Plays of the day

Scotty and Baz fly, Jesse and Ishant fight

Sidharth Monga in Auckland

March 14, 2009

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Scott Styris returned to international cricket in style © Getty Images
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We've been expecting you, Mr Styris
Scott Styris has been away for a while, with a broken thumb. He came back with a pin inserted inside, but it took some time in domestic circuit and injuries to Ian Butler and Ewen Thompson before he could make it to international cricket. And his first touch today was magical. Daniel Vettori had just sent the mid-on back when Suresh Raina pulled that way. Styris ran from midwicket, watching the ball go over him, and then dived full length, to complete the catch. Welcome back, Scotty.

Fly and crash
In the 19th over of the Indian innings, Brendon McCullum flew left at point to make a save after the ball had crossed him. But adrenalin then took over as he tried to run Rohit Sharma out and threw wide, and giving away one overthrow.

Let's get loud
It's taken seven international matches to get the first on-field confrontation. Jesse Ryder pulled Ishant Sharma for a six over midwicket in the 11th over, not for the first time. Words flew, presumably at first from Ishant, before Ryder shrugged his shoulders and responded. Praveen Kumar separated the two, but the conversation continued as Ishant took his cap, and Ryder went back to the striker's end. Mahendra Singh Dhoni separated them this time, but a few moments later they were at it again.

However two overs after that Ishant and Ryder shook hands and made up. In the same over Ryder played Ishant onto his stumps, but there were no send-offs or wild celebrations. Such civil behaviour is just not acceptable, c'mon boys the TV is watching.

The mouthpiece
There were about 22,000 people in a rare sell-out crowd today and perhaps 10 of them were New Zealand supporters. It was a day of innovative slogans. Here are a few:

"Hey Vettori, name you boy Sachin." "Blackcats, the Slum (top) dogs are here."

A google search box, with "How to beat India". And the banner next to it: "0 search results".

And also one USA flag. Thankfully, nobody abused George Bush or called Obama the saviour.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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