Chennai Super Kings v Deccan Chargers, IPL 2011, Chennai May 1, 2011

The comedy of errors and the Sohal show

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL game between Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers in Chennai

White's contagious form
Cameron White has been struggling to get bat on ball for quite some time now. Even a forward defensive appears like an achievement at the moment. In such a frame of mind, there can be days when the contagion with the bat spreads to other areas of a player's game. Two deliveries after M Vijay's dismissal, Michael Hussey pulled a long hop from Pragyan Ojha straight to White at square leg. It came at a catchable height, White got both hands to it, and dropped it. Hussey went on to add 36 more in a 60-run stand with Suresh Raina that laid the foundation for Chennai's innings.

Morkel goes massive
Despite a late flourish from Chennai, Deccan had managed to keep them to 139 with nine balls to go. Ishant Sharma had conceded 23 off 21 deliveries and would have looked to end on a tight note against new man Albie Morkel who had faced just three deliveries. But Deccan were taken aback by what came next. Morkel smashed the next three deliveries, all on a length, into orbit over long-on. Each six was bigger than the previous one, and the last two were the biggest in the IPL, at 109 and 114 metres. Chennai surged to 165, and tellingly, their winning margin was 19.

The comedy of errors
What happened off the last ball of Doug Bollinger's first over is something that would have had few parallels even on a school ground. Shikhar Dhawan cut towards point and trotted out of his crease. Sunny Sohal, meanwhile, had assumed that there was a single, and rushed towards the other end. Dhawan was ball-watching, and Sohal had almost crossed him before he realised what was happening. He turned back, and both batsmen were now aiming to make the same crease.

The point fielder, in his haste, went for the striker's end. Had he hit, both batsmen would have been caught short, but he missed. The man backing up at midwicket, fumbled while trying to collect the ball as well. He recovered, and seeing one batsman try to make his way to the non-striker's end, lobbed the ball to Bollinger, who was some way from the stumps. Bollinger gathered cleanly but his first attempt to disturb the bails did not find them. Panicking, he threw the ball at the stumps, but astonishingly, missed again from close range. At that moment, Chennai wouldn't have found a needle in a haystack full of them. Sohal was on 13 then and went on to add 43 more.

The one-trick show
Right from the start, Sohal had made his intentions clear. He was going to back away outside leg stump, and hope to clear cover. Sometimes he missed, sometimes he connected, and mostly the results were hilarious. On either side of a six and a four in a Morkel over, Sohal played two shots that made the big screen flash: "You can't teach that." He made lots of room only to find the ball eating it up and hurrying on to him. One the first occasion, he fell away and managed to edge the ball wide of Dhoni. On the second, he got it in the same direction, this time off a delicate dab. Both times, he collected boundaries. Morkel went for 20 in that over, and Chennai weren't finding Sohal's effort funny at all.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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