ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd quarter-final, World Cup 2011, quarter-final, Dhaka
An acrobatsman and a lucky boot
ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the third quarter-final of the World Cup, between New Zealand and South Africa in Mirpur
Firdose Moonda and Osman Samiuddin at the Shere Bangla Stadium
March 25, 2011
The carbon-copy catch of the day
Robin Peterson seems to have been practising moving to his left and taking superb catches off his own bowling. He first did it against England to dismiss Ian Bell and he got his chance to show off the move again in the third over on Friday. Brendon McCullum was the man who thought he could test Peterson's athleticism. He came out of the crease to drive and popped it up. Peterson launched himself to his left, got both hands under it and claimed the catch. Then came the roar and the pumping of both arms in the air.
The first six of the day
It took more than 30 overs for the ball to be launched over the boundary, but when it came it was a good old whack. Ross Taylor, down on bended knee, pulled out the slog-sweep in some style. Peterson flighted a delivery and Taylor was happy to show him what should be done with balls like that. He got a good stride in, reached outside the line of off stump, dipped the left knee, connected wood with leather and, although it didn't reach the heavens, it had the distance and broke the tension that had been building for over 180 balls before that.
The party crowd
Some people said only 5,000 fans would come to the Shere Bangla Stadium for the quarter-finals because the home team would not feature, but both matches have been packed to capacity. The crowd showed a genuine love of cricket, cheering on runs and wickets irrespective of which side was getting them. They even started a chorus of "Bangladesh, Bangladesh" when matters on field were getting a little dreary, and enjoyed all the music, from the Bangla beats to the South African cricket anthem, "Nkalakatha", which used to be played for Shaun Pollock.
Kane Williamson was doing his best to gather runs at the end, playing a range of not-so-cricket shots and trying to make room for himself. Off the third-last ball of the innings, he made so much room that when he tried to get to the ball, a wide one outside off, he threw himself completely off balance. He stumbled over, did a back roll and ended up on the edge of the next pitch. And he didn't make contact with the ball.
New Zealand needed a break early if they were going to have any chance of defending 221, but nobody could have imagined the part Brendon McCullum's boot would have played in it. Hashim Amla had already whipped two elegant drives through the covers off Brendan's brother, Nathan, before he bottom-edged an attempted cut. Unfortunately for Amla, it bounced off Brendan McCullum's boot and looped up in the air straight to first slip.
The spin twins
A spinner opening the attack is not a novelty in the international game anymore, and it certainly hasn't been in this World Cup, where it is in danger of becoming the rule. It has been a successful move too. But New Zealand went one better tonight by opening with spin at both ends, the first time that has happened at this World Cup. It is actually only the fourth time it has happened in ODIs and, unlikely as it sounds, only Zimbabwe and New Zealand had done it before, all in the last year. Nathan McCullum struck in the first over and Daniel Vettori immediately caused a few scares, so South Africa were probably happy to see the tactic off with 27 runs and just one wicket down, after six overs of it.
The retro statement
This was the first match in this World Cup in which neither side used a single referral. Ah, for the good old, uncomplicated days.
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo; Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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