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
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.
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.
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