Plays of the day September 19, 2007

Patient starts and Oram suffers

Jacob Oram appeals, but in vain © Getty Images

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