South Africa v India, 3rd ODI, Cape Town January 18, 2011

AB's gift, and Munaf surprises

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the day of the third ODI between South Africa and India in Cape Town

The celebrations
They were two special catches and featured two special celebrations. Virat Kohli went low to his left at first slip to take a sharp catch to remove Colin Ingram, and threw the ball so high in the air that Ingram, walking back dejected and expectedly slowly, had reached extra cover by the time the ball came down. Dale Steyn took a slightly easier catch, diving to his right in his follow-through, celebrated in the opposite fashion after removing M Vijay: he threw the ball almost as forcefully, but straight into the ground.

The angle
In his first spell Zaheer Khan beat the edge on numerous occasions without finding the edge, and once missed out on an lbw because of the extra bounce. Soon after getting pulled away disdainfully by Hashim Amla, Zaheer went round the stumps, and Amla's overconfidence had him driving at a straight ball away from the body. Immediate results, if ever there were some.

The long hop
In three matches in this series, AB de Villiers has chosen short, hit-me deliveries from part-timers to get out to. If it was Rohit Sharma that he was Santa to in Durban, todays gift went to Yusuf Pathan, who was bowling his first over. The ball was short, it was there to be hit, but he was perhaps a bit tight after having been tied down by the main bowlers until then, and hence a little late into the shot, lofting it to long-on.

The reversal
On the India tour, JP Duminy must have grown quite used to getting out lbw to straighter deliveries bowled by Harbhajan Singh from round the stumps. For the way he got Yuvraj Singh out, in the first over of part-time spin again, was almost identical. The ball pitched just outside off, Yuvraj defended, expecting some turn away, but the ball went straight on and trapped him right in front.

The wrong fielder
It is often said that batsmen pick their fielders when they are running the twos. Considering that, Wayne Parnell perhaps did the right thing coming back for the second having hit the ball softly towards third man, Munaf Patel, not the quickest and most co-ordinated man on the field. However, this one proved to be too clever by half and Munaf swooped in sharply, picked up and threw the ball in one motion, right by the stumps. Run-out.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ashok on January 19, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Sidharth: By far the biggest play of the game was the collapse of the last 6 wickets of SA for just 20 runs. That gave India great hope of winning. But India were 5 down for 93 before Pathan's play of the match along with Raina, turned the game around.However with the departure of Pathan, India still needed 39 runs to win with 3 wiskets in hand. Another play of the match was the partnership of Zaheer & Harbhajan which swung the game but when Zaheer departed India were still 13 short of a victory. Full credit to Nehra because he faced 5 balls in one over another 4 from other over. Harbhajan instead of shielding Nehra, took run of the first ball in one over and allowed Nehra to take a single of one over. Nehra's protection of his wicket was another factor in the indian victory + his winning boundary. SA could not get 3 runs in the last ODI with 2 wickets in hand. Nehra showed how it should be done. These plays in addition to what you listed are equally important in the Indian victory.

  • Anshuman on January 19, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    didn't see the match... i wish i did. well played raina, yousuf and all the bowlers. Hope our top order finds consistency soon.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    Fully agree with F_P_B.Irfan Pathan has had a raw deal from Dhoni& the selectors right from the time he was dropped after the T20 WC 2009 in England,playing only one game against the West Indies-mysteriously not given the full quota of 4 overs inspite of a super analysis of 2-0-9-1 in the two overs.There is more to it than meets the eye just as there is no justification for ignoring Robin Uthappa who could also be a back-up wicket keeper if the need arose. One of the luckiest guys in this planet must be Piyush Chawla (just like the 'passenger' Sunil Walson in our '83 WC squad)-there is every likelihood that he will not play or be 'risked' at all against South Africa &the entire World Cup campaign.Feel Yuvaraj will come in handy more for his left arm bowling rather than batting.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    About- Robin Uthappa... At the end of IPL last year, he got injured and didn't play much cricket for 4 months. Then, he started playing again and hasn't played much limited over cricket to push for selection. Add to that, his average performance in the limited chances at the domestic level and the congestion in the middle order and we realize why Robbie is not in the team. Scores: 21, 4 and 29..all with many balls to play. Ditto for Manish Pandey...His scores in the last few limited overs domestic tournament have been...11 and 6. (Challenger Trophy).

    if we go by stats, Manoj Tiwary has better reasons to be gutted as he scored quickfire 84 (strike rate 130), 46 (strike rate of 170) and a steadying 40 when wickets were falling all around him.

    I think we should be happy that we have a problem of plenty.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    bhajji's services to INDIA with his bat in recent times cannot be forgotten

  • J Ranjith on January 19, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    2Gopalakrishnan Thirumalachari: Please do every one a favour by watching closely Dhoni in field next time when India bowls. Just see how he arranges fields every ball - I mean every ball, and how he encourages bowlers and fielders as well, Think of how many things go in his mind as a captain and see how well he does. True, he is not the very best as he entered International cricket, but he has a huge responsibility now and does it with style and has brought so many victories for Team India. If we start blaming Dhoni, we would blame everything in our life, even that post man who does not come in the speed of an electronic mail.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    @Gopalakrishnan Thirumalachari, India has been playing with 10 men team since they have M. Vijay in as an opener. ur comment abt Dhoni does not warrant any response!!!

  • Manesh on January 19, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    I just wonder where is some people like Diri and Bangla!!! may be waiting for an Indian defeat... :P

  • Rohit on January 19, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Last couple of matches I have noted Munaf's body language - though he still appears lazy & laid back - his fielding has improved dramatically!! If he can bring in the same energy into his bowling and up his speed a bit he would be hard to drop! Was also wondering what Yuvraj is doing in this team? I think long back (IPL 3) Robin Uthappa was in murderous form - whyhas he not been given a single opportunity? I guess there is more than meets the eye in team selection - I wonder in who's bad books is he and why? Like him evern Irfan deserves a second look! Once a blue eyed boy has since fallen out of favor - and Ishaant for some reason apart from his bowling is always in favor! BCCI selection continues to boggle - if it weren't for the Indian team winning so many matches, a lot of this would be under intense scrutiny!

  • Ankan on January 19, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    to some commentators who are talking about dhoni, i have a question "if not Dhoni then who? Wriddhiman??? Parthib??? Dinesh Karthik???" don't think so mateys/

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