West Indies v Pakistan, 1st T20I, Bridgetown March 26, 2017

When Walton ran into 'The Hulk'

The tales of two comeback men and a collision that could have been much more serious form part of our plays from the first T20I

Chadwick Walton could have so easily hurt his ribs © AFP

Running into 'The Hulk'

It was a skier off Mohammad Hafeez's bat. There was enough time for Chadwick Walton, the wicketkeeper, and Carlos Brathwaite, the bowler, to call, but both didn't. Walton had the gloves and may have thought he was best placed to take it. What he didn't perhaps realise was that he was on a collision course with the Hulk. He rammed into his captain, the impact throwing Brathwaite back. But his reach meant he had somehow managed to hang on to the catch. As if running into the big man wasn't enough, Walton also had to get a earful from his captain. There was no damage done though, both literally and figuratively, as West Indies had the wicket.

The word Kamran dreads: 'drop'

For a while now, Kamran Akmal has been to Pakistan what 'Sir' Ravindra Jadeja was once was to India: the butt of all jokes. Kamran can win admirers with his bat, like he did at the PSL. But when he's on the field or with the gloves, he could perhaps leave even his biggest admirers to chew off their nails. On Sunday, he had a cheerful beginning when a tumbling stop at mid-off elicited laughter in the Pakistan camp; Wahab Riaz even came in from the deep to give him a high-five. But laughter soon gave way to stunned silence when Kamran, stationed at backward point, moved late to put down a catch to reprieve Kieron Pollard. He didn't seem to pick the ball initially. When he finally moved, he did so in the wrong direction. Then he brought out a desperate lunge forward, by which time the ball was dying on him. End result: the word he perhaps dreads: 'dropped.' Debutant Shadab Khan was denied a fourth wicket.

Ahmed Shehzad showed great presence of mind on the field © AFP

Shehzad makes a mark on return

Ahmed Shehzad returned to Pakistan's limited-overs set-up after more than a year. How excited was he? Very much so, going by the speed at which he bolted from long-on to deep midwicket and then hurled a direct hit to the striker's end to catch Evin Lewis short. It needed multiple replays to decide which was better - the sprint or his celebration - he pumped his fists, pointed to the Pakistan crest followed by the high-fives. The stage was set to replicate Darren Sammy's 'selfie' celebration, but he let it go this time.

Then towards the end of the innings, he once again displayed his athleticism with an outstanding stop at deep midwicket. He ran across from long-on to complete a stunning catch, only to realise he had tumble over the rope. He somehow regained balance for a split-second and flicked the ball back into the field of play to save two runs for his side.

Carlos needs KP lessons

The West Indies captain was in the 'remember-the-name' mood. Hitting big, hitting long and finding the leg-side boundaries regularly. Then he did something that made you wonder if he had a 'brain fade.' Even before Sohail Tanvir released the ball, Brathwaite quickly changed his grip, stance and everything. Now positioned as a left-hander, he tried to biff the ball over deep midwicket. The bowler had enough time in the world to change his delivery. And he rolled his fingers to bowl a legcutter. Brathwaite swung hard, but a tad too early, and toe-ended the ball to midwicket.

Powell's slip

Remember Faf du Plessis's debut? The slip down the steps of the Adelaide Oval pavilion as he walked out to bat? This wasn't anywhere near, but could have been a bad fall for debutant Rovman Powell. Haring back from point, he was unsure whether to put in a dive to stop the ball and ended up escorting it to the boundary. Almost. Then out of nowhere, he decided to throw himself at the ball. The gap between the advertising triangle and the hoarding was too little as he ended up jamming his knee into the big boards while trying to jump over. He was down for two seconds but quickly recovered to signal thumbs-up to the dressing room.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Josiah on March 28, 2017, 16:27 GMT

    walton is actually a very weak fielder. better have him behind the stumps than anywhere else.

  • Jawwad on March 28, 2017, 14:23 GMT

    He is used to catching or drop with gloves on. As a fielder he seems unsure.

  • Muhammad Ammar on March 27, 2017, 12:17 GMT

    He is a wicket keeper, i.e. a better fielder than many.

  • Ashhar on March 27, 2017, 7:49 GMT

    Kamran akmal just needs some fielding practice without gloves, I think he'll prove himself a good fielder. Just give him some time to adjust.

  • shahid on March 27, 2017, 6:51 GMT

    Give Kamran a break, everyone drops catches once a while. He needs a few matches to adjust to ground fielding as he has seldom tried that before being himself a wicketkeeper.

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