IPL's moments for posterity
The holy communion
Throughout their careers, they plotted each other's downfall and divided fans the world over with their contrasting, but equally effective, methods of piling up runs. But when Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting walked out together for the first time in Bangalore, it was not just the confluence of more than 50,000 international runs, it was the coming together of two ideologies, two genres. Unfortunately, the partnership didn't produce any music, but they inspired a new term for cricket boffins - Pondulkar.
Gilly sheds his pads
What do you expect a legendary wicketkeeper-batsman to do for the last ball of his IPL career? Surely not take a wicket. But that is exactly what Adam Gilchrist did when he came on to bowl offspin, for the first time ever, in Dharamsala, and picked up a wicket immediately to end his IPL career with gleaming figures of 0.1-0-0-1. That Kings XI Punjab won the match was incidental; it is the romance of moments like these that leave a life-long impression.
Two stalwarts, who throughout their careers had been ambassadors of good on-field conduct, decided to warm-up to the shorter format and the temperatures soared. The stone-faced Jacques Kallis had a go at the umpire in Pune, repeating "You're calling me a cheat?" a few times after the third umpire had overruled his appeal for a run-out in the absence of evidence. That was the only instance for Kallis, but Rahul Dravid remained hot-headed throughout the tournament. At different points, he got upset with the umpires, with opposition players, and in one case, even upset with himself, the last instance resulting in a comical overthrow.
Maradona impression gone wrong
In 1986, Diego Maradona had illegitimately scored a goal against England, and had called it the 'Hand of God'. Yusuf Pathan tried the cricketing version of it, discreetly kicking the ball - or so it seemed - away from Wayne Parnell, the bowler, while taking a quick run during a close chase in Ranchi. Unfortunately for him, there was nowhere to hide as the numerous replays caught him, and he became the first batsman in Twenty20 to be given out obstructing the field.
Irrelevance of the pitch
For a few moments during the second qualifier between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, the 22-yard strip became irrelevant. Dishant Yagnik employed the ingenious ploy of going outside off and behind the stumps to counter Lasith Malinga's yorker, making it a half-volley in the process. For sheer chutzpah from a youngster, only Rishi Dhawan's outrageous paddle-sweep in the same match, and Raiphi Gomez's first-ball reverse paddle came close. In the same over in which Yagnik was inventive, Malinga defined new limits of waywardness by slinging the ball full and wide, once to an imaginary batsman standing at first slip, then to another one at leg slip.
Three times lucky?
Kieron Pollard pulled a number of outrageous catches throughout the season, however the most memorable of his efforts were the ones he was not able to catch. Three of them off three consecutive deliveries, all at point and all from the bat of Mike Hussey. The catches were not difficult either, but somehow Pollard's palm refused to wrap around the ball. The chances of this happening are perhaps less likely than winning a jackpot on a fruit machine, but life is never so benevolent for most.
Angry young man
Virat Kohli, who has clearly grown out of the spoilt-brat image he adorned a couple of years ago, was named the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the season, a mark of respect for his enhanced reputation. But Kohli is never one to shy away when challenged in a war of words. Nor is Gautam Gambhir. During a match in Bangalore, Kohli and Gambhir were involved in a spat after the former was seemingly provoked by the latter. The two had to be pulled apart by their Delhi team-mate Rajat Bhatia before things got worse. For Kohli, it did get worse when he was booed by a section of the crowd at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, leading him to remind them that he was an "India player too".
From sir, with love
Chennai Super Kings needed two runs off the last ball with Ravindra Jadeja on strike and they got two with a ball in hand, something, as the Twitter jokes went, only 'Sir' Jadeja could have managed. RP Singh bowled a short and wide delivery that Jadeja cut in the air straight into the hands of the third man, sparking delirious celebrations among the Royal Challengers fielders. A moment later, their exhilaration turned to horror as they saw the umpire signal a no-ball. RP had overstepped by a long way.
Sammy dumps Gangnam
Chris Gayle brought his Gangnam Style celebration to the IPL and Harbhajan Singh took it to a new level, introducing Bhangra-inspired movements in his version. But the Gangnam clearly appeared so-2012 and was easily bettered by an original and more innovative style. Darren Sammy, who joined Sunrisers Hyderabad a few days late, due to the birth of his daughter, smashed a half-century in his second match. Raising the bat to the dugout may be popular, but not for Sammy, who began sucking on a pacifier tied around his neck, and mimicked cradling his daughter in his arms. A few days later, Brad Hodge, after hitting the winning runs off Sammy's bowling in the eliminator, didn't miss a chance to mock as he danced Sammy-style but without the pacifier. Asked later for the reason, Hodge said he had children too.
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo