Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2013, Mumbai May 5, 2013

Pollard drops three, Harbhajan trumps Ashwin

The Plays of the Day from the match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai

The hat-trick
One of the most surreal sights seen on a cricket field. Forget the quality of the fielder and batsman involved, and it is still unbelievable. A batsman hitting three catches off three successive deliveries to the same position, and the same fielder dropping the ball on each occasion. Now to the artists involved. Mitchell Johnson bowling to his Western Australia team-mate Michel Hussey, and one of the best fielders going around, Kieron Pollard, at point.

The first burst through his hands just over his head, the second was a low offering and popped out, and the third ricocheted off his hands into his face and cut his nose.

Sample Suresh Raina's misfortune, though. The first ball he faces, he edges it towards point, and the same man Pollard takes a low one diving forward.

The co-ordination, lack of

In the third over, the newly reunited Chennai Super Kings opening pair of M Vijay and Michael Hussey went chasing a ball and hit it wide of mid-on. Hussey followed Vijay, and it was implied the throw would be relayed on. Vijay, though, seemed to have held on to the ball for a bit longer than was ideal and ended up throwing it wide of Hussey, towards deep midwicket. A third ensued.

The interruption

When Dwayne Bravo got Dwayne Smith, catching a top edge himself, he broke into a full-blown dance. Suresh Raina, fielding at cover at that time, stood and waited for the dance move to finish, but Bravo kept going and going. After a while, Raina thought "chuck it" and stopped him midway and hugged him. A good team man, Raina knows his captain is often flirting with over-rate bans. He shouldn't be allowing such expansive time-wasting celebrations.

The contest, in two parts

At the fall of the fifth wicket in the Mumbai innings, out came India's most successful offspinner to face the man who threatens to take that title away from him in the future. R Ashwin tossed the first ball up, and Harbhajan Singh smacked it clean over long-on for a six. In the same over, Ashwin came back with a well-disguised carrom ball that beat Harbhajan, which drew a nod of acknowledgement from the veteran.

The contest returned when Ashwin was promoted by the floundering Super Kings to bat at No. 6, ahead of MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. In the first over itself he backed away too far to play a cut to a length ball, and had his leg stump handed to him. The veteran had the last laugh.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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