Plays of the day November 23, 2007

Crazy running and airplane celebration

Off he goes; Shoaib Akhtar celebrates airplane-style © AFP

Suicidal jump of the day
Batsmen are instructed to get in the way of the ball while running between the wickets; Misbah-ul-Haq made all the right moves before blowing a fuse at the last moment. Patting to point, he took off for a quick single and just needed to ground his bat at the non-striker's end when he chose to jump and evade the throw instead. Dinesh Karthik's effort from point found its way onto the stumps and Misbah was out when in mid-air.

Suicidal second run of the day
Meanwhile batsmen are also better off not running after slipping at the crease. Sachin Tendulkar completed a single and took off for the second, despite losing his footing at the crease. In fact he seemed more intent on the run after slipping than before it. The throw was on target and Tendulkar, sent back by Rahul Dravid, found himself a few inches short.

One an airplane, another a stoic
Shoaib Akhtar should have had Wasim Jaffer in the first over of the innings, leg-before to a speedy one that angled in, but had to wait till the 22nd over before he could get a positive response. Off he went in an airplane impersonation, ecstatic that his fine spell had finally got a reward. His opening partner, Sohail Tanvir, though, doesn't do expressions. After dismissing two batsmen with far greater records, with deliveries that arced in at a menacing angle, he dead-panned his way to his team-mates and looked the most serious of the lot.

Tactic of the day
Mahendra Singh Dhoni thought it best to come down the track to counter Tanvir's swing. It had worked in the one-dayers and Dhoni felt it best to do the same here. It tempted Tanvir to try a few short ones but Dhoni was behind the line to those, blocking with purpose. He somewhat miscalculated a charge against Danish Kaneria, though, missing a legbreak that had him nick one to the wicketkeeper.

Warning of the day
The authorities at the Feroz Shah Kotla are obviously wary about poor crowd behaviour. "Spectators are reminded that racially abusive comments and action will result in ejection," said a couple of boards in the Wing A side of the ground.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo