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5 of the most athletic fielding efforts from unlikely players

Roy Suvra
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35.14K   //    06 Jul 2016, 10:57 IST
Muttiah Muralitharan’s catch of Daren Powell during match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka

There have been innumerable instances where players who have been written off as terrible fielders surprised their critics and come up with impossible fielding efforts. Damien Martyn who had become the butt of jokes and was called “butter fingers”, came out with a stupendous catch to dismiss Wavell Hinds. Similarly, players like Sunil Narine and Daniel Vettori have been consistently been criticised for poor fielding but have made vital fielding contributions for their teams.

Here are 5 players whom nobody expected to pull of fielding miracles but who against the odds of their own reputation and history put in that extra effort that defined their passion for the game culminating in some unlikely and greatly entertaining ‘magic catches’.

1) Muttiah Muralitharan’s great catch against the West Indies

Muttiah Muralitharan was as entertaining a cricketer as you could come across.  As famous as he is for his great bowling, he is equally infamous for his bad fielding often treated the spectators with hilarious situations when numerous times he asked the fielders not to throw the ball at his end.

His fielding was so unreliable that it was always amusing to see captains placing short fine legs to ease the pressure off Murali. However, the spin-wizard did get his name into a compilation of greatest catches  when he took the match-clinching catch of West Indies batsman Daren Powell during the fifth and last day of the first Test match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka in Georgetown, March 26, 2008.

The ball from Chaminda Vaas hit high on the bat and Murali jumped up in the air and backwards as he raised his right arm and the ball seemed to get stuck in there. Murali’s celebration as he rolls over off-balance and slides around on his back with glee is worth it for any cricket-lover. 

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