India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Indore December 8, 2011

Sehwag's rare dive and a bouquet

Plays of the Day from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Indore

The gesture
Having cut Andre Russell to the boundary to go past Sachin Tendulkar's 200, Virender Sehwag was celebrating his record-breaking feat with a fist-pump, when he saw something strange. A man who shouldn't have been on the cricket field was running towards him with a bouquet of roses and the broadest of smiles. What he intended Sehwag to do with flowers in the middle of the pitch is not certain. Sehwag appeared to tell him to hurry off before the cops got on his tail.

The welcomes
Sehwag clipped Ravi Rampaul's first delivery off his pads through midwicket, the ball speeding across a fast outfield and beating Danza Hyatt's desperate dive to reach the boundary. Three more bowlers suffered Rampaul's fate at Sehwag's hands. Sunil Narine's first ball got launched over the long-on boundary, Darren Sammy watched his fly over extra cover, and Marlon Samuels' was steered between point and short third man for four.

The shot
The first of Sehwag's seven sixes. In the third over, Kemar Roach pitched short outside off stump, with a third man in place. Sehwag waited and opened the face, letting the ball virtually bounce off the bat, trampoline over the slip cordon and all the way across the boundary. He had intentionally played it so fine that the fielder at third man, who was square, could only watch.

The lucky number
Both Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were let off on 20. Gambhir dabbed the ball towards point, took a few steps down the pitch and then stopped, for it was Kieron Pollard swooping on the ball. Sehwag, however, had come so far from the non-striker's end that he gave up, and hoped Pollard would miss. Pollard did. A while later, Gambhir pushed hard at a length ball from Russell, hitting it in the air towards the bowler's left. Russell, one of West Indies' best fielders, grabbed at the chance but it did not stick.

The jostle
In the 18th over, Gambhir dropped the ball with soft hands on the pitch and wanted the single. He ran a few yards but Sehwag did not budge from the non-striker's end. The bowler Roach sprinted to the ball and picked up, forcing Gambhir to turn around hastily. As he did, Gambhir jostled with Roach and there was some contact between bodies and bat before he safely made his crease. Sammy was not happy and held his arms up in half-protest, half-appeal. It did not go further than that.

The dive
There's nothing unusual about a batsman diving to avoid being run out. Unless that batsman is Sehwag. He never dives. Sehwag might sprint, and stretch sometimes, but dive he does not. He did today, though. In the 20th over Sehwag clipped the ball to deep square leg and wanted the second run. Gambhir did not, and Sehwag had to hit the turf horizontally to continue batting.

The last-ball trick
Rahul Sharma, India's debutant spinner, struck three times: a wicket in each of his first three overs. He bowled all his victims and claimed them with the final ball of the over. Samuels was the first to go, playing on to a topspinner; Danza Hyatt was the next, as a quick legbreak spun through his legs; and Pollard was the last, missing another fast and straight delivery.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on December 9, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    @Shan156, cheers to you mate. You are a true follower and fan of CRICKET, unlike some other Brits, who spam our matches when India is down....Some sad, bitter and unhealthy souls are making it sound as though this was the first time an ODI was played on a batting track in a smallish ground and that till now no batsmen got to play an ODI on a batting track in a smallish ground. What about those brutal centuries by Gibbs and Ponting at New Wanderes, Johannesburg in a 'mini-stadium' on a belter of a track and both the teams scored over 400??? Nobody complained then....Very pleased at your balanced assessment...Cheers!

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    wel done Viru. u r the best oneday cricketer of these days.

  • Vinit on December 9, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    @fearlesswindies: Come on man, you can't say that Sammy has not proven himself to be a international player. Yes, he looks out of form in ODIs. But in the Test matches he was very deadly with the Red Ball. Everyone praised him a lot during Test series.

    @Dravid_Gravitas: Yes friend, Anwar didn't ran all of his runs in his historic 194. I still remember that Afridi was his runner from 63* to 194 & hence Anwar wasn't tired at all like Shewag was in yesterday's match. But I respect Anwar as a classy batsmen because he was the only batsman who was consistent performer against India. His last century against India in 2003 WC semi final was superb!

    And regarding our opening combination, I feel that Viru & Gauti are the Best choice even if Sachin makes a comeback in ODI team. Sachin should drop himself to one down position, play as a sheet anchor & try to remain Not Out till the end. I hope Sachin achieves 50+ batting average in ODIs also!!

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    he is the best player in the world

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    @cricketSB..why can't you just appreciate the brilliance of an innings from a 'genius'..I am sure you wouldn't be so bitter had the feat been achieved by an australian..most 'cricket' fans around trhe world, no matter which country they support, would acknowledge this astonishing feat..I refer to Kevin Petersen's tweet yesterday and I quote..'if you are a cricket fan, pls switch your tv's on right now & watch a genius bat..Sehwag destroying the record coming'..I may be wrong but im sure KP is a pretty good judge of a cricketer..he never 'tweeted' about the size of the ground!!! seem to have forgotten Sehwag destroying the australian attack at Melbourne in a test match in 2003!!!

  • aartist on December 9, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    It is a great coincidence that the Rahul got 3 wicket bowled in his first 3 overs in the last ball of each over. It's some sort hattrick. It also reminds me debut test by Ravi Shashtri where scorecard reads C. Vengsarkar B. Shastri for 3 consecutive wickets.

  • Swastik on December 9, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    It wasn't the story of a small ground, or a flat track; there have been many flat tracks over the years and such a feat hasn't been achieved. As Yuvraj said, it's next to impossible to even think of 219 in a one day match. Several players dream to score that much in a test. It was, rather, a story of a player's grit, a player's determination, a player's natural ability to score at will. He may not be the most technically correct batsman however, he is surely one of the most loved. If only he took his game a little seriously, who knows where he would have been today!

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @khiladisher.Dear, i would like to elaborate more on the facts put up by you.1) Pak vs ind (in india) played 27 pak won 17.Played in pak 27. Pak won 14.Percentage wise pak are the best team (%age wise) which beats india in india.In rest of the venues the record is just marginally in favour of india.By marginally i mean just marginally.2) You said that pak has mostly won during 1986 - 1998.For your kind information out of 58 odi from 1998-2011, pak has won 32.Period.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    he is the to watch him 1 atcckngt plyr in the world

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    Well done Shewag! A great innings I belive. Sad I could not watch it. Although Iam a Sri lankan Iam a cricket fanatic. I wish Indians keep speaking of Shewag's innings now and stop the chatter of Tendulkar's 100th century. Let him get it when he deserves. No doubt he is a good cricketer. Records are meant to be broken. So anyone's record could be broken.

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