Mumbai v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Mumbai May 15, 2013

Pollard sledges Watson, Dravid is angry

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai

The reaction
You can say you have seen it all now. We have already seen MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis emote in IPL like they never have in their many years of international cricket, but Rahul Dravid had a bigger surprise in store. Given out caught at the wicket when the bowler hadn't even gone up properly, Dravid looked back at the umpire, had a few choice words to say, then walked back shaking his head, and was about to hit something near the dugout but might have realised he was in full public view and held himself back. Never has he been seen reacting like this on a cricket field.

The altercation
This had an air of premeditation and deliberateness to it. When Shane Watson came out to bat, he had Kieron Pollard in his ear. While Watson looked angry, Pollard was seen laughing almost mockingly. The umpires must have found the fielding side at fault because they immediately called Rohit Sharma in and were seen talking to him. The umpires then spoke to Pollard too. Momentarily Pollard stopped grinning, but by now Watson had begun to laugh too.

The altercation, part II
When Watson finally fell, top-edging a long hop from Pragyan Ojha to Pollard, it kicked off wild celebrations. The needle hadn't ended yet as Watson - sitting near his dugout, which happened to behind Pollard's place at the boundary - seemed angry at something said to him and left the place in disgust.

The fielding
Pollard didn't have too much to laugh about in the first innings, though. He was run out for the first time in the IPL. It's a staggering thought. How do you run a man with strides as long as Pollard's out? Kevon Cooper has an answer. And he did so off his own bowling. He bowled short of a length, got a leading edge, which fell towards short cover. First he nearly took the catch, but then he turned around in a flash and hit the stumps direct without having time to aim at them. Possibly Pollard didn't run at full pelt at the start because he was a bit concerned about the catch.

The awareness, lack of
Harbhajan Singh hit the last ball of Mumbai Indians' innings straight to deep midwicket. Lasith Malinga correctly ran for the second, which didn't seem available. With nothing to lose, Harbhajan refused to go for the second, and Malinga was run out. Replays, however, showed that Malinga - who had given up seeing Harbhajan was not coming - had almost made it by the time the throw arrived to the bowler. That shouldn't matter, though. You always try the extra run off the last ball of a limited-overs innings.

The funny thing is, in an earlier game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Malinga was beaten on the last ball of Mumbai's innings, but ignored Mitchell Johnson's call for a bye.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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