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Plays of the day from the IPL game between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians, in Jaipur
April 17, 2013
The long ball
Kieron Pollard is renowned for his ability to hit the ball long, but against Rajasthan Royals he had success by bowling a long ball. With Royals off to a blistering start, and Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson proving ineffective, Mumbai Indians turned to Pollard. He provided the breakthrough, that too the big one of Shane Watson, with a delivery he bowled from way behind the stumps. The point of release may have had little to do with the wicket, but Pollard's short and wide ball had Watson edging through to the keeper, and Pollard setting off on a celebratory run.
Dishant Yagnik kept Royals' innings motoring along after the fall of Watson, with a powerful cut off quick bowler Rishi Dhawan bringing up the 100 in the 12th over. Dhawan responded like a typical fast bowler, banging the next ball in short; Yagnik wasn't sure how to deal with that and was struck on the side of the helmet. Dhawan walked up to the batsman and gave him a glare, just to emphasise who was boss. That was when the he heard the umpire's call of no-ball, immediately draining the menace from his stare.
Ajinkya Rahane was struggling to force the pace in the second half of the innings - hitting only two fours in 13 overs after the Powerplay. His search for the big shots continued in the 19th over, when he punched a full ball from Malinga high in the air. Both Malinga and Sachin Tendulkar raced towards mid-off in an attempt to take the catch. Seeing Tendulkar charging in, Malinga pulled out, and moments later Tendulkar too aborted, thinking Malinga would go for it. The ball landed between the two of them, and Rahane went on to hit three fours in the final over.
Royals have placed plenty of faith in Stuart Binny this season, and he hasn't done much to repay them in the past few games. He was promoted ahead of Twenty20 expert Brad Hodge today but again couldn't make an impact, falling for 4. He partially made up for that by killing off Mumbai's chances - in his first over, he uprooted the middle stump to send back Pollard and reduce Mumbai to 31 for 4.
Mumbai were already heading towards their heaviest defeat when their day got even worse late in the chase. Ambati Rayudu tucked the ball behind square leg and set off for a single, only to see that the non-striker Harbhajan Singh had turned back after taking a couple of paces. Both batsmen were at the same end, initially remonstrating with each other over whose fault the run-out was, before both stood in petulant silence awaiting the third umpire's decision over who was dismissed. Rayudu had grounded his bat just before Harbhajan, who was too busy bickering with Rayudu to get back in the crease.
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
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