Rajan's Wrong 'Un: Patel's back-foot blast sees Canucks sign off in style

World Cup Diary

Don't be deceived by the scorecard for Australia's victory against Canada yesterday, their 34th consecutive win in World Cups. The Canadians clambered to 211, and the men in yellow ultimately got there with ease, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin putting on 183 for the first wicket. But there were some extraordinary moments along the way. Shaun Tait floored Zubin Surkari with a 92.3mph full toss into the nether regions. Steven Smith's and Ricky Ponting's on-field collision was a grim reminder of the horrific coming together of Jason Gillespie and Steve Waugh in 1999. But the moment of the day came in the third over, when 19-year-old Hiral Patel thumped Tait over cover for six, off the back foot. In its audacity and braggadocio, it was a fitting symbol of the maple leaf brigade's worthy contribution to this tournament.

Swann accused of being a drip

Darren Sammy has clearly got the hang of this captaincy lark already. Speaking ahead of the crucial fixture against England today, the West Indies skipper was asked to comment on England spinner Graeme Swann's travails with dew. You'll recall Swann was rather frustrated by how hard it made gripping the ball in the game against Bangladesh. "If there is dew," Sammy said yesterday, "just get a towel and wipe the ball. It's simple." It's at times like this that spinners rue not being very good at bowling bouncers.

De Silva clawed by Hawk-Eye

A word of sympathy for Asoka de Silva. The Sri Lankan umpire was due to officiate in two key group games but has been demoted after a poor tournament. The excellent Simon Taufel will replace him. De Silva is the only umpire whose percentage of correct calls in reviewed decisions is below 50 per cent. It is right, of course, that the best umpires should officiate crucial matches; and Hawk-Eye technology has been a boon to the game. But such public humiliation seems harsh.

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