Nothing but pain
Rohit Sharma had used his backfoot cover drive to bully a reasonably good ball to the boundary. There was barely any swing. There was no reason not to try it again. At the start of the eighth over, he got in position for the shot again, but this time Trent Boult, from around the wicket, got the ball to straighten just enough to snatch the edge through to the wicketkeeper. It was a beautiful ball, but that matters little to the dismissed batsman. Less so when he suddenly cramps up. Rohit was turning back to see if the catch would be taken when he felt something in his left bicep. The arm went completely limp. He was left hunched over for several moments, clutching it, and needed the physio to tend to it before he could walk off.
Lately, umpire Bruce Oxenford has been turning up for limited-overs matches with a shield on his arm. He crosses his arms in front of his chest as he takes his stance at the bowler's end, the shield in place to deflect the ball away from his face. It turned out that the extra protection would have served his partner well too. In the seventh over, Tom Latham drilled the ball down the ground, and fear of being hit made umpire Anil Chaudhary dash frantically to his right. He was on one foot, the other in the air, looking comically ungainly. Umesh Yadav, the bowler, was able to get a hand on the ball and send it off course. But Chaudhary gestured immediately to his partner, his elbow moving up to his face, as if he were saying, "I should get a shield too. Could have avoided pain - and looked cool to boot."
Only, when Oxenford had the chance to use the shield, he couldn't act quickly enough. Corey Anderson's throw from the deep at the bowler's end headed straight at him and he was struck on the box.
The Superman dive that went in vain
Manish Pandey seemed to have done enough to secure a couple of runs. He'd played the ball softly, placed the ball to deep midwicket's right, and the fielder there was Mitchell Santner, who is left-handed and had to run around the ball. He did so with remarkable swiftness. Then came the throw which was brutally flat. Luke Ronchi had positioned himself between the stumps and the throw, but it came to him on the half-volley, which is hard to collect because you have to keep your eyes on the ball when there is a real chance it might bounce up and hit you. But in one fluid motion, he collected the ball and swung it back to catch Pandey short despite his full-length dive.
And the fast bowler's disdain
New Zealand were floundering in the final overs of their innings, and they could have done with some good, old-fashioned Tim Southee slogs. He had, after all, made his maiden fifty in his 100th ODI in Dharamsala. Except, in Delhi, he was bowled second ball by a superb yorker from Jasprit Bumrah. It was quick. It cramped the batsman for room. And it hit the base of off stump.
The second innings provided opportunity for round two. And this time, the game was at stake. It was the final over. India needed 10 to win. New Zealand needed a wicket. Bumrah was given the strike in the third ball and Southee revved up. The ball curved into the right-hander at pace, sank below the bat and crashed into middle stump to seal New Zealand's victory.