Overcast conditions, empty-ish stadium, Pakistan batting first, a minnow on the other side. Ireland anyone?
Whether or not Harvir Singh Baidwan comes across such conditions often in Canada is not known first, but there could not have been a better use of them. From the very first over, in which snared Ahmed Shehzad, he hit the perfect length, allowing the ball to nibble this way and that like he was a Kiwi medium-pacer from the 1992 World Cup. The highlight was his fifth over, a maiden, so constrictive it could've been the hangman's noose, with one surprise bouncer right at Umar Akmal's throat, also slipped in. Deserved a wicket, but he got three anyway.
The one Pakistan didn't take when Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal were set at the crease, or the one when Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq were briefly at the crease. Instead they took it with Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal. It lasted one over.
The Dwayne Leverock moment
There are worse things to do in life than watch the, ahem, generously waist-lined Balaji Rao stroll in to bowl his leggies. Rao is one of cricket's many 'coulda been a contenders'. He bowled a nice spell as well, ripping the ball on occasion and giving it some air for two deserved wickets. But his finest moment came at slip, when Wahab Riaz edged Jimmy Hansra. Rao took it, watched it slip out, tried to grab it a few times thereafter before somehow he pouched it between his not inconsiderably-sized thighs.
Like any self-respecting celebrity, the DRS has rarely strayed away from the headlines in this tournament. With the BCCI it has enjoyed a particularly torrid hate-hate affair. But in Canada's response its utility was there for all to see, especially with Daryl Harper and Nigel Llong in the midst of a shaky spell. First Pakistan reviewed a leg-before decision Harper turned down from Umar Gul, one which even from behind Ravindu Gunasekera looked full enough to be not pitching outside leg. Zubin Sarkari was then given out leg-before next over by Llong though the ball looked high: on referral it was, comfortably. In the eighth over, Harper again gave Ashish Bagai out to a ball that looked without replays to be hitting the stumps only if they were a foot higher. Bagai was reprieved by Harper eventually in the 18th over only to find, as it appeared to the naked eye, that he was pretty plumb. On referral, he was duly given. Just for good measure, Harper had another decision overturned later. When the umpire is having a shocker, is the answer to the question, what use is the DRS?