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Plays of the Day from the first ODI between New Zealand and West Indies, in Auckland
December 26, 2013
The drop-in pitch at Eden Park - grown in a huge metal tray and hauled to the centre on a custom-made giant trolley - is a great example of smart heavy engineering going hand-in-hand with computer-based technologies. There were some questions over how it would behave before the match, but the pitch offered good bounce and pace throughout the innings. Was it seamless? Jason Holder might not agree. Holder's foot was caught in the joint between the pitch and the outfield in his seventh over, resulting in a nasty face-first fall for the tall bowler. Fortunately for him, he didn't do any serious damage to himself.
The Hot Spot beater
Brendon McCullum started shaking his head and had a wry smile on his face as soon as umpire Gary Baxter adjudged him lbw. He asked for a review without a delay. He had reasons to be disappointed with the call as he had charged way down the pitch. In fact he was so far down the pitch that the Hot Spot visual was rendered futile; he wasn't even in the frame. That should have helped his case as umpires can use discretion to overrule the ball-tracker if the distance between the stumps and the point of impact is more than 2.5 meters. However, in this case, the third umpire went with the on-field call.
Jesse Ryder's last international outing was in February 2012, but today was the first time since February 2011 that he came out to open the batting. On that day against Pakistan, Ryder was run-out without facing a ball after his partner, Martin Guptill, had backed out of a single. The partner was Guptill today as well, but Ryder had no one else to blame as he slapped one straight to point.
The bail breaker
Kyle Mills didn't have the same effect in his first spell as Mitchell McClenaghan, who managed to disturb the stumps twice. In his second spell though, Mills managed to hit the stumps and went one better than McClenaghan. The force of the ball that hit Narsingh Deonarine's leg stump was such that it broke the bail into two. Break a stump - anyone can do that; break a bail without hitting it - now try matching that.
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge