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Zampa's backhander revives BBL memories

The leg-spinner was excellent in Australia's win over Ireland but this moment was reminiscent of an incident from last year's BBL

The leg spinner’s craft has been historically founded on the capacity to spin the ball from the back of the hand and land it where a batsman least wants to see it.

Adam Zampa, not just Australia’s premier leg-break bowler at present but the leading one-day international wicket taker among all nations thus far in 2016, landed most of them in Tuesday’s victory against Ireland in which he claimed 3-37.

Zampa leads Aussies' rout of Ireland

But there was one delivery that got away from him, and lobbed where the bowler was unable to see it.

Although it was not seized upon by a batsman waiting to pounce upon anything errant, and was instead was collected by the fielder at wide mid-on where the ball came to rest after it slipped from Zampa’s fingers in his delivery stride.

This delivery from Zampa didn't quite go to plan // Sky
This delivery from Zampa didn't quite go to plan // Sky

And was called ‘dead ball’ by South African umpire Bongani Jele, standing in his maiden limited-overs international.

A mishap that immediately caused Zampa to recall a similar moment in a 2014 KFC Big Bash League game at the MCG when his South Australia (and now Australia ODI) teammate Dan Worrall lost his grip when bowling for the Melbourne Stars.

And the batsman at the time – Hobart Hurricanes’ Jono Wells – decided the ball was still ‘live’ and went to meet it with the intention of belting it to the boundary.

A memory that Worrall – fielding nearby on the legside last Tuesday when Zampa unleashed his own blooper – instantly shared, but felt able to laugh off.

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"Once I'd bowled I thought straight (away) of Daniel Worrall in the Big Bash a few years ago where Jono Wells tried to run down and hit it for six,” Zampa recalled today.

"He (Worrall) had a bit of a laugh there at short 45."

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But there was solace immediately on hand in the form of vice-captain David Warner who was fielding at mid-off when the embarrassing moment played out.

In his new guise as the team’s morale officer and purveyor of all things positive – outlook, state of mind, body language – Warner threw his arm around Zampa’s shoulder and offered on-the-spot counselling.

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“He's very positive at the moment,” Zampa said of the Australia vice-captain.

“He came up to me and said 'don't worry about it mate, you've got your next ball to worry about'.”

Which the leg spinner duly did, and finished his 10-over spell with the only maiden delivered for the entire match.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith