Russell's fast one on Watson
The pull out, almost
The slower bouncer and the wide yorkers are part of every fast bowler's arsenal. The spinners have the doosra and there were even rumours of a teesra. In Ahmedabad, Andre Russell has pioneered a variation that might well be nominated as the height of trickery. He chugged up to the crease and in the final few steps seemed to pull out. Shane Watson loosened the grip on his bat and was already preparing for the umpire's call of dead ball. Only Russell revved back up and bowled a short and wide delivery. The startled Watson walked down to have an animated chat with umpire Nigel Llong, but the delivery was ruled legal.
The IPL has had spectacular feats involving the boundary rope and the latest entry was provided by Suryakumar Yadav and his nimble footwork. Shane Watson blitzed one down the ground and the fielder backpedalled as far as he could. All the while though, Yadav was spying the progress of the ball and having judged its trajectory, raised his hands over his head and well behind him to pluck a magnificent grab. But that wasn't the end of it. The momentum pushed him off balance, but Yadav shoved his left leg into the turf and extended all his other appendages in the air to hold onto his balance and gift Sunil Narine with the purple cap.
Karun Nair endured two failures to start the season and then overcame a sluggish beginning to erect a match-winning effort against Delhi Daredevils. That form carried through and he looked assured of himself in Ahmedabad, but that didn't mean the odd bit of luck wasn't welcome. First up, it was a full toss. The added bonus was it being on leg stump. And to cap it off, Nair's shovel over square leg went for six. Off the edge. Or should we start calling it the face now?
The new guy
Ryan ten Doeschate's athletic prowess would have played a significant part in Knight Riders inducting him into the XI ahead of the seasoned Jacques Kallis. He had the opportunity to reiterate that to the public when Stuart Binny smoked a length ball down to deep midwicket. The flat missile threatened to lob ten Doeschate when he propelled himself back, flung his hands over his head and completed a stunner in quite nonchalant fashion.
After Knight Riders had established a brilliant platform in the chase, they promoted Russell at No.3. He lasted three balls and Watson got the better of him every time. The first one was a yorker that was just about dug out and almost resulted in the run-out of the well-set Robin Uthappa. The second one was dug in short and rose past Russell's chest as he let it go outside off. The third was a legcutter which pitched around middle and leg and straightened to beat Russell's grope to flatten middle stump. A long, hard stare from Watson at the departing batsman indicated he had not forgotten Russell's trick earlier in the match.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo