Mumbai Indians v Pune Warriors, IPL 2013, Mumbai April 13, 2013

The first ball from hell

Plays of the day for the match between Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors in Mumbai

The start
What do you want to see when you step out to defend 183 on a flat wicket and a small and quick playing field? A spearing left-arm seamer's outswinger will do just fine, sir. There had already been two first-ball wickets for bowlers in the day, but Mitchell Johnson put them both in shade. He was full, he was fast, and burst through Aaron Finch's gate to peg back the middle stump. If you get that good a first ball, you stand little chance.

The miss
Rahul Sharma didn't have the best of days when it came to support for his bowling. With his first ball of the match, in the fourth over, he should have had Ricky Ponting lbw but was denied. In his next over, he bowled to Sachin Tendulkar with a straight mid-on at the edge of the circle. Tendulkar drove straight to that man twice, and you could see the frustration building up. On the third occasion, Tendulkar failed to keep the drive down, but it was low enough to confuse Yuvraj Singh, who was undecided whether to go forward for the catch or just make the save. Caught in between eventually, Yuvraj let it go through his legs for four. Just to rub it in, Tendulkar lofted the next ball for six.

The disdain
It took four matches, but Tendulkar did arrive in this IPL, albeit he did not stay for as long as he would have liked. When he was there, Ashok Dinda faced the brunt with four consecutive fours. One of the five bowlers used in the first five overs, Dinda let Tendulkar run away with a length ball down the leg side with short fine leg up. After that it didn't matter even if he bowled good deliveries. The second was short of a length and not too wide, but Tendulkar drove it off the back foot through cover, and walked coolly towards Ponting to knock gloves. The next went over point, and the fourth was driven in trademark fashion through mid-off.

The golden arm
Mitchell Marsh has had his place in the Pune Warriors side questioned - he has bowled too few overs and batted too low - but today he made immediate impact. Introduced late in the piece, Marsh took the big wicket of the orange-cap holder, Dinesh Karthik. Karthik looked set for a third half-century in four games when he took strike again after the timeout at the end of the 15th over. Marsh, though, did him in with an accurate offcutter first up, and followed it up with just three in the rest of the over.

However, when he went for 21 in his next over, he proved his captain right, who has not been using him for too many overs.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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