Rajasthan v Kolkata, IPL 2011, Jaipur April 15, 2011

Botch-ups at the fortress

Plays of the Day from the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in Jaipur

The run-out that wasn't
Jacques Kallis played the ball wide of the fielder at mid-off and ran. His partner Manvinder Bisla responded, but a bit too late. He was struggling as Faiz Fazal, the substitute, ran to his left, swooped on the ball and made the perfect throw to the wicketkeeper. He was yards out when Amit Paunikar broke the stumps, so it was surprising that the umpire at square leg referred it to the television umpire. Replays, however, revealed that the ball had popped out of Paunikar's gloves moments before he broke the stumps. It was a touch close but there was certainly enough doubt to give it to the batsman. Russell Tiffin saw it differently, though, and gave Bisla out. It was the only wicket Rajasthan took.

The catch that wasn't
The game was almost up for Rajasthan - they had 37 to defend off 32 balls - when Gautam Gambhir pulled Siddharth Trivedi straight to Johan Botha on the deep midwicket boundary, giving them a glimmer of hope. Botha and Gambhir, however, noticed umpire Aleem Dar call it a no-ball. Gambhir frantically motioned for Kallis to go back to his crease and Botha fired the ball in at the bowler's end. His team-mates, however, were celebrating, having missed the umpire's signal for no-ball because there had been only three fielders in the circle, when there should have been four. No one was ready to collect the throw as it whizzed past them to the extra-cover boundary for four overthrows.

The eyebrow-raising strategies
Shane Warne made two curious decisions. The first was to not send Shane Watson to open Rajasthan's innings. Watson had joined the team after brutalising Bangladesh, hitting boundaries seemingly at will in Dhaka. He didn't bat until the 12th over, though, by which time Rajasthan had made steady but far from spectacular progress. Warne's next offbeat decision was opening the bowling with Ashok Menaria, who is a part-time left-arm spinner even on the domestic circuit. He was out of his league against Kallis and Gambhir, and conceded ground by going for 19 in two overs.

The celebration
Shakib didn't get caned by Watson as much as his Bangladesh team-mates did during the recent one-day series. He, however, began to get caned today. Watson slammed the second ball he faced from Shakib straight over the bowler's head, and minutes later, slog swept into the stands at deep midwicket. The ball after the second six, Watson wanted a third, and aimed to slog sweep again. He missed this time and Shakib, after watching the ball hit the stumps, gave Watson a send off by making a slitting motion across his neck. Kolkata were on their way to storming Rajasthan's fortress.

The cameo
Yusuf Pathan, Kolkata's $2.1 million purchase, didn't have the opportunity to hurt his former team with the bat today. With the ball, though, he made sudden and immediate impact. Brought on to bowl the 12th over of Rajasthan's innings, Yusuf took all the pace off the ball on a slow pitch and bowled Rahul Dravid before taking a return catch from Menaria. He had dismissed both set batsmen but did not get another over.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    Sakib, carried no: one allrounder consecutive 27 months !! yes , He Stopped Watson who was in electric train only last 2 games & stooped accelarating Rajasthan's !! Next, game in Eden, carry on Sakib!! Hope u will also win Eden!

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Wanna see the combat of 2 great all rounders of the time in Eden. It's a real sportsmanship by Shakib by picking Watto after Watto had taken the spot of No. 1 ODI all rounder 4m Shakib. Let's see how many month Shakib'll wait for the spot after reigning it for long 27 consecutive months.

  • Apora on April 16, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Watson was desperately trying to smash every ball of shakib ! I guess he was venting out his anger of not letting him take the no. 1 allrounder spot for 2 years on Shakib ! But the last smile was saved for Shakib only !

  • Ben on April 16, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Watson was getting a rest he must have really rushed to get there ... Anyway 170 should have been enough obviously the Royals lack a strike bowlers - Tait can get the wickets of good set batsman but he does cost you..considering the other bowlers are pretty tight but not wicket takers ( Warne apart) you must go with Tait when you are bowling to players like Gambir and SRT ( Tait also got SRT when he was set in the Aus/India final) Which means Botha and Ross fight for the last spot.

    I dont like it either how loose/ expensive Tait is but he and Warne are the ONLY real wicket takers in the squad who can get good batsman.

  • Bez on April 16, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    Most of these International players like, BB McCullum, Ross Taylor, Pollard, Watson are doing well in IPL and not for their respective teams especially when it mattered in the world cup. It is really annoying to see the success of McCullum who seems to have a different mode of thinking when batting in IPL vs batting in International matches.

  • tam on April 16, 2011, 1:06 GMT

    Ross Taylor needs to come in at 3 hes played 3 games and he has been not out all 3 times wiv good s/r he needs to come at 3 so he can face more balls

  • Sunil on April 16, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Yes, even in 20-20 - hind sight is 20-20, but it felt like Warne wasn't his usual self. He kept using Menaria and Amit Singh and brought in himself and Botha way too late. In the batting, Dravid was slow again, Opening with Paunikar and Watson would have been better, followed by Dravid if the first wicket fell early or Menaria if the first partnership lasted 6 overs.

  • SS on April 15, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    Warne made a big mistake by not making Watson open the innings, off-course flukes don't pay off every time. Fantastic bowling by Shakib.

  • Dummy4 on April 15, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    Shakib did an Undertaker with that slow cut-throat taunt at Watson

  • Serv on April 15, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Looks like Shakib Al Hasan was really angry that Watson took his number one all rounder spot!

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