The glare, the sledge and the eager firecrackers
Jacques Kallis and Zaheer Khan started the game for their respective sides, and the first over provided a fascinating duel between two practitioners in complete control of their craft. The first ball from Zaheer was full and swerved in to strike a surprised Kallis on the pads, but it would have just gone down leg. Zaheer shifted the line towards middle and bowled the next ball still fuller, but Kallis jammed down the bat to prevent it from crashing into the stumps. It was now Kallis' turn to showcase his class. He walked towards the fourth ball outside off and caressed it through cover. Seeing that, Zaheer bowled the fifth ball closer to off, so Kallis just pushed the front foot out and split the gap between mid-off and extra cover.
The glare and the sledge
National team-mates are pitted against each other often in the IPL but rarely do they have a go at each other. Zaheer started it today, making Gautam Gambhir duck hurriedly against a sharp bouncer. He then walked closer to Gambhir and gave him a cold stare. Kallis stepped it up against AB de Villiers later. He welcomed him with a snorter that took off from outside off stump, and de Villiers just got his head out of the way as it spat up at him. Kallis had a lot to say to de Villiers after the delivery, and the batsman gave it back with a few choice words of his own.
Kolkata were first hit by the rain that cut their innings short, and then ran into a red-hot Chris Gayle. Gayle struck eight boundaries in 12 deliveries, and three of them were off big edges. Brett Lee produced the outside edge off the first ball of the chase, but the ball evaded the slip fielder on its way to the third man boundary. Lee tried the bouncer in the same over, and Gayle's top-edged pull eluded Mark Boucher who ran all the way to the fine leg boundary in chase. In the next over, Gayle targeted Jaidev Unadkat and swung hard at a length ball outside off. This time the outside edge was so healthy that it carried all the way over third man for six.
The hobbling batsman
When Virat Kohli walked out to run for Saurabh Tiwary, he was refused permission by the umpires. Apparently, Tiwary's side strain had been picked up before the game, and Kohli had to sheepishly go back. Tiwary was left to deal with his running alone, and was clearly finding it difficult. He walked, hobbled, lurched, and really stretched to get in to the crease each time he had to take a run. In the last over, he pushed a ball towards cover and had no choice but to go for the single. His only chance was if the throw missed but he watched in dismay as Gambhir hit the stumps.
The eager firecrackers
Bangalore needed six to win when Arun Karthik launched into a big slog-sweep that seemed to be heading over the deep midwicket boundary. In an eagerness to provide a fitting backdrop, the firecrackers were set off even before the ball came down. But when it did, it settled into the hands of the fielder on the boundary. It made for an interesting sight as the visitors celebrated the wicket with the fireworks going off in the background.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo