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March 22, 2007
Sacrificial lamb of the Day
Luuk van Troost, Holland's amusingly outspoken captain, decided after two barren outings that he hadn't been putting his money where his mouth was, and dropped himself - Mike Denness-style - for this, the final World Cup outing of his career. It was an act of supreme selflessness that paved the way for one of the most memorable moments in Dutch cricket history. Not that there've been a whole lot of those, of course.
Unknown entity of the Day
At Graeme Smith's press conference on Wednesday, and to much amusement from the assembled scribes, a question from the veteran Independent correspondent, Stephen Brenkley, was interrupted with an "excuse me, but who are you?" from the South African media manager, Gordon Templeton. Today, there very nearly wasn't a press conference. The "excuse me" question was this time addressed to Ricky Ponting, who was briefly refused admission to the briefing room because he wasn't wearing the correct accreditation.
Wrecker of the Day
The Netherlands' opening bowler, Billy Stelling, missed their game against Australia because of a back problem, but he looked none-the-worse for his lay-off today. He struck with the second ball of the match, and then twice in two balls to dismiss two former England internationals, Gavin Hamilton and Dougie Brown. By the start of his seventh over he had conceded just four runs for three wickets, and Scotland were down and out.
Shot of the Day
Ryan ten Doeschate was described by his captain as "too important" to rely on for runs, but he didn't seem to be buckling under the burden all the while he was giving Scotland's bowlers the run-around. His matchwinning 70 not out included six fours in eight balls as the end came swiftly, but the highlight was a wonderful straight slap off Glenn Rogers that landed on the roof of the pavilion and couldn't be retrieved.
Butterfingers of the Day
Daan van Bunge has had an eventful World Cup. There was that over against Herschelle Gibbs, of course, followed by a bold 33 against Australia on Friday, and he even picked up his first wicket of the day today, when Scotland's No. 11, Paul Hoffmann, ballooned a drive to mid-off. But the one thing he couldn't pick were his slip catches. Two of them went down today - Majid Haq and Neil McCallum - which slightly undermined the claim made by his coach, Ian Pont, that the Netherlands' fielding was in the top four for this tournament.
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test