Pollard v Bravo Part II
The gamesmanship chronicles
MS Dhoni went after Kieron Pollard in the 18th over of the chase, crashing a six and a four off the first two deliveries. Pollard ran in a third time in the over, but did not send down the ball. Dhoni saw that, and when Pollard ran in a fourth time and actually bowled, the batsman backed away to leg, shouldering arms. Pollard broke into a wide grin at Dhoni's riposte and after a few seconds of a grim expression, the batsman afforded himself a smile as well, and then proceeded to remove his pads and redo his shoelaces, making Pollard wait and wait.
The compatriot clash
Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, Trinidadians both, went up against each other, not for the first time, and sparks flew. Pollard pushed a yorker back to Bravo, who picked it up, threatened to throw it at the batsman, and also had lots of words for his compatriot. Not to be outdone, Pollard pointed his bat at Bravo, asking him to go back and bowl. When Pollard tried and missed a scoop, there was another charged-up exchange. Pollard was the clear winner in the contest that mattered, though, taking 22 off the 11 deliveries he faced from Bravo.
Sachin Tendulkar got a golden duck when he was trapped leg-before by Dirk Nannes. As rare as that occurrence is, what followed was rarer. Even as umpire Vineet Kulkarni raised his finger, Tendulkar screamed in disbelief and anger. He walked away shaking his head, pausing to exchange a few words with his opening partner Ricky Ponting which suggested he was not impressed at all with Kulkarni's call. Replays showed the decision was nowhere close to being a shocker, the ball pitching just on leg stump and straightening to hit the batsman in front of leg.
The maiden strike
Ankit Rajpoot had an impressive domestic season for Uttar Pradesh, but he would have never come up against a batsman of the stature of Ricky Ponting before. First ball of his second over in the IPL, Ponting gave the fast bowler the charge but missed. Second ball, Rajpoot dug in a sharp bouncer. Ponting being Ponting, he immediately went for the pull, and an edge settled into slip's hands. Rajpoot couldn't have hoped for a better maiden wicket in the IPL.
The tailender's response
It was the last over of the Mumbai Indians' innings and Pollard desperately wanted the strike after hitting one to long-off. He charged back for what would have been a tight second, but Harbhajan Singh had already settled for the single. An upset Pollard pointed to himself, letting Harbhajan clearly know who should have had the strike. Probably that revved Harbhajan up. He gave the next ball an almighty swing, sending it soaring high in the air and beyond the deep midwicket boundary.
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo