Ball One – Good to see Ryan Harris back on a cricket field, since he was one of the few Aussies to enhance his reputation in The Ashes. He’s a big lad and not a natural athlete, whose pace is the product of driving through the crease with a lot of energy. Like fellow countryman, Shaun Tait, it’s always a bit of a surprise when he gets through an over without calling for the physio. The contrast with Dale Steyn, who will open the bowling for DC, is marked, but cricket has room for both.
Ball Two – Adam Gilchrist goes up to the stumps then retreats back for the medium pace of Vikramjeet Malik. Wicketkeepers never seem to stand, say, three yards back, in order to give themselves a better sight of an edge, but close enough to make the batsman nervous of going down the track. The classy stumping wouldn’t be on, but a quick flick at the stumps would see off the batsman giving it the charge. Might work, might not – but I’d like to see it tried, especially in the late slog.
Ball Three – Kumar Sangakkara plays a hideous hoick to a full toss and gets away with it, the ball dropping between fielders. For a batsman as elegant as Sanga to play a shot like that is perfectly reasonable in the context of the match, but it’s like Duchamp’s moustache on the Mona Lisa – ugly.
Ball Four – Camera picks out three cheerleaders in a car – “That’s the prize that you get,” says Sunil Gavaskar. “The car I mean.” No further comment required.
Ball Five – Okay, it’s not a big sample, but on this evidence, I’d say that county cricket’s T20 competition is played at a marginally higher standard than the IPL. The overseas players aren’t much different in ability and the domestic players look better in England. There’s a Steyn, Sehwag and Tendulkar at the very top of the IPL with no players at their level in the English competition, but the middle ranking IPL players are pretty ordinary. Doesn’t look a complete surprise that England hold the World Twenty20.
Ball Six – Dale Steyn is the best wicket-taking bowler since Malcolm Marshall, so why not give him three slips and a gully? The ball is as likely to flash there as anywhere else and in powerplay cricket, you can’t protect the boundaries anyway. In the same way that a top order batsman is designated a pinch hitter (or at least a batsman with licence to go after just about anything), why not use an opening bowler as a wicket-taker?
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999