Kings XI v Royal Challengers, IPL, Dubai April 28, 2014

Gayle sizzles and fizzles

Plays of the day for the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in Dubai

Chris Gayle's comeback - seven balls, 20 runs © BCCI

The over
Chris Gayle sometimes stonewalls at the start of a T20 innings, but having missed Royal Challengers' first four games due to injury, the urge to get on with it was too strong. Against the offspin of Glenn Maxwell, Gayle's IPL 2014 campaign got off to a shaky start. The first ball was edged wide of slip and the third chipped over point, both for unconvincing boundaries. He was lucky to survive a strong lbw shout off the fourth, while attempting to sweep. All doubts about Gayle's rustiness were put to rest, though, when he charged down the track and launched the last two deliveries over long-off and long-on, both flying off the sweet spot. The over cost 20, but the Gayle fireworks came to abrupt end in the following over.

The catch
Catches on the boundary require the fielder to not only keep his eyes on the ball but also be aware of where his feet are. Mitchell Starc perfected both at fine leg. Wriddhiman Saha played a pick-up shot towards Starc, who had several yards to cover to his left. He caught the ball and the momentum could easily have forced him over the boundary but he managed to stay on the fringes. Starc went onto take another exceptional catch running forward, but his first catch boosted Royal Challengers' sagging spirits.

The header
If you can't get bat on ball, then use your head. That's what Virender Sehwag did, literally. A Varun Aaron bouncer was aimed straight at his head but as he ducked he allowed the ball to deflect off the back of the helmet and clear the wicketkeeper. Sehwag chuckled after the ball raced to the third-man boundary and his reaction suggested the deflection was not entirely accidental.

The decision
Sandeep Sharma saved himself and his team-mates from a Gayle onslaught when he hit the stumps with his first ball to the batsman. He was rather fortunate, however, to get rid of Virat Kohli in the same over. Sandeep's sharp inswing took the ball towards leg stump as Kohli looked to flick, but when the ball struck the pad, the bowler appealed. Billy Bowden was convinced that was hitting the stumps though replays indicated it was missing leg comfortably. Kohli was mortified at the decision and it took a while for him to comprehend the situation and walk back.

The missed run-out
Royal Challengers hadn't scored a boundary off the bat for close to seven overs and a chance to break the drought came via a free-hit in the final over. Ashok Dinda swung at a short ball from Mitchell Johnson but could only bottom-edge it to the wicketkeeper. Varun Aaron set off from the other end but Dinda wasn't interested, forcing Aaron to scamper back. Johnson collected the wicketkeeper's throw and tried to back-flick the ball onto the stumps. He ended up lobbing it several feet over the stumps and allowed Aaron an escape.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arun on April 29, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    What RCB guys doing is God knows. Playing all matches like scoring 200 in same gear. They are very much proven and experienced at highest level especially V.Kholi and AB.DeVillers. They just needs to play for what they selected in RCB like how CSK openers play. But these guys seems to push so harder that how it should be. Hope they realize and play well to give more interesting matches ahead. Good thing to note is the touch of Y.Singh in this game so much better since quite long time. More confident defense against fast bowlers. Wish he carries and play his own to bring his form back. It will be Now or Never for Y.Singh because India found another young promising talent S.Samson.

  • vas on April 29, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    Yesterdays, match none of the decisions are howlers.

  • D on April 29, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    come on guys, bring Simon Taufel in soon.

  • Prem on April 29, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    Virat Kohli must improve his temperament as much as he has improved his batting. You are unfortunately going to get bad decisions, the way Virat reacts to them are simply immature.

  • Satish Chandar on April 29, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    @SeanB : We all can turn critics seeing replays in TV and judging a person who dont have those facilities and had to do it instantly. As for DRS, it is way too costly. who pays for it?

  • Sean on April 29, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    More howlers from umpires. If BCCI wants to do something to keep the game's & league's reputation, they have to address these howlers. BCCI make statements that DRS is not perfect - well, here is a tournament with the best international players and captains. How about introducing a new system that could be better than DRS and hopefully take it to international cricket later? You do not need infrared cameras and hawk eye to say that Warner and Virat were not out. You needed a replay and a pitch map to say that Chris Gayle was out sweeping to Maxwell - it was heading to middle stump. BCCI have an opportunity and complete control over the game to try a new system. Instead they just keep blocking DRS and do nothing.

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