New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Napier, 3rd day

The no-ball that wasn't

Sidharth Monga in Napier

March 28, 2009

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The intruder goes down, New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Napier, 3rd day, March 28, 2009
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Up periscope
You normally associate Rahul Dravid with swaying out of the line of a bouncer while dropping his wrists. But while facing Franklin today, he ducked too early and left his bat hanging up in the air. The ball hit the bat and gently rolled towards short fine leg for a run. As they say, it could have gone anywhere.

Don't bowl short to the short man
New Zealand succeeded in keeping Dravid on his toes with the short deliveries, but they tried one too many at Sachin Tendulkar. Chris Martin, in the eighth over of the day, bowled quite a sharp one that Tendulkar ducked into too early. Martin must have seen an opportunity and tried another one next ball. This one was aimed into Tendulkar's body, giving him no arm space. But Tendulkar arched back, rolled his wrists over the pull, and hit it for four in front of deep backward square leg. Not many bouncers were bowled after that.

No-ball. Or was it?
The no-balls seem to keep haunting New Zealand after Kyle Mills missed one lbw because of a no-ball in Hamilton. Today Tendulkar had just got out when Dravid went to cut Daniel Vettori and edged the ball into Brendon McCullum's gloves. The umpire, however, had called no-ball loud and early. But it turned out, upon watching replays, that Vettori had not over-stepped. Had Dravid heard the call before playing the shot? We may never know.

Interval? What interval?
VVS Laxman had come in only minutes before lunch and would not have got his eye in when Vettori brought on Iain O'Brien to bowl the last over before the interval. The first ball was punched past cover-point for four, the second for two, and the last ball caressed past mid-off for four. Not bad for appetisers.

Streaker that wasn't
Don't know if he found Laxman's batting in the middle session boring, but a man ran onto the field fully-clothed. He dodged a few security personnel and then fell onto the ground whereupon four officials took control, and dragged him off the field. Locals say he might be locked up for one day. Logic would have it, that since he interrupted a Test match, he should get at least five days.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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