Mumbai v Kochi, IPL 2011, Mumbai April 15, 2011

Tendulkar does a Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Kochi Tuskers Kerala in Mumbai

The eager beaver moment - I
Kieron Pollard was pummelled for 43 runs in his three overs, after not getting a chance to bat. He was trying his best to make up for his poor bowling in the field, running down balls with energy in the deep. So when Ravindra Jadeja hit Ali Murtaza straight down the ground in the 19th over, Pollard went charging to his left from long-off and even put in a full-length dive to try to prevent a boundary. But what he did not realise, amid the adrenaline rush, was that it was long-on's ball and the fielder there already had it covered. Not only did Pollard get in long-on's way, he also ended up parrying the ball to the boundary.

The eager beaver moment - II
Pollard almost made up for his error off the next ball, which Jadeja had lofted for what looked like a straight six. Seeing that the ball was flying too high even for his monstrous height, he leaped in the air, got one hand to it and almost contorted his body enough to take the catch. But gravity took over, and Pollard started falling down close to the boundary. Realising that if he held on to the ball he would concede a six, he hurled the ball back in to play, toppled to the ground, and got up quickly enough to keep the batsmen to a single.

Tendulkar does a Dhoni
The innovative batsman that he is, Sachin Tendulkar plays almost every shot in the Twenty20 book, except may be the Dilscoop and the falling-over lap shot that Brendon McCullum plays. During his maiden Twenty20 century, he added the helicopter shot to his repertoire. Twice on Friday, he tried the shot that MS Dhoni has patented, and each time, he got a boundary. In the 16th over, he got underneath a Vinay Kumar delivery that was full on leg stump and hoicked it wide of long-on, swinging the bat in a full circle, and still managing not to look as agricultural as Dhoni does. The next attempt in the 19th over was completely Dhoniesque. Thisara Perera bowled it full and Tendulkar helicoptered the ball with a huge backlift past long-on, ending up with one leg in the air.

The let-off(s) - I
Tendulkar would not have had the opportunity to do a Dhoni, and Vinay Kumar might have ended up with better figures than none for 48, had the DRS system been in place for the IPL. Vinay troubled Tendulkar on numerous occasions with the new ball, and was unlucky to have two close lbw shouts turned down by umpire Paul Reiffel. Having beaten Tendulkar with an outswinger in the second over of the game, Vinay rapped him on the pads next ball, only to see his appeal rejected and the ball go down to fine-leg for four leg byes. With the first ball off his next over, he again beat Tendulkar and trapped him in front of off stump. Replays showed that both deliveries would have hit the stumps. Tendulkar went on to add 89 runs after the reprieves.

The let-off - II
The match might have taken an entirely different course had Rohit Sharma held on to a chance at slip off the first ball of Kochi's chase. Lasith Malinga fired in a yorker right away, Brendon McCullum jabbed at it, and the ball flew low towards Rohit, who took ages in getting down and grassed the sharp take. McCullum was Man of the Match for the 81 runs he made after the reprieve.

Vinay does a Malinga
Even as he was being taken for runs, Vinay still managed to stun Tendulkar with the first ball of his second spell. He stopped midway through his delivery stride like R Ashwin does, and slung in the ball with a side-arm action à la Malinga. Tendulkar was so surprised with Vinay's change of action he just stabbed the ball away. Vinay repeated the action twice in that over, but both attempts ended in wide deliveries outside off.

The last-minute change
Just as the coin was about to be tossed, Kochi coach Geoff Lawson came running out to the middle, pulled Mahela Jayawardene aside and whispered something to him. Apparently, VVS Laxman had pulled his back just before the start and Kedar Jadhav was replacing him. The captains had already exchanged the team sheets and Jayawardene went up to Tendulkar to inform him of the additional change.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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