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