India v South Africa, World T20, semi-final April 3, 2014

Du Plessis out to a body blow

Abhishek Purohit and Alan Gardner
Plays of the Day from the second World T20 semi-final, between India and South Africa

The dropped baton
Relay fielding is standard procedure these days, so when Faf du Plessis pulled a short ball from Suresh Raina firmly between midwicket and long-on, the sight of two fielders converging on it promised a co-operative collect and throw followed by bum taps all round. Rohit Sharma took on the sliding brief but a wrinkle in the outfield caused the ball to bobble up and over him, leading to an ungainly scramble and then a crestfallen frown as it rolled onto the boundary rope. Virat Kohli, the team-mate in attendance to finish the job, was not in the mood for a high five.

The body blow
Du Plessis was beginning to cut loose, taking on India's spinners in a way they have not been accustomed to, when he managed to play on in a fairly unusual way. Ashwin pitched outside leg and got extra bounce as du Plessis went down on one knee to aim a swinging blow over midwicket. The sweep missed but the ball hit him in the ribs before deflecting down on to stumps and tripping the lights.

The legspinner
Amit Mishra has weaved a web with his tossed-up legbreaks at the World T20, but South Africa were in no mood for romance and thoroughly trashed his figures. There was still plenty of success for the ball that spins from leg to off, though, as all three of Ashwin's wickets came via the carom ball. The best of the lot was the delivery to dupe Hashim Amla, pitching outside leg and spitting off stump in the eye as Amla played against the turn and missed.

The long hop
R Ashwin bowled superbly, his four overs going for 22 runs and bringing three wickets for India. The third one came off a rank long hop. Ashwin bowled a short carrom ball that pitched outside leg. It was so short AB de Villiers had plenty of time to set himself up and hit it anywhere he wanted to. He probably had too much time, for he ended up getting too much under it and skied a pull for the fielder to settle under it at the long-leg boundary.

The response
Dale Steyn beat Rohit Sharma with a lovely away going delivery, drawing the batsman forward and moving it past the outside edge. He then waved to the man at deep backward square leg, asking him to move squarer. A short ball was on the cards. It arrived, but outside off stump. Rohit made some room, and upper-cut it over the deep backward point rope.

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  • Harry on April 4, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    Steyn's haircut probably confused the ball and went short on off-stump which made Nohit into Roarhit :-)

    Rohit and Kohli should take fielding lessons from Afridi and Gul on how to do synchronized fielding - what beauty, what form and style :-)

    Amit Mishra clearly must be confused with Ashwarne but he had time to bowl off-spin or googlies to further confuse SA batsmen but he did not get the memo :-)

  • Android on April 4, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    sa fought till 16th over but they just miss the train at 17th over

  • Dummy4 on April 4, 2014, 17:58 GMT

    well played india.... specially job done by ashwin with the ball and kholi with bat...ohh south Africa u need to wait for another icc world championship..

  • Rashmi on April 4, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    The Following Part is Missing fro this Column:- --- The Finish --- MSD is widely known to be the Greatest Finisher of the Game. But here is an Instance where He plainly Refused to Finsh off the Game... By Providing the Chance to His Trump Card, Dhoni made sure that he doesn't take anything away from Kohli's Moment.

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