Sunrisers v Kings XI, IPL 2014, Hyderabad May 14, 2014

Maxwell's luck with no-balls

Plays of the day from Sunrisers Hyderabad's home game against Kings XI Punjab

The good fortune
The first time Sunrisers came up against Glenn Maxwell, they were quite gracious. He was dropped once and rescued when he holed out by the bowler overstepping. The same fortune followed him when Amit Mishra looped one on leg stump, and Maxwell went for a hoick. Dale Steyn chased the mistimed shot and beat the bowler to hold onto a difficult catch. Sunrisers were envisioning a turnaround when the umpire asked the batsman to wait. The third umpire was called to check the no-ball and as it happened Mishra had messed up. Maxwell added 20 more runs before he fell, and conscious of the kind of luck he has had this season, jokingly asked the umpires to check the front foot again.

The chance
Sunrisers were trying their best to regain ground after a terrible first 10 overs. Pace off the ball seemed to be working and George Bailey was feeling the pinch. A cutter from Irfan Pathan was chosen to be dispatched down the ground. The shot seemed very forced, but it held no timing. David Warner hurtled in from long-off and dived forward to grab the ball inches off the ground. Or so it seemed. The umpires asked for a second opinion and replays usually tend to provide more confusion than clarity when such low catches are concerned. Bailey escaped with the benefit of the doubt and ended up finishing the match.

The Steyn malfunction
Wriddhiman Saha has been Kings XI's floater. Should an early wicket fall, he is pushed up to No. 3 to protect their big hitters down the order. Today though, he had a different mandate. And he did not sway from it even in the face of Steyn. The second ball of the second over was dug in short and the wicketkeeper-batsman shifted his balance back and pulled in front of square leg. The connection was so crisp that even Steyn's body language conceded that he was impressed. Manan Vohra took his partner's lead and biffed two sixes off the ace quick to hand him his worst T20 figures - 0 for 51.

The twitchy front leg
Since his inclusion, Sandeep Sharma has used the new ball admirably for Kings XI Punjab. His nagging lines induced an outside edge from Aaron Finch in the fifth over. Glenn Maxwell ran back from point and dived full length behind him to complete a lovely catch. But Sandeep was not celebrating. His eyes were on the umpire who was signalling no-ball. So from thinking he had dismissed one of the most dangerous hitters in T20, Sandeep had to contend with the prospect of a free hit. At least, he got to bowl it to Shikhar Dhawan, who until then was in a struggle to find his timing.

The dupe
Some say the prospect of a free hit liberates a batsman, especially one in a slump and Dhawan exemplified that. Sandeep chose the safe route and went full and straight, but was drilled down the ground. To make matters worse, the bowler had overstepped again. Dhawan faced up to another free hit and this time, he smoked it for six over midwicket. In his next 11 balls, he carted one more out of the park and also three fours. One was almost tempted to believe Dhawan had lured Kings XI into a false sense of security. That battering set the tone as Sandeep leaked 65 runs in his four overs - the joint second most expensive figures in IPL.

The self-destruct button
Virender Sehwag has a knack for banishing the first delivery of the match to the boundary. He inaugurated the 2011 World Cup that way and more recently, Kings XI Punjab's last three innings. A target of 206 grants all the licence he needs at the top of the order and the very next ball he loaded up to smash down the ground. Only this time he connected with the bottom of his blade and Bhuvneshwar Kumar collected a dolly of a return catch.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on May 15, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    Another tie between kuldeep1109 and jmcilhinney :) While it is true that every ball in T20's have the potential to change the game, nothing makes an bigger impact than a wicket. A wicket is a dot ball, removes a batsman, reducing the number of players a team has left and robs momentum. Thus, it is extremely important to check whether or not the batsman is truly out. Plus, over the normal course of play, the umpires can generally keep an eye on the feet. But when a wicket is taken and there are appeals and the umpire has to focus on how the batsman got out, he can get quite distracted and it becomes harder to tell what happened with the No ball. If the technology is there, why not use it?

  • jmcilhinney on May 15, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    It's got to be hard for an umpire to call no-balls these days so I imagine that they often give the bowler the benefit of the doubt. When a wicket is involved though, I think that it's right to check if there is any doubt at all. I think that checking on a wicket is the right thing to do, even if they don't check the rest of the time, but I do think that front-foot no-balls should be totally the domain of the third umpire. That would also likely improve the decision-making by on-field umpires as they no longer have to divide their attention.

  • RamanJudge on May 15, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    Navin84 is a SRH supporter for sure....

  • ThinkingCricket on May 14, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    The second free hit was not a six. That came later.

  • kuldeep1109 on May 14, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    Contrasting comments by Nadeem1976 and Navin84. Let me break the tie by going with Navin84. I totally agree that it is really senseless how No Balls are checked only when a batsman gets out. Every ball is important in T20 and every run is important. Not to mention the free hit after a no ball can give extra runs to the batting team. If the umpire missed a no ball, he missed it. Period. Move on. It is impractical to check every ball, hence just let human error be and stop checking no balls on wicket balls.

  • Nadeem1976 on May 14, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    nice to see that IPL is using technology in umpiring for checking No balls.

  • Navin84 on May 14, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    I am not a fan of checking for NO BALL when a person is out. It's the umpire's call, he should have seen that it was a NO BALL and call it. If that is the case, they should be checking for NO BALL every ball, a missed NO BALL can cause a team the game. This rule needs serious re-thinking.

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