMT)

India threw away this match. Maybe they are trying to wrestle the tag of "chokers" away from South Africa.

Posted by olodum on (March 12, 2011, 21:57 GMT)

South africa surely had a plans B plan C while chasing .they were only down n out when sachin and sehwag then gambhir batted so well.

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