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From Afridi's pointed finger to Broad's misfield to that save by Mathews - they're all in our look back at the moments that defined the tournament
June 22, 2009
Is it a plane? Is it a "you-can't-see-me" hand wave? Or a six-foot high leap? No, it's a finger pointed to the sky by Shahid Afridi. Instead of indulging in wild revelry, clearly the favoured style of lesser bowlers, Boom Boom simply stood tall and let his team-mates embrace him.
Brett Lee had been walloped for 24 runs in his first two overs but Chris Gayle was not done yet. He hit the first delivery of the third high over midwicket and the ball went sailing into the adjoining Archbishop Tennyson School. Two more sixes and two more fours later, Lee's figures were 3-0-51-0.
There were 166 sixes in the tournament, three of them by Ireland's Niall O'Brien in one Mashrafe Mortaza over. The first, off a slower ball, was flicked to midwicket; the second clipped high over square leg; the third scoop-flicked over square leg, by which time O'Brien was limping and in need of a runner.
Before the tournament, the Scoop was known to be an Evelyn Waugh novel, or for movie-goers, a film by Woody Allen. But henceforth it shall be associated only with Tillakaratne Dilshan. The world premiere of the shot was aired on June 8 at Trent Bridge. Dilshan had raced to 46 off 25 balls against a hapless Australian attack when he ducked under a good-length ball and flicked his bat vertically to lift it over the keeper - like the paddle but straight.
Injuries to Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan had already left India's Twenty20 squad weak but West Indies' and England's bowlers found another chink in their armour - their batsmen's inability to play the short ball - and let 'em have it. The most painful to watch was Suresh Raina. James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom pinged him with bouncers in their opening overs and he flayed at them, playing and missing the first and gloving the second. Sidebottom then bounced Gautam Gambhir, who played it to gully for a single. Raina faced Sidebottom, and tried to hook the fast bouncer. Instead he got an edge that spiralled away, to be caught by a diving Luke Wright.
With most of the women's games tucked away in Taunton and not televised, not many will have witnessed the catches, celebrations, and wickets of this tournament. However, the semis and final, played in the same grounds as the men's games, and broadcast by Sky, gave viewers a chance to see the best of women's cricket. One of those moments featured New Zealand's 25-year-old left-arm seamer Sian Ruck on her first international tour. Ruck swung it into the right-handers and had India's Harmanpreet Kaur completely befuddled when she pitched a ball on middle and it flattened the leg stump.
As if Yuvraj Singh's six sixes weren't haunting him enough, Stuart Broad added more grief to his three-year-old international career with a slip-up that cost England the game against the Netherlands. Two were needed off the last ball, which Edgar Schiferli hit towards mid-on. Broad intercepted it and threw it at the non-striker's stumps but missed completely - from a range of about four metres - to give an overthrow that allowed Netherlands to get the winning run.
He did it in the ODIs against West Indies to no effect, but young Broad wasn't quite giving up yet. In the 17th over against South Africa at Trent Bridge, as he approached his delivery stride, he pointed off to the side, as if to indicate a fielder was out of position, but carried on with his bowling action without disrupting his own rhythm. AB de Villiers worked the ball behind square for a single and later Broad was warned not to repeat his antics.
Scotland's Kyle Coetzer literally plucked one out of thin air against South Africa when he ran backwards at long-on and grabbed it in his outstretched right hand before falling just short of the boundary rope, to dismiss Mark Boucher.
Another stunning catch came in Pakistan's game against New Zealand, by Afridi, running towards the long-on boundary, to dismiss Scott Styris. The ball rose high and looked like it would land safely but Afridi ran hard from mid-on and lunged in the end, four or five metres from the boundary to take it safely.
Angelo Mathews rounds up our fielding-brilliance-at-long-on section with the quickest thinking ever in international cricket. Ramnaresh Sarwan smashed the ball down the ground and Mathews took a great overhead catch before realising the momentum would take him over the boundary. So instead he threw the ball in the air, went over the boundary, leapt up and smashed it, tennis-style, back into play.
The opening over
Having shown his tennis skills off at Trent Bridge, Mathews unleashed his cricketing ones at The Oval in the semi-final, against the same side, with an opening over that sealed the game for Sri Lanka. He got Xavier Marshall to play on to the first ball, bowled Lendl Simmons round his legs, and knocked Dwayne Bravo's off stump over after the batsman inside-edged one that pitched on a length outside off. West Indies were 3 for 1 at the end of the first over with little chance of coming back.
Pakistan rookie Mohammad Aamer paid it forward to Sri Lanka in the final and though he took only one wicket in the opening over, it was equal to three since it was the one of Dilshan, the Player of the Tournament. After failing to score off the first four balls - all short - Dilshan went for his scoop and mistimed it, to be caught at short fine-leg.
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?
Alastair Cook did not bat like a leading man but the crowd applauded him for simply not failing
Why not you? Read and learn how!