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Plays of the day for the match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils in Mumbai
May 23, 2014
The last-minute change
Sometime during the half hour between the toss and the start of play, Praveen Kumar was injured. Mumbai Indians had named him in their XI, and, with moments to go for the match to begin, they wanted to name a replacement. They wanted to bring Pragyan Ojha in, and they hadn't even named Ojha as one of their four designated reserves for the game.
Cue a long discussion - involving the umpires, the match referee, the IPL COO Sundar Raman, and Delhi Daredevils' captain and coach, Kevin Pietersen and Gary Kirsten - and a long wait for Mumbai's opening batsmen, Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons, helmeted and ready to bat. If Pietersen had said no, Mumbai would have had to play with Praveen in their XI, but he agreed to let them change their team and so Mumbai brought in Ojha.
Mumbai Indians had lost two wickets in the previous over, but were still going at close to 10 an over. Fourth ball of the 16th over, bowled by Shahbaz Nadeem, Ambati Rayudu didn't really have to try and clear long-off. But he did just that, didn't really get hold of the shot, and ended up hitting it straight to the fielder, who didn't have to move an inch to take the catch.
The man at long-off was M Vijay - a man who puts a whole lot of effort into looking effortless - and he literally didn't move an inch as the ball came to him. He stood absolutely still before taking the catch, and only moved his hands into position at the last moment, when the ball was a foot or so from him.
The distracted umpire
Wayne Parnell dug it in short, and the ball bounced way over Jasprit Bumrah's head, giving him no chance of connecting as he flapped at it with his bat. S Ravi, the square-leg umpire, promptly turned towards his colleague at the bowler's end to indicate that it was a wide. In doing so, however, he missed all the action at his end.
The batsmen had tried to sneak a bye, in an effort to get Shreyas Gopal - who had looked in good touch in scoring 11 - on strike for the last couple of balls of Mumbai's innings. It was a risky bye, with the batsmen punting on the wicketkeeper missing the stumps with his throw, but Dinesh Karthik did no such thing. Gopal gave up halfway down the pitch, and was nowhere near the crease when the ball hit the stumps, but umpire Ravi hadn't seen any of this, and signaled for the third umpire.
In Twenty20, it's hard to tell if the wicket you just saw was the result of a calculated risk not quite coming off or of a genuinely bad shot. Watching this match, though, you could easily tell that a lot of dismissals came about from brain-fades and unnecessarily risky shots. Mumbai's innings was full of these, but it was a Daredevils wicket that summed up the trend.
Harbhajan Singh was barely into his delivery stride when Kevin Pietersen jumped around in his stance, switched his hands around on his handle, and assumed the position of a left-handed batsman with only one thing on his mind - clouting the ball over what had now become cow corner. Harbhajan, though, had all the time in the world to make it difficult for Pietersen to achieve his aim. He tossed it up extra slow, and a completely unbalanced Pietersen was bowled as he swung across the line.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Karthik Krishnaswamy
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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