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Playing nanny and Pollard's big leap

Chris Gayle comforts a nervous child ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Nanny moment of the day

Thank heavens for Chris Gayle. This man can frustrate by not playing to his full potential and he can make you laugh with his original wit. He is an entertainer. Just before the national anthems were to be played in the morning Gayle realised the mascot accompanying him - all of two feet tall - was wailing for his mother, clearly unnerved by the big occasion. It was an extraordinary situation, one the organisers were not ready for and which raised anxiety levels with start time minutes away. But why worry when Gayle is around. As soon as he realised the issue he put his hands on the boy's shoulders, whispered a few kind words and watched as a big smile lit up the boy's face.

Missed chance of the day

Kieron Pollard tapped softly to leg off a legside delivery from Kevin O'Brien and set off for a single realising John Mooney was standing a little deep at square leg. Devon Smith refused to oblige, though, and Pollard - on 13 at the time - had to suddenly turned back to return to the crease but slipped in the process. That gave Mooney enough time to set himself up for the throw from an angle where he could have probably only seen one stump. Eventually he missed by a whisker but Pollard had in any case given up and walked back to safety.

Drop of the day

Next over Pollard went for a premeditated shot, trying to clear Andre Botha's fuller-length delivery on his legs over deep midwicket. The resultant top edge flew high and straight over the bowler's head. For a moment it seemed Gary Wilson, who had rushed in from long-on would catch it but, having lined himself nicely under the line of the falling ball, fumbled and the ball bounced out of his hands. Pollard was then on 19 and went on to add 75 runs, effectively the difference between the two sides. Did Ireland drop the ticket to the quarter-finals there and then?

Spell of the day

8-3-21-1 by Darren Sammy. His first three overs were maidens. Pitching consistently on the button just short of length, he maintained a tight straight line that offered no width and kept the batsman rooted to the crease. It was a critical phase in the middle overs, when Ireland's progress was stalled.

Catch of the day

Kevin O'Brien hit flat and straight as Darren Sammy pitched short. The slow pace of the delivery meant O'Brien couldn't get the desired power behind the stroke but he probably felt he was safe as Pollard was standing inches inside the rope at long-on. But the West Indian had different thoughts as soon as he realised O'Brien had not got the momentum; he rushed out of the blocks like a long jumper in full stride and then threw himself as far as he could on the green turf. Even as he slid he kept his head high to watch the ball land into his outstretched hands - hands the size of baseball mitts. His reaction was a mix of ecstasy and some disbelief. It was easily one of the best catches this World Cup.

The Venus Williams moment

It was a ball from Sulieman Benn that straightened and hit Niall O'Brien's off stump. Cue Benn's reaction - a mixture of grunt and shriek that evoked - to this writer at least - images of Venus Williams celebrating a tight point won against one of the Russian girls.