England v South Africa, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 29, 2014

Beards plunged into the dark

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from Chittagong

Battle of the beards I

The facial furriness of Hashim Amla and Moeen Ali was always going to be something to watch in this match and it was dished up immediately. Ali was asked to open the bowling and Amla took first strike to pit the manes against each other from the start. Amla took the early honours of the contest, when he drove Ali through the covers but their dance was interrupted by...

The darkness

Amla found his touch sweetly against Jade Dernbach, using his wrists against to flick over square leg twice in three deliveries and England would have hoped there was a way to stop him. Their wish came true when one of the light pylons went out. That marked the third time in the tournament that play had to be stopped because of a floodlight failure. The first was during the warm-up match between Netherlands and Afghanistan and the second between Sri Lanka and Netherlands. On every occasion, the DJ box has continued operating. This time it lasted for 10 minutes before the bulbs lit up again.

Battle of the beards II

The break did nothing to interrupt Amla's concentration. When he went back out, he threaded the eye of a needle to dispatch Ali between two off side fielders for four more but then made the move that conclusively crowned him today's official bearded wonder. Amla gave Ali the charge but missed and was so far down the pitch, it was a straightforward stumping for Jos Buttler. But the wicketkeeper's fumble ensured Amla got back into his crease; Ali could not claim his wicket and Amla had the confidence to whip him over long-on for six off the next ball.

The non no-ball

Albie Morkel built tension with three balls that only yielded two leg-byes between them. His fourth delivery was short and wide and Alex Hales pounced. He cut it straight to point where JP Duminy collected. South Africa had started celebrating and Hales was a few steps out of his crease when they saw Tucker had called a no-ball. Morkel could not keep his protestations silent, some of the fielders remembered Hales' position and thought of running him out and de Villiers went to calm things down. He needed to because replays showed Morkel had something behind the line and Hales should have been out for 10.

When you're banned, you're banned

South Africa's suspended captain, Faf du Plessis, was doing the rounds prowling the boundary with bowling coach Allan Donald. Neither had spoken to the men on-field although Donald has often been seen issuing instructions in the past. Donald could continue doing that but the officials were not happy with the possibility du Plessis may do the same. Aleem Dar, the third umpire, jogged on to explain to du Plessis banned means banned, so best he returned to the dug-out.

The finger

Albie Morkel was stationed at deep-backward point when Jos Buttler tried to reverse sweep Imran Tahir over him. Morkel did not even have to move to take the catch but the ball was hit hard and it thudded into his hands at great speed. As soon as Morkel took the catch, he knew something was wrong. He didn't to stay to enjoy Tahir's over-the-top celebrations but walked off to see South Africa's team manager Mohammad Moosajee, who is also a medical doctor. While Morkel looked away, Moosajee popped the index finger on his right hand back into place, causing grimaces all round.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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  • Android on March 30, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    That non no ball out could have snatched this game from SA.

    Silly bad decision by Tucker when umpires mostly check no-ball-outs with third umpire.

  • Dummy4 on March 29, 2014, 19:46 GMT

    i think the umpire should checked that no ball by insisting the hales to stay at the ground that would be a great thing to solved it out most of the umpires just do it now by asking the batsman to stay hales could turn the game for England...

  • Michael on March 29, 2014, 19:03 GMT

    The non no-ball was a farce.

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