Kolkata v Mumbai, Eliminator, IPL 2011, Mumbai

Disbelieving stares, and a match-turning helmet

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL eliminator between Kolkata and Mumbai

Sriram Veera

May 25, 2011

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

Harbhajan Singh watches a top edge off Brett Lee fly to the boundary, Mumbai v Kolkata, Eliminator, IPL 2011, Mumbai, May 25, 2011
The helmet that saved the day © Associated Press
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Stop and stare at the umpire - I
Manoj Tiwary was trapped in front by Dhawal Kulkarni, but he couldn't believe it when the decision went against him. He froze. He stared. He remained frozen. He eventually stirred and left the scene.

Stop and stare at the umpire - II
Ambati Rayudu was gobsmacked when he was given out caught behind. It was a bouncer from Jacques Kallis and the ball flew over the flashing blade to take refuge in Shreevats Goswami's gloves. Kallis kept on running towards the keeper who too had started his celebrations. A puzzled Rayudu had a wry smile, perhaps wondering what all the fuss was about. He had a quick look across at the umpire; so did the rest of the field. Asad Rauf's index finger went up. A stunned Rayudu yanked off his helmet and looked again at Rauf, with his mouth wide open. At long last, he left the crime scene.

Bounce, bounce till you succeed
Everybody knows that the best place to bowl at Yusuf Pathan is at the head. His Indian team-mate Munaf Patel didn't shy from trying out that strategy in the 13th over. He bounced once and it flew off the top edge over the keeper. The second bouncer was swatted uncomfortably to fine-leg and third was mis-hit over midwicket. Yusuf reclaimed strike for the final delivery and Munaf banged it short again. Yusuf tried to flat-bat it out of the park but couldn't clear long-on.

Times, they are a-changing
Munaf used to be a poor fielder. Used to be. Nowadays he gets irate when his team-mates slip below his standards. The proof of the pudding arrived in the 16th over when Kulkarni chose not to go for a risky catch at third man, preferring the stop the ball on the bounce. Munaf, the bowler, wasn't impressed. He stood there, hands on the hip before slowly turning and suggesting to another team-mate that he thought Kulkarni should have gone for the catch. Later, in the final over of Kolkata's innings, when Brett Lee steered a short ball to his left at short third man, Munaf rushed across and threw in a dive to prevent the boundary. Now Kulkarni, that's how you do it.

Protection can get you a boundary
Mumbai needed 15 runs from 12 when Lee hurled a bouncer at Harbhajan Singh. It had pace, the awkward height, and the uncomfortable line to fetch a game-turning wicket but it went away for a game-breaking four. Harbhajan was late on the pull, and not only were his tooth saved by the helmet, he also got some vital runs. The ball flew off the edge, crashed into the helmet grille and flew down to the fine-leg boundary.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by BattingOpener on (May 26, 2011, 18:09 GMT)

On any day, Mumbai are a far better all-round team than any other in this tournament, considering the quality of players they have; it is unfortunate that they haven't been able to click as a unit for the past 3-4 games. Up until 10 days ago, everyone was saying that no one can challenge Mumbai. They lost 3 games in a row and everyone got on the bandwagon to criticize them. RCB and CSK became the best 2 teams of the tournament overnight!!

MI is still the best team ... and I wish they perform up to their standards in the remaining games. Bad timing for Pollard and Symonds to be miserably out of form at the same time, due to which we haven't seen power-hitting from MI yet. No sense in criticizing Sachin - he is naturally a "finesse" rather than a "brute force" batsman - so we need someone like Pollard/Symonds to do heavy hitting while allowing Sachin to build the platform for them ... go MI!!

Posted by   on (May 26, 2011, 13:27 GMT)

Bad decision by Gambhir to play Lee in this match.Also should have bowled Kallis in the last match.

Posted by mrgupta on (May 26, 2011, 13:25 GMT)

@vedroy: How are RCB and CSK the best 2 teams? CSK had 18 points same as Mumbai, and RCB had 19 points just 1 point ahead. Do you see a vast difference here? because i don't. Secondly, the Top 2 IPL4 bowlers belong to Mumbai while RCB has only 1 bowler in Top 15 (Mumbai has 3). The only reason RCB is doing well is because of Gayle, once he flops (as against CSK) RCB can no longer stand against Mumbai's bowling might. As per me the best 2 teams are MI and CSK and they will be fighting it out (again) in the final.

Posted by eomer17 on (May 26, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

MI won only cause of blizzard's knock,KKr did well to make a match out of it. RCB fans just need look at their bowling,zaheer khan went for 20 against csk,he's good with the new ball but not in the death.they don hav any spinners except the captain.only Kohli and gayle hav batted well.They are the luckiest side in the playoffs.mumbai r better but they r a bundle of nerves at the moment.

Posted by SasiGladi on (May 26, 2011, 13:03 GMT)

RCB proved that they dont rely on Gayle force alone by scoring 175 against CSK they deserve final spot rather than MI eager to watch Gayle vc Slinga tomorrow. It should be CSK Vs RCB in final for a strength to strength battle....CSK will win as we have Dhoni to tame crucial situation with his committed soldiers...

Posted by vxttemp on (May 26, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

At least MI have 3 players to rely on. RCB has just one player to rely on - Gayle.

Posted by ARIF3011 on (May 26, 2011, 10:21 GMT)

MI and KKR both are the chokers of IPL. Last night's game was something as if both are trying to lose it!!! In the end it was a full toss by Shakib that Bhajji smacked for six that gave MI a push. Situation was like this - wickets were tumbling and runs were scored at same pace - no one was sure who would LOSE!!! @vedroy, I agree RCB and CSK have been two best teams in tis addition of IPL so they should play in final.

Posted by Bala74 on (May 26, 2011, 8:01 GMT)

If laws state that a catch is not allowed if the ball has bounced of the helmet of a feilder, then runs too must not be allowed if the ball bounces off a batsman's helmet.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2011, 7:14 GMT)

Mumbai is one of the most consistent teams in the tournament unfortunate to loose few matches at the end of tournament a bit of experimentation at the end of the tournament but they are the top contenders for the trophy

Posted by John.Doe.Cricket on (May 26, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

@vedroy: What's the use of having an all round side? MI still defeated KKR thrice in IPL4.

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