Plays of the day June 10, 2009

Loose start, bright finish

Loose start to the day

The Sri Lankans sent down a spate of massive leg-side wides against West Indies during the afternoon match at Trent Bridge and the malaise lingered into the India-Ireland match in the evening. Irfan Pathan took the new ball and let his first delivery slip far down the leg side. His second, though, was on target: a near perfect outswinger beat the outside edge of William Porterfield's prod.

Alert moment of the day

Andre Botha inside edged Zaheer Khan towards fine leg and returned for the second run. As he was approaching his crease, he saw the throw from Irfan Pathan speeding towards him and hastily ducked out of the way. He was more alert than the bird which flew into Jacques Rudolph's throw during a recent county game.

Wait of the day

After the glut of boundaries from Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the fans watching the second game had to wait patiently for the big hits. Ireland hit their first four in only the fourth over - Andre Botha rocking back to cut Zaheer past backward point - and their only six in the 16th over when Andrew White top-edged a pull over the boundary.

Careless moment of the day

Never forget to ground your bat. It's a lesson that's ground into schoolboys but it's something international cricketers forget to do every once in a while. Their opponents are usually good enough to make them pay for it. Today White punched the ball towards mid-on and set off for an easy single. The non-striker Regan West, though, was ambling towards the wicketkeeper's end and was spotted by an alert Suresh Raina, who was sprinting in from the deep. He swooped on the ball and threw it flat and fast towards the wicketkeeper. The ball crashed into Dhoni's pads and bounced on to the stumps. West was over the line but his foot was in the air and so was his bat.

Mismatch of the day …

… was Zaheer against Ireland's top order. Bowling at a brisk pace, Zaheer moved the ball both ways under lights and was too hot for Ireland's batsmen on a cold evening in Nottingham. He cut Jeremy Bray in half with an inswinger to the left-hander before shattering the stumps with a yorker next ball. Zaheer then had Porterfield and Andre Botha edging length deliveries to Yusuf Pathan at slip before retuning in the penultimate over to induce an edge from Andrew White.

Send-off of the day

Boyd Rankin had conceded only 22 runs off 3.5 overs. His last ball, though, was a length delivery and Rohit Sharma made room, lifted his bat high, swung hit hard, and deposited the ball amid the fans beyond the midwicket boundary. Incidentally, Rankin had begun his spell with a short and wide ball which Gautam Gambhir dispatched to the point boundary.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo