Rajasthan v Bangalore, IPL 2011, Jaipur May 11, 2011

Warne signs off in Jaipur

Plays of the Day from the IPL game between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur

The vintage playmaker
Rahul Dravid opened his account with a shot so classy he could have been a Rolls Royce. He used his wrists the way only he knows how, swivelling the bat in his hands and driving the ball past point with finesse and elegance. He followed it up with another trademark shot, a flick through midwicket, delicate and stylish. For good measure, both those beauties came off the bowling of his Indian counterpart Zaheer Khan.

The wicketkeeper who would be fielder
AB de Villiers was relieved off the duties behind the stumps and allowed to prowl the outfield. He was heard on the microphone, cheekily saying that he "had no idea why the owners and managers think he may be a good fielder," and that he enjoys his fielding as much, if not more, than he does his wicketkeeping. It wasn't until the 10th over that he was brought into the fray when Shane Watson smacked a ball long and flat to de Villiers at long-off. He had to move a little to his left to gobble it up and did. The celebration was enough to show how much de Villiers enjoys his work without the gloves.

The stranded non-striker
Ajinkya Rahane was looking in good nick and hitting the ball well when he was hung out to dry by Johan Botha. He played a reverse-sweep to point, where de Villiers was lurking. Botha set off for the run immediately even though Rahane didn't move. Botha wasn't looking and was already at his partner's end when the throw came to the wicketkeeper, and there wasn't a batsmen in sight. Rahane sacrificed himself and Botha failed to his find his rhythm. Seventeen balls later, he was gone.

The legend lets it go
Shane Warne had already misfielded once in the circle and was desperate to put on a good show for his adopted home crowd one last time, but nothing was going right. Botha was having a dreadful time, being smacked around by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chris Gayle and then he tossed one up to Gayle. He got under it, but not enough and chipped it to mid-off where Warne was fielding. It took a bit of a reach to clasp it but Warne couldn't and the ball slipped through his fingers and trickled to the rope for four.

The end
Warne had bowled three impressive overs, his last performance in Jaipur in the IPL and looked certain to finish on a high. He was throwing in the flipper, the odd googly and those perfect legbreaks. But it ended with an assault. Gayle hit Warne's last two balls for boundaries, the first a six over long-off and then a sweep shot that went to backward square leg for four. Warne walked back into the outfield with a small hint of sadness on his face. Jaipur looked on, too stunned to say goodbye, too moved to do much else.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Big on May 12, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    As far as Warne goes, it will be big loss for RR. But look at the bright side, he is now in close relationship with Liz (ex-bride of Arun Nayar).

  • Ankan on May 12, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    some of the newby cricket watchers have no clue of Warney's genius. So they say harsh things about him. I pity them. I hope to see Warney in 2 more matches that he'll play... he'll always be the greatest ever bowler. - yes better than Murali anyday.

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    @srt genius: I don't think Sachin Tendulkar reads comments on cricinfo.

  • Ali on May 12, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    RR lacks Indian Local Talent and Ross Taylor's performance is also not doing any good. but still looks they can finish fifth if not fourth.

  • al on May 11, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    @candyfloss: Are you being nasty for the sake of it ? People like Sachin Tendulkar would disapprove of your comment.

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    Zak is not Dravid's Indian counterpart! he's his complement perhaps, or his bowling counterpart.

  • Bheem on May 11, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Thanks and farewell, Warnie! (Although we will get to savour 2 more away games) The IPL will certainly miss you.

  • S.rao on May 11, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Nice to see the pitch doctor going back home.

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