Royal Challengers v Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Sharjah April 24, 2014

Another Gautam Gambhir duck

Plays of the day from the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah

The first-baller
Gautam Gambhir had begun the tournament with an eight-ball zero in Abu Dhabi, and followed it up with a four-ball blob in Dubai. Ahead of the toss in Sharjah he said, "Looks a belter, so hopefully I can get some runs." He didn't, lasting all of one ball as he was done in by a full swinging delivery from the pacy Mitchell Starc to complete a collection of ducks in every IPL venue in the UAE.

The welcome
Forty-two year-old Muttiah Muralitharan was playing his first game of the season, and also his first in over three months. There was no mercy from Chris Lynn, though, as the spin great wheeled in for his first delivery. Lynn played the quintessential Twenty20 shot, the slog-sweep, to send the ball soaring beyond the rope. Not just beyond the rope, it nearly crashed into a giant-screen displaying Muralitharan's photo and stats. Lynn repeated the dose later in the over, a flatter six that just cleared the boundary as Muralitharan conceded 15 in his first over.

The boundary
Muralitharan's first ball had been hit for six, but Royal Challengers Bangalore's other spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal, hadn't been hit for a boundary in both previous games this season. The streak might have extended further than Chahal's first over today, if Mitchell Starc had held on to a difficult chance at deep midwicket. After Lynn swung the ball towards the boundary, Starc ran across to take the catch, sinking to his knees at the last moment; the ball popped out of his hands and hit his chest before he held on on the second chance. In the process, however, Starc's feet brushed the rope. Chahal didn't concede any other boundary in his spell.

The innovation
Suryakumar Yadav has already given notice of his ability to innovate with a casual reverse-flick for four off Corey Anderson in the first match of the season. He showed more of that skill today against Ashok Dinda in the 19th over. Dinda fired in a 141.6kph ball full and wide outside off, to which Suryakumar responded by stepping forward, bending his back leg and slap-sweeping it to the midwicket boundary. Even as the commentators raved about the stroke, Suryakumar attempted the shot twice more in the over, botching it both times, taking some of the sheen off the original effort.

The face-off
Morne Morkel was steaming in, regularly bowling shortish deliveries close to 150kph, but despite several swishes and misses there was no breakthrough. In Morkel's second over, Yogesh Takawale started to connect, and scored a crisp boundary behind square before edging between the wicketkeeper and slip for four more. That prompted some snarling from Morkel, and the bowler's mood didn't improve after there was another four in the over. At the end of it Morkel, among the tallest players in the tournament, had words with Parthiv, among the shortest players in the tournament, his arm brushing Parthiv's helmet as he walked past. Parthiv replied with an outburst of his own, but the two patched up soon after with a fist bump.

For a description of Lynn's game-changing catch, click here

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vas on April 25, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    No mention of "THE CATCH" of the tournament. Part of Lynn's body was outside the boundary line in the air while catching. Can't figure out how he could defy gravity and pull himself inside the line. Watching it again and again, still can't believe it.

  • Sharath on April 25, 2014, 4:39 GMT

    Gambhir, pls hand over the captaincy to Kallis and make way for some one like Bisla who can be the perfect foil for Kallis to play his game.. Bisla was a winner last time whn KKR won the title and he can be a better WK than Uthappa..

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    I just opened the page to read about Lynn's catch...disappointing..!

  • malik on April 24, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    Today was that day when a bowler with 800 test wkts faced the ignominy of being given only two overs and then removed from attack for being too expensive. Some people just cannot go away gracefully.

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    The catch is the best i have ever seen. Most sensational catches shows either brilliant acrobatics and athleticism or a very cool head and judgement, but this was a mix of both these things to the highest extent. Add to that the match scenario and that if there was a slightest of mistake, probably that would have been the match winning shot. Also that Lynn slipped and which means that he had to catch it from a negative position, doing all the calculations while recovering from the slip and boy, what calculation it was :)

  • Vijay on April 24, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    where is Lynn's catch that should be the main play

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    How come there is no mention of Chris Lynn's catch when that was the real thing that really changed the game. It should be edited and a segment of that particular catch should be added.

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    Wherz da Catch ?? Thatz da Game Today !!

  • Faraz on April 24, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    My question is Gambhir.. is he that good a captain ducks and balls used/wasted 1 -- 4 -- 8 ? Is he better than MS Dhoni.. i think they shud drop him and get some one at top who will get them quick 20-30 and set a positive vibe for the team.

    I don't understand thinkin of SRK and team.. they removed Gayle .. and look at Gayle.. Now they removed Brendon.. he is a master blaster.. they got Gambhir 0+0+0 and they are sticking to one of two most flop pathans in business... Yusaf :(

  • Danish on April 24, 2014, 18:17 GMT

    Good picks but really, no mention of Lynn's catch?

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