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News

Punter's agony and Hussey's unusual wait

Plays of the Day for the fourth match of the CB Series between Australia and India at the MCG

Cricinfo staff
10-Feb-2008

Blast from the not-so-distant-past - Ricky Ponting runs into his nemesis Ishant Sharma ... again © Getty Images
 
Oh, no!
You are used to seeing him walk without much ado but you rarely see Adam Gilchrist walking away with a shrug, showing dismay at the umpire's decision. Sreesanth's previous ball was a tight one, not allowing Gilchrist freedom to swing his bat. The third ball of the match was a sharp inswinger. Gilchrist's feet were in an awkward position as he inside-edged the ball on to his pads. However, Rudi Koertzen failed to hear it as he raised the dreaded finger in robotic fashion. It was a sad pitstop on Gilchrist's farewell tour.
Punter's agony
This could be one of the worst slumps of Ricky Ponting's career. And more than anyone, two Indians have been annoying him all summer. If Harbhajan Singh continued his torment of the Australian captain, Ishant Sharma doubled the suffering with his extra pace, movement and the bounce. He had bowled one the best overs to Ponting at the WACA last month, something Ponting acknowledged, and had his number once again at the MCG. The ball pitched short of a length, Ponting squared up but was beaten by the extra bounce and the edge flew straight into the hands of first slip.
Planned to perfection
It was a perfect set-up. Brad Haddin had been trying to negate the spin by stepping out of his crease. Harbhajan Singh speared one down leg, Haddin stepped out and tried to sweep, but he missed and Mahendra Singh Dhoni took off the bails in a trice. Simon Taufel signalled a wide but Haddin wasn't even waiting for the third umpire's decision.
Where were you, Mr Cricket?
Removing the helmet and raising the bat to all sections of the crowd are celebrations typically reserved for a hundred but Michael Hussey was so pleased to reach his half-century that he made the most of the moment. True, it was a very important innings after Australia slumped to 6 for 92 but Hussey averaged 55.90 coming in to the match. So why would his minor milestone mean so much? Perhaps it was because he's had a lean 12 months in ODIs - he had not passed fifty in an ODI since last February's Chappell-Hadlee Series.
Over and out
It all seemed to be going wrong for Ishant in his second over with the new ball. A pair of edges off Matthew Hayden flew over the slip cordon to the boundary, another delivery was driven for four to long-off and two consecutive no-balls were followed by an aborted run-up. Eighteen came from the over, enough to dent the spirit of most 19-year-olds. But Ishant has already proved more mature than many teenagers, and his decision to keep attacking brought a well-deserved wicket in his next over when he had Hayden caught behind.
Speared in
155.9 kph. Now that came straight into Virender Sehwag from Brett Lee who had the batsman's measure in the first over but was unlucky. This time Sehwag got his bat just in the nick of time to avoid the humiliation of seeing any damage to his woodwork.
Shots of the day
Lee was rattled after Tendulkar hit him past square for a four. The next ball was 150kph just around the good length but the ricochet came off the bat at the same speed, hitting the boards. Resounding. Next ball: 151kph attempted yorker at his off stump. Tendulkar brings that heavy bat down and just guides it past the bowler's right hand for another exquisite boundary.
Hard luck
This one would be debated for a while. Tendulkar charged out to send one over the long MCG boundary off the last ball of Stuart Clark's first over. It looked more of a slog and he missed miserably and in the process nicked it to Gilchrist. But Koertzen again failed to hear the edge, which was later confirmed by snicko. The Aussies couldn't believe it and the crowd sighed a loud "boo".
To dive or not to dive
He was not sure if it would fly past just like Tendulkar was unconvinced about playing the stroke. Mitchell Johnson had bowled a slow off cutter and Tendulkar was in two minds but went for the drive over the inner circle. Lee stood his ground and then when he saw it was within reach, dived as if it was penalty shootout to pouch it high on his wrong side. Yes. What a catch.