The deserved run-out, and a Test-match field
The Feroz Shah Kotla is known for its lack of bounce, but it seemed to have gone a step too far when the match began without a single slip in place, possibly for the first time this IPL. The first over from Irfan Pathan done with, Shahbaz Nadeem bowled the second with a slip. The coloured clothing aside, you could be forgiven for thinking this was a Test being played in India, circa 2013.
Before this match, Dinesh Karthik hadn't scored fewer than 30 in this edition of the IPL. He failed to get into the double figures today, thanks to what is widely considered an unfortunate way to get out. Sachin Tendulkar drove straight, Umesh Yadav got a hand to it in his follow-through, deflected the ball on to the stumps, and Karthik was caught short having backed up too far. If you steal that backing-up advantage, you are liable to be run out too.
There has been a clamour, without reason, for Roelof van der Merwe to be played in the Delhi Daredevils XI, but the management has been teasing the clamourers with either of Johan Botha, Ben Rohrer or Jeevan Mendis ahead of van der Merwe. When he finally got his chance, van der Merwe was lofted over mid-off first ball for four.
Van der Merwe made an immediate comeback, though. He refused to dart one in, and Dwayne Smith was lured into attempting another hit over mid-off. This ball was a little slower, and he didn't get enough elevation. Enough to clear most fielders, that is, but not Umesh Yadav. He leapt full length in the air but didn't go for the catch, deliberately parrying it up instead. He landed upright on his feet, and completed the catch.
Shahbaz Nadeem has been one of Delhi Daredevils' best fielders this season, but in this match he led the way in what was a mostly shoddy effort. There were overthrows, there were misfields, but most of all there were dropped chances from Nadeem. First he dropped a return sitter from Sachin Tendulkar, who added 17 off 17 after the reprieve. The more costly drop was that of Kieron Pollard, off the first ball of the last over, when Nadeem's eyes somehow stopped following the ball as it approached his hands at sweeper-cover. Pollard went on to hit a six off the last ball to take the target past 160.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo