New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Napier February 29, 2012

Who needs the McScoop?

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second ODI between New Zealand and South Africa, in Napier

The unintentional ramp shot
A four is the last thing on a batsman's mind when he opts to leave a ball, but that is exactly what Brendon McCullum collected when he tried to get out of the way of a Morne Morkel short ball in the 12th over. McCullum could not drop his hands in time, and the ball hit the edge and was unintentionally ramped over the slips for four. Who needs the 'McScoop'?

The moment of justice
Tarun Nethula had threatened to take Hashim Amla's wicket from early on in his spell, but two fortuitous top edges - one that fell in between two converging fielders and another that was shelled at long off - denied Nethula the scalp of one of the best players of spin in the world. But towards the end of a terrific spell in which he had bested Amla regularly, a fizzing legbreak finally caught the edge of Amla's bat and McCullum held on to dismiss the batsman for 92.

Catch of the day
Martin Guptill held a strong, late contender for catch of the day, when he caught Faf du Plessis, tossed the ball up as momentum took him over the square-leg boundary, and completed the catch upon re-entry. However, it was a much less likely athlete that takes the honours. Jacques Kallis took a terrific backpedalling catch to dismiss Kane Williamson earlier in the day, when the batsman launched Lonwabo Tsotsobe high over mid-on. Running backwards, Kallis never took his eyes off the ball and seemed to have not made enough ground, but arched his back and stretched to pluck it from behind him. The catch kickstarted the collapse that turned the game in South Africa's favour.

The ominous burst
A one-day series rarely goes by for South Africa without a heavy contribution from Hashim Amla, and his barrage in the opening overs signalled that tonight would be his night. After two quiet overs to begin, Amla larruped Kyle Mills over point, and plundered 25 from 10 balls to launch South Africa's reply - all but one of those runs coming from six off-side boundaries that included a serene glide down the ground. New Zealand were barely allowed to catch their breath from then on, as South Africa rollicked on at over six runs an over until the match was won.

The set-up
Guptill's catch on the square-leg boundary had been set up the previous delivery by Andrew Ellis, whose surprise short ball took the shoulder of du Plessis' bat and thudded into the grill of his helmet. Perhaps after some sort of signal from Ellis that he'd bowl the same ball again, Guptill moved squarer on the fence, and though this time the short ball didn't surprise du Plessis, he was duped by the bowler and caught in the deep.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here

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