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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the fifth day of the first Test between West Indies and Australia in Barbados
April 11, 2012
Drop of the day
Darren Sammy played with a good degree of sense early in his stay, but on 12 he tried to loft Peter Siddle down the ground and picked out Nathan Lyon, stationed a handful of metres in from the boundary at long on. Michael Clarke's field placement was precise, Lyon barely having to move. But the ball's trajectory was a little flat, and Lyon allowed it to burst through his reverse-cupped hands. Australia's players had dropped numerous catches across the match, but none as straightforward as this.
Assist of the day
Lyon was left alone with his apprehensive thoughts for the next three overs, wondering if he had not only dropped Sammy, but the match as well. Siddle was replaced by Shane Watson, who in his second over maintained a knack for critical wickets. Sammy played a short of a length ball defensively, but was late enough to have it spinning and screwing back threateningly towards the stumps. In an instant Sammy tried to kick it away, but his boot served only to ensure the ball would break the stumps and send him on his way. Among English Premier League strikers, Chelsea's less than prolific Fernando Torres would have empathised with Sammy's misfortune.
Placement of the day
A slow pitch has necessitated plenty of creative fields across the match, and when Kemar Roach faced up to Watson, Clarke posted two men close on the legside, virtually within touching distance of each other. Gaining some reverse swing back into Roach, Watson was clearly bowling for the catch, and Roach obliged by pushing one such delivery in the general direction of the two fielders. But Roach's placement was charmed - or extremely deft - and the tiniest of gaps was bisected in a manner that Brian Lara would have been proud of. Watson could only grimace at his misfortune, having hatched the plan but watched it fail by centimetres.
Signal of the day
When Australia crawled to 61 for 1 at tea in their pursuit of 192, Kensington Oval's spectators sat pensively, wondering how the final session would pan out. Ed Cowan in particular had shown little interest in scoring, seeming to lay a platform for the chase but also struggling for timing on a slow and deteriorating surface. However his first ball after the interval indicated that Australia would, beyond all doubt, be pursuing the target. Delivered straight and short of a length by Darren Sammy, it arrived in a spot Cowan had been quite happy to block before tea. After it, he swung with intent, pulling to the square leg fence and notching his first boundary. It had the same effect as a bell sounding to resume a fight.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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