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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium
April 22, 2011
It was the biggest talking point after the auctions. Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds in one team. Both of them tried hard to diffuse the build-up, but no one looked away. The first moment came in the fourth ball of Chennai's chase, when Symonds leapt in the covers to stop a Michael Hussey cover drive. Harbhajan ran across and patted his mate on the back. In the fifth over, Harbhajan foxed Suresh Raina with a lovely piece of flight and pouched the return catch. It was now Symonds' turn to show his appreciation and he did so with a hug. Later in the evening, they were seen sharing ideas on the field, and this time Sachin Tendulkar wasn't required to pull them apart. The hatchet had truly been buried in Sydney.
It was the moment that turned the match, and it came about through a clever piece of bowling. Chennai were coasting along when Lasith Malinga returned for his second spell. Everyone expected a barrage of yorkers, and the first ball was duly destined for the toes. S Badrinath somehow played it away for a single and handed over to Michael Hussey. Clearly, he was expecting another yorker next ball and chose to crouch low and back in the crease in anticipation. Malinga, however, hoodwinked Hussey by sending down a bouncer that took off from a length. Hussey was caught off-guard, and ended up going down on a knee and taking his eyes off it as he played an ungainly pull. Kieron Pollard scooped it inches from the ground, and Mumbai found a way back into the game.
The slip and the lap
Doug Bollinger's second spell was a series of incisive short balls and wide yorkers that Mumbai struggled to lay bat on. One ball, however, slipped out of Bollinger's fingers, possibly because of the dewy atmosphere. Rohit Sharma was already shuffling across in anticipation of a wide yorker and must have been shocked to see a waist-high beamer hurtling straight at him. Rohit did not panic, though, and calmly lapped it straight back over MS Dhoni's head and all the way for the most interesting six of the day.
You might watch the whole IPL and not see an innings more orthodox than Badrinath's unbeaten 71. There wasn't a single ugly shot on display, and he got his runs through precise footwork and an array of textbook strokes. The charm of his innings was epitomised by the six he hit off Rohit in the ninth over of the chase. It was a classically flighted offbreak on off stump. Badrinath shot out of the crease at the exact moment when the bowler was past the point of no return, got to the pitch and swung it in one sublime arc, all the way over long-off. The backlift was not extravagant, and the follow-through ended with the leading elbow held high for an extra moment. It was the 210th six of IPL 2011, and among the most beautiful.
Suresh Raina turned the third ball of Harbhajan's spell off the pads and took off for a typically cheeky single. Harbhajan, not known for his fleet-footedness in the field, sped away after it and Raina realised he had to scramble. Harbhajan picked up, swivelled and fired a throw at the non-striker's end even as Raina dived in. The throw missed the stumps, but clunked Raina hard on the helmet. Don't expect Raina to exchange the helmet for a cap when the spinners come on.
Mumbai were electric on the field from start to finish, barring one moment of comedy from Munaf Patel. Badrinath got one on the pads in the eighth over, and glanced it along towards fine leg. The ball was travelling much faster than Munaf at fine leg initially anticipated, and he realised he had to move fast to his right to cut it off. Instead of sprinting and diving, Munaf loped across languidly before trying to reach the ball with a series of laboured long steps. He lurched over like someone trying the triple-jump for the first time, and tried to stop the ball with the boot. The ball, however, easily slipped through for four.
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