Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers, IPL 2014, Mumbai May 6, 2014

The Pollard-Starc showdown

Plays of the day from the match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mumbai

Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc went after each other © BCCI

The confrontation
This one had been building up. Kieron Pollard had already had had a minor run-in with Chris Gayle, when he stood outside his crease and dared the latter to run him out. Matters were to get much worse in the 17th over. Mitchell Starc pinged in a bouncer at Pollard, who missed an attempted hook and just avoided getting hit. The fast bowler had a few words to say; Pollard's response was to wave him away. More gamesmanship lay in wait as he pulled away just as Starc was about to deliver the next ball.

Incensed, Starc bowled anyway, following him and angling it in past the batsman. Pollard lost it now, and threatened to throw his bat at Starc. One wasn't sure whether he was merely feigning or if the bat got stuck in his hands too long for he threw it down close to himself. Starc had the satisfaction of running Pollard out, but before that, he teased the hopelessly stranded batsman to come back before contemptuously swatting the bail off. During the innings break, Starc said there seemed to be something between the Australian players and Pollard but added that throwing the bat was not on. The saga continued in the second half when Starc was greeted by a bouncer from Pollard, who eventually caught him at cover in the next over.

The scoop
Before all this drama, Pollard was quiet for a while as he and Rohit Sharma steadied the innings following some quick wickets. With the legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal bowling, Pollard bent on a knee, stuck his bat perpendicularly forward and scooped one on the stumps straight back over the wicketkeeper. Despite Pollard's labour, it should not have been more than a single, but Ashok Dinda, who was having a horror day on the field, let it slip past for four.

The old one-two
Chahal's first ball to Corey Anderson was a loopy delivery that was carted over the long-on boundary. The bowler took the blow and tossed another one up, a bit wider this time. Anderson took the bait and had another wallop. This one did not turn in, though, and Virat Kohli came in from long-on and settled beneath the skier.

The mauling
Young Pawan Suyal was drafted in for the injured Zaheer Khan, and was given the new ball with Gayle facing. Only a single came off the full toss he sent down, but Suyal's luck was to run out in his second over. Gayle faced four legitimate deliveries in that over. He lofted two over the long-off boundary, and swatted the other two to the deep-midwicket rope as the over went for 28, the costliest of the season so far. Suyal was to resurface later, with the big wicket of Kohli.

The comeback
In the midst of his troubles, Dinda had something to smile about. He had a terrible start to his second over. A bouncer flew over the keeper for five wides, a wide down the leg side followed, and the first legitimate ball of the over was pulled for six by CM Gautam. Dinda managed to get in a few dots and hit back by slipping in an incoming delivery that sneaked through to bowl Ambati Rayudu.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo