Plays of the day

Stunning slaps, stunning sixes

George Binoy at Trent Bridge

June 10, 2009

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Lasith Malinga sends back Andre Fletcher, Sri Lanka v West Indies, ICC World Twenty20, Trent Bridge, June 10, 2009
Lasith Malinga sends back Andre Fletcher © Getty Images
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Fielding effort of the day
Ramnaresh Sarwan lofted Ajantha Mendis towards the long-on boundary where Angelo Mathews tried to get into position to take the catch. As the ball began its descent, Mathews braced himself right on the boundary's edge and caught the ball. He realised, however, that his momentum, and that of the ball, was going to take him over the rope and so he threw the ball in the air and then fell over outside the boundary. Looking up, he saw that the ball would land outside the boundary, resulting in a six, and so picked himself up, jumped desperately and was in the air as he slapped the ball over the rope and back into play. The jury was out on whether it should have been a six, but the West Indian batsmen only got the three runs they had run.

Slower ball of the day
Andre Fletcher had just deposited Lasith Malinga's fast ball into the stands at midwicket. As Malinga steamed in again, Fletcher wound up once more preparing to whack it again. He swung hard, connected with nothing, and swiveled around to see his leg stump flattened. Malinga had unleashed a deadly accurate slower full toss at only 120 kmh an hour, just like the one he had splayed Brad Haddin's stumps with. The ball arrived well after Fletcher was through with the shot and crashed into leg stump, leaving the other two intact with the bail on top.

Sloppy moments of the day
Sri Lanka had contributed 14 to West Indies' total of 65 for 1 after the Powerplay overs. Malinga sprayed a ball so far down leg side that it sped wide of Kumar Sangakkara for five extras. The sickness spread, for Sanath Jayasuriya also drifted one past leg-stump and conceded five more. After those errors, Sangakkara was prepared and moved quickly to collect Isuru Udana's first ball which was also well wide of leg stump. After the wides had stopped, Sri Lanka gave West Indies four more runs courtesy overthrows.

Assault of the day
Fidel Edwards sprinted in, bounding to the crease gracefully before leaping athletically and letting a fast ball rip. Jayasuriya was prepared and drilled the first ball through cover for four. Edwards steamed in again but watched as the ball sped to the point and over the backward square leg boundary. Jayasuriya took 17 runs off Edwards' first over but he wasn't finished. When Edwards returned later in the innings, Jayasuriya was waiting and carved the first ball for six over point. He ended the over with two fours towards long leg and one to third man, ransacking 20 more from Edwards' second over.


Tillakaratne Dilshan gets innovative, Sri Lanka v West Indies, ICC World Twenty20, Trent Bridge, June 10, 2009
Tillakaratne Dilshan gets innovative © Associated Press
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Rattled bowler of the day …
… was Kieron Pollard. He watched in amazement as Tillakaratne Dilshan moved across to the off side, bent down on one knee, got under the ball, and scooped it over the wicketkeeper's head for six. Dilshan attempted it again the very next ball but was beaten by a bit of extra bounce. A third attempt at a scoop was just too much for Pollard simply aborted his run-up as he approached delivery stride when he saw Dilshan crouch into position to send the ball over Ramdin once again. And when Pollard returned for his second spell, Dilshan reverse-swatted him to the long leg boundary.

Wasted opportunity of the day
Jayasuriya had done all the early scoring for Sri Lanka, contributing 32 out of their first 40 runs. The trend continued with Jayasuriya scoring 72 out of Sri Lanka's first 100. A rare Twenty20 century was there for the taking but he played one reverse-hit too many and was lbw for 81 off 47 balls. And it was only the 13th over of the innings.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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