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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ravi on January 22, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    common guys why should we blame each other even as a indian fan lets accept the fact that india doesn't have a real fast bowler who can bowl at 145 case like morkel, and i really cant understand why BCCI is not intested to produce some good fast bowlers, they have lot money still they dont to use this money to make a good indian cricket team, why rohit sharma is keep on playing even he is continuosly failing, why cant they take pujara, rahane like these players. there is lot of talent waiting to get an opportunity, but no one wants to give them a chance to prove their worth. out of many series from last ten years no one of bowlers unable to create fear in opposition mind, see we observe the fear in our indian batsman when ever morkel is coming he has the pace, line and length, which no one has in india out of 110crores of indian people?

  • karthik on January 22, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    hey guys stop saying dhoni is always defensive , remember he has some hopeless bowling to lead with , zaheer is good only for tests , others just fit it , no indian bowler has won a game single handedly for india in odi in a pretty long time .so he has to live with that , and terribly dissapointed with bhajji , yuvraj showed him how to bowl in this tracks , may be we should keep him as a batsman and include ashwin as a spinner

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    India should have tightened the noose when SA were 118/5 and delivered the knock out punch (that's where the match was lost), but they were not able to also because the opponents played well and made sure there was no collapse this time again. You have to give them credit. This is what India lacks very often-the knock out punch. To go by Smith's way of reasoning, had India shot them out for less than 150, India would have gone up 3-1 and the series would have been theirs. Or looking at the form Kohli and Bhajji are in, had they played out the full quota of overs instead of going by the D/L method India might have even chased down the target, or maybe SA would have taken the remaining wickets easily and won the game.This is the beauty of this game-unpredictable! That is why a reserve day (when possible) is always better than this rubbish D/L method. Let's hope play will be possible for the 5th ODI without rain, with the full quota of overs as scheduled and may the best team win!

  • Varnendra on January 22, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    It is unbelievable how cricket can be a lottery. There is no question about the competitive spirit Harbajan brings to the team; however as a spinner he just relies on the ball bouncing unexpectedly and the straight ball for wickets; and he got too many than he deserved in this tour; nevertheless he will get whacked in the world cup. And even if Dhoni didn't grasp the moment at 118/5 he still is a good captain and a good batsman in India; he was never a good batsman in lively wickets. Someone has written Yuvi is recovering; come on mate! he has developed a paunch; he is lazy. For all his negative aspects Raina will be able to produce at least 2 match winning performances in the WC. Nehra; Man he looks like an old man playing cricket with kids on the street; his expressions don't fit a sportsman.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    why the "Plays of the Day" includes events happen in the first innings only ( or majority of them). I guess they only cover "day" section of the day/night matches.

  • sasi on January 22, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    this time Dhoni missed it altogether. Harbhajan bowled faster than required. More overs from other spinners would have been better. Taking away Yuvraj after he picked up a wicket was a mess; he was in good rhythmic spell. India could not bowl out them after 118/5 is POOR. We cant expect anything from make shift openers. Kholi was in prime. Yuvraj / Dhoni / Raina they have to blame themselves only. ABOUT THE SERIES STILL ITS WIDE OPEN GOOD LUCK

  • kanas on January 22, 2011, 6:17 GMT


  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    The hint of sarcasm in this article is strangely enjoyable. The poor umpiring all through India's tour of SA is another argument for making UDRS mandatory. Through all of this Taufel remains head and shoulders above the rest. However, the author doesn't mention the Botha lbw because it wasn't plumb at all. Yes, lbw's have been debateable throughout the tour and this series.

    Just like the test series this ODI series is closely contested and I feel both teams are doing well. There are low-points such as South Africa's fielding in the third ODI, but in general it's a job well done. I don't agree that it's predictable/ boring. I think it's great cricket and as a South African I am grateful to India for visiting and providing such great cricket. It's probably the best tour by India to South Africa ever. I would've enjoyed to see the great Rudolph play, an omission SA will regret.

    The author is very diplomatic about the power failure and preparations. I think it's a bit embarrassing.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    @pombasher and newkid: india have got so many decisons in their favoralready [ not only on this tour but since the scg test], dont worry about it. like you guys commented after the 2nd match "fortune favors the brave " and all that rubbish, so take it that way. the more worrying thing is why india were so comprehensively beaten on a subcontinental type pitch. Cant this team which has the so called best batting line up in te world even play in their own conditions. Out to part timers like Robbie peterson? seriously? I am afraid to say i dont see india progressing beyond quarter or semis. Congrats to sa for a fabulous performance!! SA,aus ,england and sa for the semis

  • Ganes on January 22, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    Well played South Africa. Since openers are injured India is having a big worry now. After trying rohit sharma and parthiv patel for openers slot, why not try raina as well? Murali vijay and raina opening, yuvaj one down, rohit sharma next and then dhoni, pathan - this should also be tried. Except Kohli, all others batted as if they have not played for a long time. They just forgot how to bat! Kohli's presence there gave some sort of an assurance until rain interrupted. Had the match continued for all 50 overs without the idiotic D/L method, I think this would also have been a closer match. Even in matches where rain interrupts, the D/L should NOT be applied. It is time the ICC looked into better options outside D/L! scrap it today and now

  • No featured comments at the moment.