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Plays from the IPL game between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai
April 13, 2013
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Minutes after Muttiah Muralitharan, a Sri Lankan Tamil, became the first man to officially miss a Chennai game for political reasons (Lasith Malinga officially had a bad back and wouldn't have played anyway), the PA system at MA Chidambaram Stadium blared Surangani, a legendary Sinhalese Baila song. The message was clear: Sri Lankan players not allowed, but music is okay. To add another twist, Surangani, which has been dubbed in innumerable languages, was originally produced by a Sri Lankan Tamil pop star, AE Manoharan, in Sinhalese.
Even when he is not going hell for leather, Chris Gayle - and how bowlers respond to him - is an arresting spectacle in Twenty20s. Dirk Nannes was given the task to bowl to him first up, and he nearly bowled a rare maiden to Gayle. It was almost a perfect over. The first two balls were quick and seamed in and cramped him up and hit him on the pad. The next one was on off, but short of a length, and couldn't be hit. Then came a full and wide near-yorker followed by a sharp bouncer.
The maiden, though, was broken by a leg-side wide, and the compensatory last ball Nannes bowled was a full toss on the pads, which Gayle smashed down the ground for four.
The sportsmanship conundrum
In the 10th over of Royal Challengers Bangalore's innings, Virat Kohli punched one back to the right of Ravindra Jadeja, who bumped into the non-striker AB de Villiers and couldn't field the ball. Kohli began to take the easy single on offer, but de Villiers was not sure if it was sporting enough to do so, for there wouldn't have been any single on offer had de Villiers not been in Jadeja's way. He waited for a couple of seconds, but Kohli - the captain, mind you - was too far down the pitch to be sent back. The single was duly completed.
The Trini needle Dwayne Bravo usually makes it a point to raise his game a notch against fellow Trinidadians in the IPL. It is usually against Kieron Pollard, but today he got to bowl at Ravi Rampaul, and brought out the goods. The brief contest, in the 18th over, featured three plays-and-misses, two wides, and one edge through to the keeper, which brought out special celebrations from Bravo, who broke into a jig.
The no-ball that wasn't
The first ball Daniel Christian, making a comeback into the Bangalore side, bowled was called a no-ball for overstepping. Christian was not happy, and replays showed why: a part of his back heel did indeed land behind the line. He argued with the umpire Asad Rauf, and R Vinay Kumar had to intervene. Umpiring errors and Chennai games continue to go together.
Christian, though, got his own back as he bowled a dot on the free hit.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?