Daredevils v Super Kings, IPL 2014, Abu Dhabi April 21, 2014

The rebuffed reprieve

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils

The early blow
Delhi Daredevils were hampered as early as the first over of the match. They opened with JP Duminy's offspin but ended up losing a fast bowler. Nathan Coulter-Nile dived at square leg to stop a clip from Brendon McCullum and immediately felt his hamstring. It was so bad that he immediately hobbled off the field, leaving Dinesh Karthik to ponder over how he would fill in the fast bowler's quota of four overs.

The rebuffed reprieve
Sitters are being dropped regularly this season. McCullum popped one straight and slow to Duminy at short extra cover in the fourth over. It came in around chest height, Duminy reverse-cupped his wrists and put it down. McCullum is not one to get even remotely careful after a reprieve. He promptly jumped out and had a heave at the next ball. The outside edge went straight and slow to a very short third man, who held on.

The stunners
The first three Daredevils wickets were down to the brilliance of Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina. Batsman after batsman tried to clear the off-side infield, and their mishits were snapped up by the sharp duo. Raina started the slide when he made ground and tumbled at cover to send back Mayank Agarwal. Vijay and Manoj Tiwary probably managed to put more distance between the ball and the closest fielder, but to their misfortune that man was du Plessis. The South Africa T20 captain ran back from mid-off both times, never letting the ball out of his sight, and dived to pull off two stunners.

The footwork
MS Dhoni's wicketkeeping is anything but conventional. He often has no follow-through when he collects, especially against spin. He also puts uses his legs to good use, bringing his pads together to avoid letting the ball through when it bounces before him. In the 12th over of the chase, Karthik shaped up early to play a reverse paddle against Ravindra Jadeja. Dhoni had plenty of time to react. While many keepers would have shuffled to the off side, Dhoni just stood where he was and stuck out his right leg. Sure enough, the ball came off Karthik's bat, found Dhoni's leg in the way, and rolled away towards short third man.

The first timer
M Vijay is known for his trademark pick-up shot over midwicket in the IPL. He was known for being a familiar figure in Chennai Super Kings yellow, till he went to Daredevils this season. His new franchise, and his Tamil Nadu team-mate Karthik, made him do what Super Kings had never asked for in so many seasons. With Coulter-Nile unavailable, Karthik handed the ball to Vijay in the 12th over. So for the first time in the IPL, Vijay sent down his offbreaks, which cost his side three fours in four balls.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo