Borrowed boots and a busted bat
Plays of the day from the game between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in Dunedin
Quicks love the sights and sounds of broken timber, and though Shapoor Zadran may have shattered a few stumps in his life, he busted wood in a less meaningful, but in some ways more impressive manner. The 136kph back-of-a-length ball he delivered was met with a defensive push by Mahela Jayawardene. His bat middled the ball, or was it that the ball middled the bat? The willow in Jayawardene's hands snapped at the point of impact, and he was left holding the handle and just the top third of the bat, as the rest came flying off to land near the middle of the pitch.
Hamid Hassan would probably have preferred to send Kumar Sangakkara's off stump cartwheeling, but the outstanding delivery that made its way through Sangakkara's defences managed only to send the bails flying. So Hassan took it upon himself to perform the cartwheel. He sprinted close to the batting crease and went head over heels, then squatting, pounded the ground with both hands, in jubilation.
The borrowed apparel
Hamid was midway through his fifth over when he began to feel some discomfort in his right boot. He bowled one more ball, and while he was inspecting his boot a second time on the way back to his mark, Shapoor jogged in from cover to ask what the problem was. Between the two, they must have figured out they had the same shoe size, because in a few seconds, Shapoor had his boot off and the pair were swapping footwear. Hamid finished the over, and returned Shapoor his boot, before leaving the field to get a replacement.
Najibullah Zadran came to the crease in the pivotal middle-period of Afghanistan's innings, and he promptly proceeded to bat the only way he knows. A team-mate had already been caught in the deep off Rangana Herath's bowling, but unconcerned, Najibullah swung hard at the third delivery he faced and sent it high over cow corner for six. On air, coach Andy Moles was being interviewed and said, "He can't block to save his life."
The last time the World Cup was held in the Antipodes, Jonty Rhodes gained acclaim for that superman-dive at the stumps to dismiss Inzamam-ul-Haq. Najibullah had the chance to do that himself in the fourth over of Sri Lanka's innings. The opposition two down as well, but inexperience shone through and he fluffed the chance. Sangakkara was well short of his ground as Najibullah collected the ball at point and ran in at the stumps. Najibullah had the time to break the stumps with ball in hand, but instead fired an underarm throw from close range, and missed, to the chagrin of team-mates.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando