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Feature

'You must have been a batter in your day'

Plays of the day from the first ODI between New Zealand and South Africa in Mount Maunganui

George Binoy
George Binoy
21-Oct-2014
Brendon McCullum carts one down the ground, New Zealand v South Africa, 1st ODI, Mount Maunganui, October 21, 2014

Brendon McCullum's first scoring shot was a towering six off Vernon Philander  •  Getty Images

The quip
Ryan McLaren had bowled a bouncer that reared at Kyle Mills, forcing the batsman to hurriedly swerve his head out of the way, but as he turned in his follow through he saw umpire Chris Gaffaney first call a no-ball and then change his decision to a wide for height. It was a marginal call, and someone - perhaps McLaren - was heard on the stump microphone telling the umpire in jest, "You must have been a batter in your day." And indeed he was.
Fast off the blocks
Quinton de Kock shares the record for being the quickest to 1000 ODI runs and his five catches and a stumping today made him the fastest wicketkeeper to claim 50 dismissals - in 28 matches. One of those six - a joint one-day record - was an incredible catch to dismiss Nathan McCullum. Spotting the short ball down the leg side early, de Kock's trigger movement was to his left, and once McCullum only managed to glove the pull, he dived full stretch to take the catch with one hand.
Quick hands, quick feet
JP Duminy came down the pitch to Nathan McCullum, clipped the spinner towards midwicket, and began to run a single because the ball was certainly going to beat the fielder. Martin Guptill, however, is no ordinary fielder. He sprang to his right, dived and stopped the ball, and threw accurately at the keeper while lying on the ground. Duminy, though, was nimble enough to stop dead, turn around and dive full length to make his ground before Luke Ronchi broke the stumps. A direct hit would have had him.
Brendon breaks free
Vernon Philander had suffocated the New Zealand batsmen, his unrelenting good length and ability to seam the ball both ways returning figures of 5.3-1-8-2. Seven of those deliveries were to Brendon McCullum, and the New Zealand captain had not yet scored. To his eighth delivery, McCullum skipped out and swung through the line, clearing the straight boundary. To his ninth, he stayed back and pulled over deep midwicket. Philander's first spell ended with a beating.
The common-sense decision
Dean Brownlie pushed forward at a quicker delivery from Imran Tahir that did not turn much and tried to defend. The moment de Kock caught the ball, he and the bowler went up in concerted appeal, but umpire Gaffaney said not out. On referral, there was a noise and Snicko recorded a faint blip as the ball passed the outside edge. There was no visible deviation, however, and Hotspot showed no mark on the bat. It just felt out, though, and the umpire changed his decision to give Brownlie out.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo