Australia v England, 1st ODI, Melbourne January 12, 2014

Doherty's second chance, Finch's second life

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the first one-day international between Australia and England

Replay of the day

New format, new bowlers…but nothing much was new for Alastair Cook. His first ball from Clint McKay swung back in and brought a loud lbw shout, although it was too high, although there was momentary relief when he cut his second for four. But two deliveries later it was as though it was Ryan Harris sending the ball down as he prodded outside off and edged through to Brad Haddin. He may have talked a more positive game yesterday, but Cook looks a batsman who would rather not be here.

Milestone of the day

Gary Ballance's one-day international debut did not go to plan: caught behind for a second-ball duck against Ireland in September. It was uncertain whether he would make the starting XI Melbourne but benefitted from England packing their batting line-up. He was off the mark fifth ball with a drive through backward point off Glenn Maxwell and showed impressive composure with England in a sticky situation on 3 for 62. When he tucked a single off Maxwell he went to a 69-ball half century - it is expected to be the first of many.

Second chance of the day

Running in from third man, Xavier Doherty could not hold onto Ballance's thick outside edge off McKay much to his own (and the bowler's) frustration. Yet, three balls later he made amends when an identical shot picked him out with precision and this time the ball nestled safely in the hands as he tumbled forward.

Drop of the day

It's fair to say Aaron Finch lived a charmed life. Chris Jordan bowled a lively opening spell and could easily have claimed Finch's wicket. The clearest opportunity came when he had 8 and drove firmly, but at an easy catching height, to Ballance at mid-off who shelled the chance. An upbeat feeling England may have had, or belief they had a decent total, started to evaporate from there.

Decision of the day

Then it was David Warner who gained a second life. On 22 he edged Ben Stokes to Jos Buttler, who claimed the catch low down. Warner appeared content to take Buttler's word that it had carried, but as soon as TV replays were seen that usual problem of foreshortening provided doubt. Warner slowed his walk towards the boundary as the umpires conferred and eventually he was recalled to crease. On his way back he gave Buttler a sympathetic pat on the backside; none of the players had done anything wrong.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • ESPN on January 14, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    i wonder if same happens in upcoming games,keeping in mind whether warner would be able to trust english players appeal for an inch

  • Jon on January 13, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    If the balls caught on the half volley it feels light, if it traps glove and fingers between turf it hurts, or at least you know its hit your hands (even then it may have hit hands on the way to turf). I believe only the catcher really knows and since you cannot rely on catchers word the umpires have to come into it, and all you can then ask for is consistency. Otherwise cheats will have an edge, I'd rather have a consistent not out for all than a situation where liars prosper. Never understood why the convention of not walking for an nick is ok but claiming a dodgy catch not. Leave it all to the umpires everyone seems the only fair way now.

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    The opportunity was there for the players to take control, and for the briefest sane moment, they did: "Did you catch it?", "Yes.", "Okay." And then the umpires decided to play it safe. I am Australian, and I thought the catch was fair enough. Fingers and gloves get squashed into the ground, making it appear that the ball is touching the much revered blade of grass. If there is uncertainty among the players, go upstairs. If the players are happy, umpires need to stay out of it.

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