Ervine's freakish catch, and Chibhabha's long wait
Plays of the day from the third ODI between Zimbabwe and New Zealand in Harare
The freakish catch
Given the assurance with which Kane Williamson was batting, Zimbabwe required a piece of freakish brilliance to send him back to the change room. Craig Ervine provided exactly that in the 41st over when Williamson jumped out of his crease and hoicked one down the ground. Ervine, sprinting to his left from long on, caught at the ball, and realising that the momentum was taking him beyond the boundary, threw the ball up. He then jumped back into the field of play to complete the catch, and flashed a wide grin. The bowler, a pumped-up John Nyumbu, was already charging towards Ervine to celebrate the wicket.
The botched stumping
Williamson had just passed fifty in a chanceless effort up to that point, and Zimbabwe were getting increasingly edgy. Their captain, Elton Chigumbura, was shuffling his spinners around, and he turned to Sikandar Raza's offspin. In his second over, Raza fired one flat outside off stump after seeing Williamson come down the track. The batsman missed and, unluckily for Raza and Zimbabwe, so did the keeper Regis Chakabva as Williamson returned to his crease. As if to rub it in further, he flicked the very next ball over midwicket's head, and it sped to the fence. Raza could only summon a rueful stare.
The elusive run
Zimbabwe did not have the swiftest of starts to their pursuit of 274. Their initial dawdling was mostly a result of Chamu Chibhabha's early struggles. While his opening partner, Hamilton Masakadza, was tonking errant deliveries, Chibhabha was yet to get off the mark even after five overs. After remaining on nought for 16 deliveries, Chibhabha pulled Mitchell McClenaghan unconvincingly behind square to finally get off the mark.
The sharp run-out
Sean Williams blocked the last ball of the 33rd over and looked up only to find that Ervine had backed up a long way. Williams wasted no time in sending him back, but the bowler Ben Wheeler had by then swooped down on the ball, turned and threw down the stumps in one motion. Ervine put in a dive, but replays showed he had not made his ground in time.
The flying McCullum
Brendon McCullum's exploits on the field have been amply documented. And, while, over the years he has carved a reputation for pulling off screamers, it was the turn of his older brother, Nathan, on Friday to keep the McCullum flag flying high. In the 38th over of Zimbabwe's innings bowled by Nathan, Chakabva pushed the ball uppishly off the backfoot. The bowler immediately leapt to his right, and after plucking the ball with his right hand, used his other hand to ensure it did not spill out.
Arun Venugopal is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo