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Sidharth Monga in Hamilton
March 18, 2009
The second chance
Was taken by Rahul Dravid, but not by Virender Sehwag. When Martin Guptill edged Zaheer Khan, Dravid dived to his left from third slip in front of second. The ball popped out of his hand, but Dravid grabbed it in his second attempt while falling to the ground. Ross Taylor was on zero when he edged Zaheer hard towards gully. Sehwag's weight was on his back foot and the ball bounced out of his hands. He had to dive forward to catch the rebound but couldn't manage it even after getting both hands on the ball.
New Zealand is an efficient nation. Their cricket is no different. Ask Jeetan Patel and Brent Arnel, who didn't make it to the final XI for the Hamilton Test. By lunch, news came in that they will be released today to play in State Championship matches starting on Friday. The Northern Districts representative, Jonothon Boult, will be the 12th man.
Was what Daniel Vettori hit off Harbhajan Singh to move on to 48. The ball was full and driveable, but it was a bit wide. So Vettori reached out, and to keep the shot along the ground rolled his wrists over it. Remove the bottom hand from that shot, and it looked like a superb right-hander's backhand in table tennis.
Caught-behind, what caught-behind?
The first ball James Franklin faced today slid down leg side and he let it go. He tried to play the second ball, but was beaten. The ball flicked the back pad on the way through to Mahendra singh Dhoni. He was given out caught-behind, but Franklin can insist he didn't touch the ball. It happens.
Records take time
The earlier fumbling catch off Guptill was Dravid 181st, taking him level with Mark Waugh for the most catches in Test cricket. "Let's hope he gets a pair and then gets dropped," Waugh had said when Dravid was getting close to the record during the home series against Australia in 2008. Maybe Waugh's wish to keep the record a little longer is working. When No. 182 came Dravid's way, he was a microsecond too late to react at first slip and dropped Vettori, who was on 77 at the time. Vettori went on to score 118.
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