Plays of the Day from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Indore.
Having cut Andre Russell to the boundary to go past Sachin Tendulkar's 200, Virender Sehwag was celebrating his record-breaking feat with a fist-pump, when he saw something strange. A man who shouldn't have been on the cricket field was running towards him with a bouquet of roses and the broadest of smiles. What he intended Sehwag to do with flowers in the middle of the pitch is not certain. Sehwag appeared to tell him to hurry off before the cops got on his tail.
Sehwag clipped Ravi Rampaul's first delivery off his pads through midwicket, the ball speeding across a fast outfield and beating Danza Hyatt's desperate dive to reach the boundary. Three more bowlers suffered Rampaul's fate at Sehwag's hands. Sunil Narine's first ball got launched over the long-on boundary, Darren Sammy watched his fly over extra cover, and Marlon Samuels' was steered between point and short third man for four.
The first of Sehwag's seven sixes. In the third over, Kemar Roach pitched short outside off stump, with a third man in place. Sehwag waited and opened the face, letting the ball virtually bounce off the bat, trampoline over the slip cordon and all the way across the boundary. He had intentionally played it so fine that the fielder at third man, who was square, could only watch.
The lucky number
Both Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were let off on 20. Gambhir dabbed the ball towards point, took a few steps down the pitch and then stopped, for it was Kieron Pollard swooping on the ball. Sehwag, however, had come so far from the non-striker's end that he gave up, and hoped Pollard would miss. Pollard did. A while later, Gambhir pushed hard at a length ball from Russell, hitting it in the air towards the bowler's left. Russell, one of West Indies' best fielders, grabbed at the chance but it did not stick.
In the 18th over, Gambhir dropped the ball with soft hands on the pitch and wanted the single. He ran a few yards but Sehwag did not budge from the non-striker's end. The bowler Roach sprinted to the ball and picked up, forcing Gambhir to turn around hastily. As he did, Gambhir jostled with Roach and there was some contact between bodies and bat before he safely made his crease. Sammy was not happy and held his arms up in half-protest, half-appeal. It did not go further than that.
There's nothing unusual about a batsman diving to avoid being run out. Unless that batsman is Sehwag. He never dives. Sehwag might sprint, and stretch sometimes, but dive he does not. He did today, though. In the 20th over Sehwag clipped the ball to deep square leg and wanted the second run. Gambhir did not, and Sehwag had to hit the turf horizontally to continue batting.
The last-ball trick
Rahul Sharma, India's debutant spinner, struck three times: a wicket in each of his first three overs. He bowled all his victims and claimed them with the final ball of the over. Samuels was the first to go, playing on to a topspinner; Danza Hyatt was the next, as a quick legbreak spun through his legs; and Pollard was the last, missing another fast and straight delivery.