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Patient starts and Oram suffers

S Rajesh in Durban

September 19, 2007

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Jacob Oram appeals, but in vain © Getty Images
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Patience pays
Give the bowler his due in the first ten minutes, goes the old saying. New Zealand's openers did, and reaped the rewards. Only five came from the first two overs, before Brendan McCullum charged down the track and flayed a four through extra-cover and a six over square leg. He repeated the four-six routine in Pollock's next over, while Lou Vincent twice clubbed such powerful drives down the ground that none of the fielders even moved. New Zealand were on their way.

Hit one, get one free
Craig McMillan showed exactly how to make use of the free-hit rule. Albie Morkel overstepped with his fifth ball of the 15th over, and McMillan promptly deposited it over long-on for six. Free-hit time, and McMillan responded with a cheeky paddle shot over short fine leg for four. Thanks to the no-ball, this was now a seven-ball over, and the last one was clubbed over long-on again for another six. The last two balls of the over had gone for 17, and Albie had learnt his lesson the hard way.

Subtle bouncer
The slower ball has become commonplace in the shorter versions of the game, but Shaun Pollock has devised a variation over which he so far has the copyright: the slow bouncer. It completely flummoxed Chris Gayle in the opening match of the tournament, and here it had the same effect on Lou Vincent. Pollock lost his radar later, though - the next two times he tried the trick, it looped too high and was promptly wided by the umpire.

Running with your luck
In the seventh over of South Africa's run-chase, Jacob Oram trapped Justin Kemp - then on 6 off 12 balls - and, quite justifiably, went up in a full-throated appeal. Replays suggested umpire Billy Doctrove made a mistake, but Kemp wasn't to be bothered about that. The next ball was sent soaring over long-on, and a flicked four immediately after that further compounded Oram's misery. Who says cricket is a fair game?

Hapless Oram suffers again

Seventeenth over of the innings, and another tough one for Oram. After being struck for a four and six earlier in the over, Oram managed to draw a miscue from Shaun Pollock, but Ross Taylor made a complete mess of the chance at deep point. Kemp celebrated by blasting the next ball out of the ground, and Oram's drooping shoulders and lethargic walk back to his fielding position said exactly what state of mind he was in.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
Related Links
Match home : Match home
Players/Officials: Craig McMillan | Jacob Oram | Shaun Pollock
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Tournament Results
India v Pakistan at Johannesburg - Sep 24, 2007
India won by 5 runs
Australia v India at Durban - Sep 22, 2007
India won by 15 runs
New Zealand v Pakistan at Cape Town - Sep 22, 2007
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
South Africa v India at Durban - Sep 20, 2007
India won by 37 runs
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Cape Town - Sep 20, 2007
Pakistan won by 4 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Cape Town - Sep 20, 2007
Australia won by 10 wickets (with 58 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days