South Africa v India, 1st ODI, Durban January 12, 2011

The long hop and the Inzamam memorial

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Durban

The Batting Powerplay
It was perfectly timed and perfectly used by South Africa, which was a refreshing sign, for the middle overs had become a drone after a frenetic start. South Africa had two set batsmen in the middle, and the India spinners were looking to sort of rush through the overs. Then, in the 28th over, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy asked the umpire to rotate his hand in a circular motion. That brought back the pace bowlers who struggled through the day. Without playing a single wild shot, the duo added 45 in the next five overs.

The long hop
When nothing is working for you, in any form of cricket, when all else has failed, do try bringing on a part-time offspinner and see if he can bowl a juicy enough half-tracker. Rohit Sharma tried that for India in his second over, and was handsomely rewarded by de Villiers, who hit it straight down deep midwicket's throat. One wicket soon became two, two soon became three, and India ended up conceding 30 fewer than they were expected to.

The preparation
Fielders often charge in to prepare to field a shot that might come their way, but MS Dhoni, in the last over of South Africa's innings, showed further foresight. With Lonwabo Tsotsobe on strike, he was so awake to the eventuality of a scrambled bye, he threw down his right glove even before Zaheer Khan let the ball go. That's some anticipation.

The Inzamam memorial
Rohit Sharma does tend to end up on the wrong side of umpiring decisions, but he has also tended to emulate Inzamam-ul-Haq's slow walks back to the pavilion. He was given out caught behind off Morne Morkel's bowling, but the sound came from his bat hitting the pad, something the umpire missed. And then he stood there at the wicket, looked at the umpire, looked down, and then began evoking Inzamam. Thankfully, this didn't go to the extent it did in India's game against West Indies in the World Twenty20, when Rohit tried to urge Billy Bowden to call for the third umpire after he had been given out caught off the forearm.

The reversal in fortune
Two weeks ago, at the same venue, Ishant Sharma got a crucial deflection in his follow-through to get the wicket of a backing-up Jacques Kallis. This time around in Durban, the roles reversed not only in terms of winners and losers, but also in terms of deflecting balls onto the stumps for a run-out. India had staged a mini recovery from 43 for 4 with a 62-run partnership between Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. A straight drive from Kohli, though, found Wayne Parnell's hand on its way to the stumps at the non-striker's end to send Dhoni back. This was actually the third time during the tour that a batsman has been run out in that fashion. VVS Laxman was caught backing up in the first innings in the third Test in Cape Town when Paul Harris dropped a stinging catch from Sachin Tendulkar but ended up running Laxman out anyway.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo