Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2013, Jaipur April 29, 2013

Gayle's cool fall, and Sreesanth's reprieve

Plays of the day from the IPL game between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur

The view
The best view - as you will know if you have played snooker - is from the same level as the ball is. In the first over of the match, Chris Gayle tried to sweep Ajit Chandila, slipped, and landed on his face. However, instead of looking embarrassed he lay down there and watched the ball travel all the way to the square-leg boundary for four. As if watching TV from the bed.

The reaction
When Shane Watson removed Gayle with an innocuous shortish delivery outside off, he didn't exult as bowlers who get Gayle should. Gayle had already scored 34 off 16, but this was still a huge wicket. Watson just smiled with his face brighter than ever. It began as a smile of relief, then glee, and it stayed just as wide until he had walked past Gayle and to the cordon.

The reprieve
In the 12th over, AB de Villiers lobbed Stuart Binny straight to deep cover, but Sreesanth was too charged up, ran in too far, completely misjudged the catch, and watched it lob him like a tennis player after playing a poor approach shot. And no, he couldn't have lost it in the setting sun because the sun was behind him.

That was not the reprieve, though. The reprieve was for Sreesanth. His captain, Rahul Dravid, threw him the ball and asked him to right the wrong. He responded with a wide half-volley, but de Villiers lofted it to the deep cover again, and this time James Faulkner took the catch easily, despite the sun being in his eye. Sreesanth was relieved, and followed it up with six dot balls in a row.

The slower balls
Faulkner has been bowling back-of-the-hand slower balls well, but as with all good and bad things excess is not good. In the final over of the Royal Challengers innings, with the visitors stuck and the final kick nowhere in sight, his slower ball became predictable, and R Vinay Kumar smote two of them over long-on for massive sixes. When Faulkner corrected the length, Vinay smote that length ball too. Not how you wish somebody on a birthday.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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