Australia v England, 2nd T20, Melbourne

Hodge hot in comeback show

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the second T20 in Melbourne

Brydon Coverdale at the MCG

January 31, 2014

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Brad Hodge opened the bowling in his comeback match, Australia v England, 2nd T20, Melbourne, January 31, 2014
Brad Hodge was playing his first international for 2,075 days © Getty Images

New-ball bowler of the day
When England won the toss and chose to bat, it seemed the Melbourne fans would have to wait for their home-town hero Brad Hodge to take an active part in his first international for nearly six years. Not so. George Bailey asked Hodge to bowl the first over of the innings. Hodge's offspinners have brought him 62 wickets in T20 cricket but he has not bowled this Big Bash League season, so it was a big ask. There were a couple of dot balls but Michael Lumb got him away for a couple of fours and after conceding 10 off the over, Hodge did not bowl again in the innings.

Run-out of the day
It was impossible to keep Hodge out of the game. After he bowled the first over, failed at a sliding save on the boundary and took a sharp catch at short cover, he produced one of the most remarkable events of the match when his direct hit from cover had Eoin Morgan run out in unusual circumstances. Morgan had dived to make his ground at the wicketkeeper's end and his bat slid over the crease, then bounced up into the air. When the stumps were broken, nothing was grounded behind the crease, although most of the bat was hovering over safe territory. The Laws of Cricket say a batsman is not out if he grounds his foot over the crease and then lifts it as the bails came off, but the bat is a different story, and the third umpire Simon Fry rightly ruled Morgan out.

Six of the day
When George Bailey lofted James Tredwell over long-on for six in the ninth over of Australia's chase, it ended any possibility of a rare six-less Twenty20 international. England's 9 for 130 did not include a single six and it was the first time they had completed a T20 innings without one since they cruised past their target of 127 against Pakistan in Cardiff in 2010. The last team to keep England to no sixes in the first innings of a T20 was the Netherlands, in what became a famous Dutch victory in the opening match of the World T20 at Lord's in 2009.

Twenty20 fan of the day
Neil Harvey was at the MCG on Friday for the unveiling of a statue of him in the so-called "Avenue of Legends" outside the ground, where he joined Shane Warne and AFL icon Norm Smith among the first people so honoured. As part of the honour, Harvey had to stay on for the match between Australia and England. But, at a lunch event on Thursday, he indicated he was not looking forward to that part of proceedings. "I'm not a fan," Harvey said of T20. "I have to go through the motions of watching one and I'm not looking forward to it too much."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by criccraze on (February 1, 2014, 7:38 GMT)

Seeing how Hodgy has come into contention, Ben Dunk should not be far away from Boof's thoughts. A much better replacement for the under-performing Wade and also one of the best hitters in the BB over the last few seasons

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 15:01 GMT)

Neil Harvey as a T20 player? I don't know how it would suit him.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (January 31, 2014, 12:49 GMT)

Ironically, Harvey would have made an excellent T20 cricketer. If he was playing today he would most likely have a big, fat IPL paycheck as well.

Posted by IPSY on (January 31, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

I belong to the Harvey School as it relates to his theory about T/20 cricket.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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