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May 15, 2008
Donkey drop, and a wicket
It was possibly the worst ball you could bowl to Virender Sehwag, slow, short and wide outside off stump. But the Gods must have been smiling on P Vijaykumar because Sehwag's angry slash went straight into the hands of RP Singh at third man. Buy the man a lottery ticket.
Try it once, try it twice
By his second over, RP was working up serious pace. When he bounced Gautam Gambhir with one timed at just 140 kph, the ball was nearly in the batsman's face before a whiplash of a hook sent the ball soaring over square leg for six. The next ball was just as fast, and short, and this time Gambhir slammed it in front of square for another six. When you're wearing the orange cap, pace isn't a problem.
Smart as you like
It takes a lot to get Gambhir out in this format of the game, but the Pragyan Ojha-Adam Gilchrist combination executed their plan perfectly. Ojha pushed one well down the leg side, and Gambhir sallied forth. Once he realised he had no shot to play, he tried frantically to get back, but Gilchrist's left hand was far too deft.
Brothers in arms
When the Hyderabad innings started, you had two intriguing match-ups. Adam Gilchrist, the ultimate big-match opener of his generation, against Glenn McGrath, old mate and prototype for the miserly pace bowler. At the other end, Mohammad Asif ran in to bowl to his fellow Pakistani, Shahid Afridi. McGrath won the battle of the Aussies, but it was Afridi who had the Pakistani bragging rights, with a massive six over square leg.
With his elbow protected by a brace that ran from bicep to forearm, Asif looked like he'd walked off the set of some futuristic movie. In his final over, he ambled in off five paces, with Dinesh Karthik standing up to the stumps. His four overs cost 51, another sure sign he's nowhere near being fully fit.
The perfect squirt
Rohit Sharma has carved out quite a reputation for classical strokeplay, even in this format. But the best shot he played today was a masterpiece of improvisation. When Rajat Bhatia pitched one full outside off stump, Rohit gave himself room, reached for the ball and tapped it with the toe end. It sped away, neatly bisecting the men at gully and point. Perfect.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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