Pune v Deccan, IPL 2011, Mumbai May 16, 2011

The troublesome towel, and Sangakkara's finishing touch

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL game between Pune Warriors and Deccan Chargers in Mumbai

The anti-climax
The crowd waited in anticipation for Sourav Ganguly to turn out for the home side and when he came to bat at No.3, he was greeted with the usual, massive cheer. After seeing off four dot balls from Daniel Christian, the pressure was building for Ganguly to make an impact, but he did the exact opposite. He limply hung his bat out to drive to the covers and made just enough contact with the ball to send it straight to a fielder. Pragyan Ojha took a simple catch and the great Dada was out for a duck.

The towel that caused trouble
Yuvraj Singh seemed fairly distracted through his innings, and rightly so with the number of wickets falling at the other end. As Dale Steyn was about to run in to bowl his second ball to Yuvraj, the batsman pulled away and indicated something was bothering him. He waved at the sightscreen, sending Steyn on a fact-finding mission and the fast bowler ran all the way only to see that a cameraman was causing all the trouble. Steyn asked him to move out of the way and even as he shuffled to the left, Yuvraj made gestures that all was not well.

Steyn eventually figured out that it wasn't the cameraman himself, but a white towel that was resting on top of his camera that was giving Yuvraj problems and it was duly removed. That it wasn't really in Yuvraj's line of sight is another matter.

The captain's final act
Kumar Sangakkara lived up to his reputation of being classy and gentlemanlike when he walked after being caught behind by Robin Uthappa off the bowling of Rahul Sharma. The former Sri Lanka captain got an under edge, quite a thick one. While Uthappa was appealing vociferously, Sangakkara had already tucked his bat under his arm and was leaving the crease. Sharma saluted him on his way off. Sangakkara was playing in his last match of this IPL season and signed off in style, and with a win.

The South African battle
Wayne Parnell won the contest with JP Duminy after he denied his South African team-mate the chance to finish off the match for Deccan. Parnell was tasked with bowling the final two overs and was determined to show his skills at the death. He kept it wicket to wicket and quick and in the process sent Duminy on his way. He fired in the fourth ball, too straight for Duminy to play properly, especially since he took his eye off it at the last moment. He played a nothing shot and the leg stump was pegged back. Parnell gave him an exuberant send off, knowing that the game was beyond Pune's reach.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mehdi on May 18, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    Deccan chargers are awesome. Im from hyderabad, but they should have at least retained some players from last year, i mean they lost rohit sharma, gilchrist, gibbs and laxman. Altogether they lost 11 world class players from last year, they are much, much better than this. GOOO DECCAN!!!

  • James on May 17, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    Deccan lost because of others, and won because of the captaincy- INDEED? Sangakkara is not a bad captain- though SL always had good captains- some in fact were much better- notably Ranatunga, and Mahela. If one compares the IPL teams, one can know the capacity of captains. For good sides (a captain has to be below average to pull the performances down- though a good captain does give lot of advantage- Among the five good teams (in terms of players)- Mumbai has an average captain, Chennai has a very good one, Kolkata and Bangalore have okay captains, and Pune has a below average captain. Among the poor teams Rajasthan and Kochi have very good captains, Punjab has an okay captain, Decan has an average captainn, and Delhi has a below average captain. In the four team playoffs, captaincy will matter.

  • Philip on May 17, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Deccan Chargers... Just a one man show. Sangakkara being consistent as always. The rest just performed like a switch - on and off. The batting was poor. Both internationas and the locals did not turn up barring the Cappy. The Imports needed to deliver as they have been paid top money. Cricket is not a one man show but is a team game. You can only marshal your forces but they have to do their bit as professionals. These internationals are not babes like the youngsters who are being trained. Looking at Mumbai, even though they have the best performers we find that they have been inconsistent too and playing poor games. Unfortunately too many poor performances cost Deccan. This goes for Pune and the rest of the losers too. There is only one winner and many losers. Philip Harding, England

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @ranga_s I think u better u better check Sanga's record I belive u will find more information about what kind of Skipper who he is and why he is one of the best skippers in the world.....and just becuase the team did not jelled you cannot blame him for not doing a captian's knock....@NumberXI well yes the captin has a big resposibility but he is not responsible for all the individual performances of those big names that u mentioned...they should have helpedthem selves to get in to a good position.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    It was really the fielding that cost deccan. Dropping Viru and Yusuf Pathan on crucial games was quite damaging to the campaign. Otherwise Deccan would now be on 12 even 14 cos the delhi match would have been simple if they took viru's catch.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    wadda playa....excellent player

  • Roshun on May 17, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    For all those having doubts over Kumar's captaincy...(1) A captain can make field placements but cannot take all the catches (If the team had held on to the catches that Yousuf Pathan and Shewag provided the scenario would have been that Deccan having 14 points and fighting for qualification along with KKR). (2) A captain can only score for the team which he did but cannot score for the rest (most international and local players were not consistent). (3) Kumar has led an International side for 2 World Cup finals (T20 and ODI) and 1 semi final (T20) since he took over the reigns and that too within a shorts 2 year span. Not many have done that apart from Dhoni whom I think is a step higher. A Gentleman, cricketer and great captain he is!! Knowing him from a younger age I know exactly what great qualities he has.

  • Sanjeewa on May 17, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    The IPL is a Flop and boring game. It used to be good 01st season now that 10 teams playing endless games eash other and tournament running for more than a month I don't think it's a great tournament. I suggest IPL should be sweet and short and that way the desire and the hype of the fans will long last for IPL.

  • Ravi Kumar on May 17, 2011, 3:17 GMT

    Deccan's results reflect poorly on Sangakkara's captaincy. With a bowling line up which has Steyn, Ishant, Ojha and Mishra, batting consisting of Sangakkara, Duminy, White and Dhawan, and all rounders like Christian and Theron, they should have had much better results than they managed. Eventually though they failed as a team, the captain has to shoulder much of the responsibility for it.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    what a cricketer Kumar Sangakara

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