South Africa v India, 4th ODI, Port Elizabeth January 21, 2011

Powerless PE, and confusion on the pitch

Plays of the Day from the fourth ODI between South Africa and India in Port Elizabeth

The Powerplay… oops
About an hour before the start of the game, the whole of Port Elizabeth lost power, including St George's Park. The only people who had back-up were the TV production crews. Not even the floodlights. The organisers trusted the electricity board to restore supply, and went ahead with the game. However, there were no national anthems played before the start of the game because the loud speakers wouldn't work. Not playing national anthems before cricket games is not such a bad thing anyway. The power was restored in the sixth over, and the scoreboards and big screen came on. All was right with Port Elizabeth then.

The free hit
When Munaf Patel overstepped during his first over, it was the first no-ball of the series, a massive improvement on the Test series. And hence the first freehit too. The bowler here showed he was better prepared for the contingency, bowling a slower short one outside off, beating an un-Hashim Amla-like hoick by a fair distance. The next time Munaf provide Amla a freehit, in the eighth over, the batsman was much better prepared, keeping his shape, getting down on a knee, and driving it wide of mid-off.

The call… oops
On a slow pitch where scoring looked very difficult, Amla was batting in a completely different universe until he did something that doesn't come naturally to him. He tried to pull, missed, and ran hard as the ball went into the fine-leg region. It was all fine until he decided to come back for a sharp second and wasn't even in the frame when the stumps were broken. A quick runner like AB de Villiers would have struggled to make that second, so bad was the call.

The call… oops, part II
That Amla run-out wasn't where South Africa's running troubles ended. JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis have already developed a history between them in the two matches that the latter has played. In du Plessis' debut match, early on during their partnership, Duminy wanted to take a sharp single, but a nervous du Plessis wasn't quite awake to it, and nearly ran the senior partner out. Today, Duminy was the 'no' man, but there was no single there when du Plessis hit almost straight to square leg and set off. du Plessis then had to go back, and this time a run-out resulted. An accident waiting to happen, were du Plessis and Duminy.

The reversal
Johanes Cloete did the exact opposite of what Brian Jerling did at the Wanderers. Jerling infamously gave Johan Botha out lbw even when the ball didn't hit the pad. Today, in the 47th over, Zaheer Khan had Robin Peterson plumb with a late swinging yorker that hit him on the toe. Cloete, though, thought it came off the bat and signalled four runs. Zaheer, unimpressed, stood there looking incredulously.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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