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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the third day of the third Test in Dominica
April 25, 2012
Observance of the day
Australia's players took to the field on day three in Dominica with poppies fastened to their shoulders, in recognition of the Anzac Day commemorations that had taking place back in Australia and in New Zealand. It is rare for the Australian team to be engaged in a Test match on April 25, and the squad marked the occasion before play with a team huddle that also included two New Zealanders - the match referee Jeff Crowe and the umpire Tony Hill. They were addressed by the opener Ed Cowan, who gave a speech about the values implicit in the Anzac story, which began with the landings at Gallipoli on this day in 1915. The wicketkeeper Matthew Wade then recited the Ode of Remembrance.
Change of angle of the day
Nathan Lyon very seldom bowls at left-handers from over the wicket, preferring to angle and drift the ball in from around the stumps then spin it away, enhancing his chances of an lbw decision if the ball decides not to turn. However Ravi Rampaul showed early comfort against this angle of attack, drawing Lyon to inform umpire Hill that he would try from his less preferred line. Previously calm against the spinning ball, Rampaul suddenly panicked, the ball now pitching in his blind-spot on or outside leg stump then screwing across towards first slip. A first slog attempt resulted in a play and miss, and the second resulted in an ineffectual edge that settled gently in David Warner's hands at backward point.
French cut of the day
Without a significant score all series, Cowan lived on his wits early on, and was fortunate to escape several tight scrapes against the new ball delivered by pacemen and spinners. Kemar Roach strained particularly hard to dismiss him, having already found a way past Warner. In his seventh over of a spell that bookended lunch, Roach coaxed Cowan into a drive at a ball from around the wicket that was onto him a little quicker than desired, and drew an inside edge that flew centimetres wide of the stumps on its way to the fine leg boundary. Roach reacted with all the disappointment of a bowler who had given his all, and it was to prove his final over of the stint - Rampaul replacing him for the next over.
Periscope of the day
Ricky Ponting looked relaxed and comfortable across most of what was his first significant innings for the series. But as stumps drew near he again fell to Roach, though in circumstances that were as much the result of happenstance as the bowler's hostility. It was perhaps out of recognition of previous pain inflicted on him by Roach's short ball that Ponting chose to duck rather than pulling a delivery that did not get up particularly high. However in going down to his haunches, Ponting left his bat hoisted dangerously above the shoulder, and in keeping with Roach's hold over him, the ball unerringly found it. The chance looped as if in slow motion to Shivnarine Chanderpaul, leaving Ponting to walk off the field after what was surely his last Test innings in the West Indies.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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