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Plays of the Day from the IPL game between Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders in Hyderabad
May 3, 2011
An eventful start
An action-packed opening in an otherwise fairly low-intensity fixture. Eoin Morgan was almost run out first ball, attempting a tight second run after cutting Daniel Christian. Dale Steyn at third man returned a powerful throw that was only fractionally inaccurate. A bit of extra height on the throw meant Morgan had that additional moment to slide his bat in with a full-length dive and save himself, an effort and an escape that helped him build a solid opening stand.
This one might soon have the match referee doing his bit for upholding the spirit of cricket. Gautam Gambhir dispatched his first ball against Christian for a boundary, and in the bowler's next over smashed him for six over midwicket. Christian's agony intensified when Kumar Sangakkara failed to hold on to a tough chance next ball and it wasn't long before there was a flare-up. At the end of the over when Gambhir completed a single, Christian and he went at each other, the spark being something said by either one of them. Expletives apart, the spar almost got physical for a worrying moment but Sangakkara stepped in, and then the umpires, to restore some discipline.
The hospitable-host moment Part I
Deccan Chargers' horrible home record must owe in part to the generosity showered upon visiting teams. Not long after Deccan had clawed back with the wickets of Jacques Kallis and Gambhir in quick succession, they had a chance to edge ahead when Yusuf Pathan miscued one to wide long-on. Amit Mishra, the fielder there, got under it comfortably but left his India spin rival Pragyan Ojha fuming when he failed to latch on. Yusuf was on 3, struck a six off the last ball of the over and there was more kindness in store from the hosts.
The hospitable-host moment Part II
Mishra was to atone for his lapse by having to bear the experience of having a chance dropped off his own bowling. Christian, presumably with Gambhir still on his mind, got under one at long-on and seemed in position to clasp an overhead catch. Instead he ended up palming it on the bounce over the ropes; the enormity of his error was evident next ball when Yusuf, who was on 12 when he was dropped the second time, launched one into the stands over extra-cover to leave Deccan deflated.
An irresistible comment
Sunil Gavaskar's made his feelings clear about foreign coaches for the national team, but couldn't resist getting another word in to further press his point during a brief interview involving one of the broadcasting channel's anchor and Vijay Dahiya, the Kolkata assistant coach. "It's good to see an Indian as an assistant coach of an IPL team," Gavaskar said on commentary. Point taken.
The chaotic moment
It wasn't a good day for fielding. Sunny Sohal, in the chase, mistimed a swipe to mid-on where Rajat Bhatia collected on the bounce and aimed at the non-striker's end. Sohal would have been caught short when attempting the single, not because he wasn't quick enough but because he seemed more intent on evading the throw than grounding his bat. It was all well, and better, for Deccan in the end as the throw was never backed up, resulting in five runs.
The spectacular act
Left-arm seamer Jaidev Unadkat didn't get to bat and wasn't asked to bowl today. But keen to make his presence felt, he made a lasting impression in the field. Shikhar Dhawan slog-swept a slower delivery from Rajat Bhatia towards deep midwicket where Unadkat was stationed. A tall man, he timed his jump perfectly and snatched the ball with his left hand, but unfortunately tripped over the ropes after losing his balance. Even upon impact, he still clung on to the ball but flung it away in disgust, knowing the effort had been in vain.
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