Intent of the day
Devon Smith started the first quarter-final in smashing fashion. He was offered a delivery that was a little shorter and a little wider than Umar Gul would have intended and he unleashed the square cut. It flew, razor sharp off his bat, past point and gave the West Indies a boundary. Smith’s stance, tall, upright and authoritative, indicated that the West Indies meant business. It’s a pity that the team’s actions after that, didn’t follow through.
Bail-breaking of the day
For years the cricket world has scratched its head collectively when Shivnarine Chanderpaul has come to the crease and taken guard. Off comes the bail, to be hammered senselessly into the spot where he takes guard with the top of the bat handle. Other West Indians, most notably Ramnaresh Sarwan, have started following suit. The ferocity with which they hammer the bail in, it’s surprising what happened today hasn’t happened before: Ronnie was hammering away in the 4th over of the innings, when the bail actually broke. Last we heard, the ICC hadn’t sent out a code of conduct disciplinary breach notice for violence against cricket equipment.
Over of the day
There was little surprise when Saeed Ajmal was picked in the XI today to counter West Indies’ battery of left-handers. There was probably more at the decision to open not with him but with Mohammad Hafeez, though he has long been a clever Powerplay operator. He began tightly against a restless Chris Gayle but the pressure he built in the first two overs told in his third. Devon Smith was so plumb he decided not to review it. Three balls later, Darren Bravo went lbw and though he was probably right to refer it, the decision went against him. A double-wicket maiden set the tone for the rest of the innings.
Referral of the day
No one is ever more convinced in asking for a fielding referral than Shahid Afridi. Off his own bowling he often doesn’t even ask anyone else, like the wicketkeeper, for an opinion, making the T-sign a part of his appeal. He asked for one today, a leg-before against Sarwan, which went against him but the best was a cheeky request for a referral to Billy Bowden after a leg-side wide was given in the 27th over of the innings.
The mini-scare of the day
Near the middle of the innings break, just as twilight was approaching, the time when lights are most needed to bridge the gap between day and night, the floodlights at the Shere-e-Bangla stadium went off. At the same time, a message appeared on the scoreboard “In the event that this match is not completed today, the players will return tomorrow. Please retain your tickets.” With the ground swiftly descending into darkness, some fans may have been searching for their tickets, crumpled up in their pockets or bags somewhere, just in case the lights never came back on. A few minutes later, the globes started twinkling again and the field was bathed in light in time for the second innings.
The one-handed slip dropper of the day
Younis Khan was made to practice his reaction time at first slip. First, was when Saeed Ajmal got Darren Sammy to get a leading edge off a regular offspinner. Younis put in a solid dive to his left and even got a hand on the ball but couldn’t hold on. Nine overs later he was tested again. This time by Wahab Riaz‘s attempt to dismiss Kemar Roach. Riaz angled one across the West Indian quick, who tried to steer it past slip. Younis dived to his right this time and got fingertips to it but the catch evaded him again. He did make up later with a nicely-judged catch at short midwicket to send back Roach.