Pietersen survives a run-out...again
The run-out that wasn't
In the previous match between the two sides this season, umpire Sanjay Hazare had erroneously shot down a run-out appeal against Kevin Pietersen without referring to the third umpire when the Delhi Daredevils captain was well out of his ground. Hazare was subsequently stood down for the rest of the tournament. Pietersen was the beneficiary again tonight.
In the third over of the chase, he went for a quick single, and Unmukt Chand hit the stumps direct. There was no immediate appeal from the fielders, unlike the previous game, and Pietersen seemed to have made his ground, until replays showed his bat was stuck inches short of the crease when the ball hit. Umpire S Ravi smiled at a Royals fielder as he walked towards the stumps, but did not go to the third umpire.
Kevon Cooper had no idea which way Imran Tahir was turning the ball, but still managed to take successive boundaries off him. First ball of the ninth over, he had a powerful swing at what he thought was a legbreak but it was a sharply spinning googly. Undaunted, he had another swipe at the next one. This was indeed a legbreak, and took the outside edge to race to the third-man rope. Tahir went back to the wrong 'un third ball, and Cooper had little idea about it again. He swung his bat all the same, not as hard this time, and lifted it over the bowler for four more.
Siddarth Kaul had pitched it up in the 15th over, and Sanju Samson had lofted him for six over long-off. Kaul was not giving Samson that length again, and went short of a good length next ball. The third one was properly short, and climbed around shoulder-height just outside off. Samson took a step forward and flat-batted it furiously, rolling his wrists like a tennis player applying top-spin. The ball flew towards the sightscreen.
The fielding blooper
Ajinkya Rahane worked a full toss off his pads behind square leg. Kaul sprinted across from fine leg, and seemed to have it covered as he put in a slide. However, he had overdone the effort, and instead of ending behind the ball, he slid further away from it. He tried to stretch out his right hand and stop it, but it was in vain as the ball rolled away for four.
Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo