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Marillier still finds joy in playing the 'Dougie shot'

cricket Updated: Jul 29, 2013 03:49 IST
Sahan Bidappa
Sahan Bidappa
Hindustan Times
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A friendly match is on at a college ground in Groombridge, some 10 km away from the city centre. It's more of a weekend outing, with beer flowing and kids enjoying with their mothers. For Dougie Marillier, it's serious business. His side is chasing a competitive total and is behind the required run rate in the T20 game.

What follows is a rank full toss from a spinner and Marillier gets into position quickly and scoops it behind fine leg. It's a shot he made famous in 2002, playing it with lethal effect, and 11 years down the line, Marillier still enjoys doing it.

Fond memories
For many back home, Marillier is remembered for scripting a stunning last-wicket win at Faridabad in March 2002. Zimbabwe had been swept away in the Test series and few gave them a chance when the one-dayers got underway.

In the first ODI, India set Zimbabwe 275 for victory but the visitors slumped to 210 for eight and were on the brink of defeat. In an extraordinary onslaught, the right-handed Marillier used his bat as a ramp to lift the ball over the keeper's head to the fine leg boundary. He mostly used that shot against Zaheer Khan and finished unbeaten on 56 off 24 balls to eke out a famous victory for Zimbabwe.

"It came naturally at me. I wasn't a big hitter so I had to find a way to score boundaries, not necessarily using muscles," says Marillier, 35, who now runs a real estate agency in Harare.

"I used the shot for the first time in New Zealand. In those days bowlers used to bowl a lot fuller and the fine leg used to be up. If you could get your body away and get some bat on it there were chances it could go for six."

In fact, Marillier showed his skills against Glenn McGrath, twice lapping the Aussie bowler over the keeper in Perth. At that time his team-mates had named it as 'Dougie shot' but now its known as 'Dilscoop' after Sri Lankan Tillakratne Dilshan started playing it. "I don't feel bad about it," says Marillier.

He did not play long enough for Zimbabwe, appearing in just five Tests and 48 one-dayers, quitting at the end of March 2004.