Plays of the day

The shot stuff

Andrew McGlashan at Trent Bridge

June 16, 2009

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Mahela Jayawardene cracked an unbeaten 41, New Zealand v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, Trent Bridge, June 16, 2009
Mahela Jayawardene may well be the next ambassador for the double-faced bat © Getty Images
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Tactic of the day

Opening the bowling with spin is nothing new in Twenty20, but the move had contrasting outcomes for the two teams. New Zealand threw the ball to Nathan McCullum for the first over and removed Sanath Jayasuriya with his third delivery via a top-edged sweep, and Jayasuriya's day didn't get any better when he was asked to bowl the second over of the run-chase. He was taken for 20 by Aaron Redmond who followed three fours with crunching six over long-off. Jayasuriya was relieved of his duties until the 11th, however when he returned for a second spell he claimed the key wicket of Martin Guptill.

Absence of the day

It remains to be seen how long it takes for Tillakaratne Dilshan's new shot to gain an official name, but the surprising aspect of his well-paced 48 in this game was that the scoop didn't make an appearance. Instead he opted for the more conventional methods of scoring including three fours in an over off Kyle Mills. Surely his own invention would appear at some point - maybe after his half-century - but on 48 he drove a catch to cover.

New shot of the day

However, the absence of a Dilshan special didn't mean that Sri Lanka's innings was without some deft and innovative strokeplay. In the final over of the innings Mahela Jayawardene was shaping to play the reverse sweep at Jacob Oram, but instead of turning the bat around to use the face of the blade he flicked the ball away with the back of the bat. A double-faced bat has been invented by one of the bat manufacturers - and was used briefly by David Warner in Australia - so maybe they should sign up Jayawardene as their next ambassador.

Aggressive move of the day

After Vettori had removed Dilshan in the 12th over the new batsman, Jayawardene, was greeted by a slip as the New Zealand captain went on the attack. It would have been easy to keep the field set back with Sri Lanka's run rate at a healthy, but this tournament has shown how important wickets are at stemming a batting order. Although the move didn't pay off for Vettori, and was soon dispensed with as Jayawardene hit his stride, it was a welcome show of intent even if by the end of the game the New Zealand captain was cutting a forlorn figure.

Free-hit of the day

How often do you see a batsman get carried away at the prospect of a free-hit and swing themselves of their feet with little effect? Mahela Jayawardene showed how you should deal with a free-hit when he majestically straight drove Daniel Vettori into the second tier of the Radcliffe Road stand. There was no wild mow, no attempt to smash the cover off the ball, just a proper cricket shot with the full reward.

Over of the day

For a captain to have so many strike bowlers capable of changing a match is a huge advantage for Kumar Sangakkara. Even when the batting side appears to be building momentum he knows he has someone who can make quick breakthroughs and, not for the first time (nor the last), it was Ajantha Mendis who turned the game Sri Lanka's way. With the first ball of his second over he had Ross Taylor stumped, trying a massive heave into the leg side, and three balls later scooted one past Scott Styris' outside edge to uproot the off stump. Mendis doesn't actually turn the ball much, but most batsmen still don't have a clue how to play him and he is a trump card for Sri Lanka.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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