New Zealand v West Indies, 1st T20, Auckland

Dozy Guptill and the crowd catch that wasn't

Plays of the day for the 1st T20 between New Zealand and West Indies in Auckland

Sidharth Monga

January 11, 2014

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Brendon McCullum guides one behind the stumps, New Zealand v West Indies, 1st T20, Auckland, January 11, 2014
Brendon McCullum was brave enough to go down on one knee to Tino Best © Getty Images
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The dozy moment
When Jesse Ryder cover-drove Tino Best in the second over of the match, the non-striker Martin Guptill - like all of us - thought he had hit a four. Except that Guptill should have known better. There was a sweeper-cover in place, and only after Guptill saw Ryder run hard did he realise that he would need to run. It was too late. Only a single was taken. How Best would have hoped Guptill was not dozing. That single brought him on strike, and the next three balls were smoked away for six, four and four.

The blow
You should treat your captain better. Brendon McCullum had been at the wicket only for two balls when Ryder danced down to Samuel Badree. The hit was clean and down the ground, but it was so clean it gave McCullum no time to get out of the way. Good job he was wearing the box.

The frenzy
The one-handed catch contest in the New Zealand crowds is turning out to be a tricky temptress. Every time the ball is hit for a six, people fall over each other to try to take it one-handed. When Colin Munro deposited a free hit from Sunil Narine over square leg, there were about 10 going for the catch in the stands, just like midfielders go up for the first touch on a high ball in football. This time, though, one man got a touch, and parried it flush onto the head of an old man standing behind him. The man came down like a sack of potatoes, but was thankfully fine.

The shot
When you are bowling as fast as Best does and are sent for a six in the V behind the stumps, it usually is a mis-hit. Not when you are bowling to McCullum in the last over of a T20 innings. McCullum had just disturbed Best's short length by dancing down and hitting him over long-on, and now guessed right that the bowler will go full and fast. That said, it is still a brave shot to go down on one knee to Best and risk a visit to the dentist. Here, McCullum ramped it right off the middle of the bat and sent the ball about 30 rows back behind fine leg. Best couldn't quite get over that shot.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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