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Plays of the Day in the 3rd ODI between West Indies and Australia in St Vincent
March 20, 2012
Sunil Narine has used all the conditions presented to him in Kingstown, from the slow turn and low bounce of the first two matches to the more extravagant spin and pace off the wicket afforded in game three. His dismissal of Matthew Wade was a triumph of accuracy, spin and observation: noticing how far the wicketkeeper was shuffling across, he landed an offbreak comfortably outside leg stump and spun it in past a groping bat to strike.
Darren Bravo's comparisons with Brian Lara may reach further than an attractive left-handed batting technique. Lara represented Trinidad as a junior footballer, and on the strength of his late-innings effort at the Arnos Vale Ground, Bravo had it in him to do the same. Xavier Doherty thought he had a strong chance of making his ground when responding to Daniel Christian's call, but Bravo saved precious time by side-footing the ball towards the stumps from close-in on the offside, and his effort broke the stumps well in advance of Doherty's sliding bat.
It has been said of West Indian batsmen in the past that they learned to hook "up and under" in search of sixes because Caribbean grounds were smaller in size than overseas counterparts. There was a trace of that tendency in Dwayne Bravo's attack on Nathan Lyon, only this time the shot was anything but a hook. More accurately termed a back foot forcing stroke over cover, Bravo's balance seemed to be missing and the first reaction of spectators was to look for a fielder settling under a skier. But the ball carried and carried to register a most outlandish six
The full toss
Brett Lee may have been hit further in his life, but he cannot have been hit much further out of a ground than the six collared by Kieron Pollard in the 24th over of the West Indies chase. Pollard's contact was sweet and definitive, sending the ball arcing high and long and clearing the stands at straight midwicket. Such consequences for a full toss may mean it is a while before Pollard receives another from Lee.
When Shane Watson found a way past Andre Russell's flailing bat to hit the stumps in the 40th over, Australia's captain celebrated what appeared the critical strike. However the umpire Peter Nero suspected a no-ball, and his referral confirmed the transgression. Watson's dismay was only compounded when next ball, the free-hit, he splayed Russell's wicket a second time in as many deliveries for no reward. Watson was the angriest man in St Vincent by the end of the over. Whereas a regular player might have been permitted a brief outfield sulk, the captain had to compose himself to lead his team in the tense final overs.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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