Magical moments, shots that come from the middle of the willow, rippers from the bowlers, swinging red cherry and fiery bouncers, and blinders taken by the fielders, the game of cricket is special, special as it gives a reason to smile for millions and billions on this planet.
Adam Gilchrist’s magical century in the 2003 World Cup final, Javed Miandad’s last ball maximum against India, Yuvraj Singh’s six consecutive sixes, Mitchell Johnson’s 2013/14 spell in the Ashes, or Sachin Tendulkar’s historic Sharjah Cup (Coca- Cola Cup), and there are many such incidents that make a place in your mind which you can never erase.
One such exciting incident in a cricket field is a catch, a special catch taken by a player whose name you probably would have forgotten by now. But you will remember the catch because it was taken against one of the biggest teams in cricket – against India – and that too at the grandest stage of all - the World Cup.
Cricket – a game of uncertainty
In 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, India had Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda in Group B. Sounds easy huh? Team India lost their opening game against Bangladesh by 5 wickets and the group suddenly looked tough as Sri Lanka were a pretty decent side at that time.
In the second game of the group, India faced Bermuda and won the match by a mammoth 257 runs, where India batted first and scored 413/5 and bundled Bermuda for a mere 156 runs.
However, India lost their final game and a must-win one against Sri Lanka by 69 runs, and the Men in Blue’s dreams were shattered.
But in between India’s torrid run, one thing stood out and that was cemented in the minds of the cricket fans and that was in the second game against Bermuda.
The blistering innings by Virender Sehwag, Saurav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh was overshadowed by a catch. A blinder which no one thought he could have taken it.
Yes, you guessed it right – Malachi Jones (Bermuda) was bowling to opener Robin Uthappa, and the flamboyant batsman nicked it, only for a roly-poly player to take a blinder standing in the slips. The player was none other than Dwayne Leverock.
After that stunner, Leverock ran blindly around the whole field, and other team mates followed him.
At the 2007 World Cup, Leverock made the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Yuvraj Singh his victims. But what stood out for him and his nation was the catch.
"Before the delivery was bowled, I stood there and told the wicketkeeper, Dean Minors, next to me that we will get a wicket this over. We didn't talk after that but the first ball Malachi bowled, Robin Uthappa went on the drive and the ball flew away from me. I just dived to my right and got the ball in my hand. I got up and ran off to celebrate, and the rest of the team joined me," Leverock had told ESPN Cricinfo.
But it was not just about the catch for Leverock, he took nine wickets in the six-nation 2004 ICC Americas Cricket Championship in which they finished third and qualified for the 2005 ICC trophy and 2007 Cricket World Cup alongside Canada and United State.
Well, these are the moments which keep the fans and players going, and these are the moments which make cricket a special game.