Bangalore v Mumbai, 2nd Qualifier, IPL 2011, Chennai May 27, 2011

The other Gayle and spinners' delights

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL 2nd Qualifier between Bangalore and Mumbai in Chennai

The nightmare over
After Mumbai had put Bangalore in, the question was how Chris Gayle would fare against Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh upfront. Anti-climax - Abu Nechim opened the bowling. Initially, Gayle was beaten by one that seamed away. Nechim even got the outside edge next up, but Gayle collected a four wide of slip. That was as good as the night got for Nechim. The rest was a flurry of boundaries as Gayle looted 20 off the over. Nechim contributed with seven wides, and Mumbai went downhill after the most expensive opening over in the IPL.

The other Gayle
After the torrent of runs at the start, Gayle dug in, determined to hang around for as long as possible. Normally, he does not play out many dot balls. Today, he did; three in a row off Malinga in the sixth over. Just as one felt that the fourth would either get Gayle or disappear out of sight, he showed remarkable control to calmly nudge to square leg for a single. Gayle said later that it was his plan to be cautious against Malinga. Gayle plans, Gayle executes. And collects Man-of-the-Match awards by the half dozen.

AB and the reflexes
AB de Villiers has superb reflexes, and displays them regularly in the covers and as a wicketkeeper. He showed them off as a batsman today. In the 19th over, the ball slipped out of Nechim's hands, and came screaming at de Villiers' rib cage as a high full toss. The normal reaction of any batsman would be to fend it away, or duck out of danger. de Villiers' was to go for the hook instinctively. It came on to him so fast though that even as he got bat on it, his eyes closed and he fell on the ground with the impact. What happened to the ball? He had maneuvered it so well that it sailed into the crowd beyond deep square leg.

Pollard gets it back
There have been few fireworks from Kieron Pollard's bat this IPL, and he has mostly been turning it on in the field with acrobatic saves and stunning catches. He was, however, at the receiving end today. When he lofted Daniel Vettori down the ground, the Mumbai players prepared to scatter as the ball came hurtling down towards their dugout. But Abhimanyu Mithun was prowling at long-off and had kept his eye on the ball all along. Just as it crossed the rope, Mithun stretched out his right hand to grab it. He also took care that his back leg remained grounded an inch inside the boundary, and Pollard's IPL was over.

The spinner's delight - I
Syed Mohammad's first delivery was lofted to the straight boundary by Sachin Tendulkar. Off the fifth, Tendulkar walked casually down the track, took the ball on the full and twirled the bat to pick up a couple through midwicket. Tendulkar tried to repeat the walk-and-twirl approach off the last delivery, but Syed was wiser this time. He dropped it shorter, so Tendulkar stopped walking and waited. But he was in no position to deal with what happened next. The ball turned a mile after angling inwards, and ended up outside off. Tendulkar was so surprised that he ended up hopping and poking in the air, completely squared up. de Villiers was left with a simple stumping.

The spinner's delight - II
Rohit Sharma is a capable player of spin, as he shows whenever he dances out to loft inside-out over extra cover. Daniel Vettori enticed him to attempt exactly that with a generously flighted delivery. Rohit went for the lofted drive, but to his horror, the ball dipped on him like a stone drops from a considerable height. It was too late to pull out the shot, and Rohit tried to reach out to the dipping ball. More trouble. It turned sharply and took the outer half of the bat to loop to sweeper cover.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nikhil on May 30, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Like most Indians , I love SRT .But since he first captained India i have always said he was a rubbish captain & should now pass the role onto some one else at MI . He had a powerful engine but didn't know how to drive it .

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    Does anyone in the MI team management have the guts to tell Sachin that his captaincy has been poor? I don't think so. He will back next season as captain, I guess or he can make way for someone to be captain. That won't happen also since there is nobody with leadership skills to take the reins from Sachin.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    @anuraag.singh -- hey respect gayle and i know is a gud cricketer,,But Black pearl of cricket would always be Sir Garry Sobers and Viv.

  • Amarjit on May 28, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Yes Sachin faltered the first over should have been bowled by either Malinga or Patel. Pollard should have been sent max two down giving him time to settle though SRT played well.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    It was nothing but poor captaincy that cost match for MI. If MI want's to win IPL they have to look for a new captain.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    Proven, SRT will keep on loosing due to his silly captaincy moves. Surprising, a legend batsman with such poor captaincy skills... no words can explain this shocking reality!! the god-fanda is busted, busted big time. he is just a human after all. let's respect & love him for being a great human-batsman instead. cheers~

  • VINEET on May 28, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Ofcourse Gayle was the star performer but kudos to local lads Mithun for that stunning catch,Syed for his surprise delivery to get rid of SRT & Aravind for providing the necessary initial breakthrough....

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    Malinga's catch should find a place here! As someone rightly said, it was as if Jonty had come back with a purple cap and a weird hairdo!

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2011, 23:24 GMT

    Chris played Malinga carefully after he had a good score off the very first over. I suggested Malinga should bowl all 4 overs as long as Chris was at the crease. I hope Dhoni will do better. In 20-20 all are pinch hitters sending Harbajan at 3 when you have pOllard,Rohita and Rayadu was a mistake. Dhoni should bat higher up if Chennai wants to win and bowl their best bowlers as long as Chris is at the crease.

  • Anurag on May 27, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    RCB...IPL 4 winner...hope the Gayle sparks in final also...Gayle is the new Pele....Chris Gayle is the Black pearl of Cricket

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