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A panic in the opening game, an over that rolled back the years, some poor lip-syncing and more in a review of the action from the first week of the IPL
April 15, 2011
Features : Whimpering exits, errant tweets and the third left-hander
Features : The Gayle and Ganguly shows
Features : Displays of genius, a comedy act and an anticlimax
Features : Grassy trysts, nail-biters and double paybacks
Features : A WAG, a prediction, and an out-of-place maiden
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
The knock of the week
Paul Valthaty dragged himself out of anonymity with an astonishing innings against MS Dhoni's men. Who told him he could play a knock like that? He was a nobody; he had played one domestic game before and had single-digit scores in his previous IPL outings. Everything changed that night. Now the onus is on him to show that he is not a one-game wonder.
Panic attack of the week
It came in the very first game to torpedo Kolkata Knight Riders' chase against Chennai Super Kings. With 61 needed from 44 balls and nine wickets in hand, Jacques Kallis, on 49, nudged Suraj Randiv to the on side for a risky run. Yusuf Pathan ran but MS Dhoni hared after it, picked up the ball, swivelled and fired a direct hit to catch Yusuf short. With 42 runs needed from 29 balls, Kallis paddled a full toss from Ashwin straight to the short fine-leg fielder and then Gautam Gambhir ran himself out. Manoj Tiwary counterattacked and Kolkata reduced the target to nine required off eight balls but Tim Southee bowled three unhittable yorkers in the final over to sneak a last-ball win.
The unidentified flying object of the week
Where is that damned blimp? Throughout the last IPL it was shoved down our throats by the commentators as the world's eighth wonder. The camera would zoom in on a hot-air balloon and the commentators would try to tell us how it could save the world. What a pity.
The controversial decision of the week
In Kolkata's chase against Rajasthan, Manvinder Bisla was desperately haring down the track to beat the throw from mid-off but was fighting a lost cause. Rajasthan's wicketkeeper Amit Paunikar broke the stumps but the ball seemed to pop out of his gloves before he could do that. Television replays too seemed to confirm the pop out but the third umpire thought otherwise.
The nostalgic over of the week
It came from Shane Warne in his second match. He ripped a legbreak that turned sharply from the leg stump line and, for some reason, Unmukt Chand decided to cut. The ball flew to the left of first slip, where Rahul Dravid pouched it. Two balls later, Naman Ojha decided he had to take on his former captain. He rushed down the track but was done in, first by the dip and then by the turn. Warne pumped his fists and roared. Nostalgia floated in the air.
The juggling act of the week
Jesse Ryder smashed a delivery back at Vinay Kumar, whose brilliant reflexes took over. The ball bounced off his arm on to his chest before he began the juggle. He tapped the ball from one hand to the other, almost teasing Ryder and probably his own captain Mahela Jayawardene, before he ended the suspense by holding on.
The imposter of the week - I
This IPL week, Vinay Kumar decided to be Lasith Malinga. Bowling against Sachin Tendulkar, he suddenly dropped his right arm lower on his delivery stride, mirroring Malinga's release, and released a slinger. More impressively, the ball was on target too, full and straight, and Tendulkar showed it respect by defending.
The imposter of the week - II
On the same day, Tendulkar did a Dhoni during his first Twenty20 hundred. Thisara Perera hurled a full delivery outside off and Tendulkar worked the bottom-hand, lifted his front leg and played what has come to be known as Dhoni's helicopter shot. The ball went screaming over long-on. There was just one difference: Tendulkar's helicopter shot had more style than the original.
The poor lip sync and a riveting Tamil song
"Chennai, ellam seriya irukka?, (Chennai, all well?)" lip-synced Shahrukh Khan, wearing shades, and in Tamil, during the opening ceremony in Chennai. So far so good. However, the voice in the background wasn't even Shah Rukh's. It was followed by a dance to "Appadi Podu", a popular Tamil song whose lyrics were best captured by Nitin Sundar's translation on ESPNcricinfo commentary: "Put like that, put put put, put like that with your eye. Put like this, put, put, put, put like this in the back."
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