Rising Pune Supergiants v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2016, Visakhapatnam May 21, 2016

Dhoni misses the karate kick

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI Punjab in Visakhapatnam

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WATCH - Gurkeerat gets one past Dhoni's karate kick

The missed karate kick

MS Dhoni's karate kick behind the stumps has chalked up several hits on social media this season. When Rising Pune Supergiants first played Kings XI Punjab this season, Dhoni lifted his right leg parallel to the ground and intercepted a late cut from Manan Vohra. In the reverse fixture, Gurkeerat Singh attempted a similar shot off a quicker one from R Ashwin in the 10th over, and Dhoni attempted the trick again. This time, however, Dhoni's reflexes weren't ultra-quick. Gurkeerat fetched a four after beating Dhoni as well as short third man.

The tag-team effort

Thisara Perera's low full-toss just a shade outside off elicited a swipe from Axar Patel in the last over of Kings XI's innings. The batsman did not get under it, though, and skewed it. Deepak Chahar took an overhead catch by the edge of the midwicket boundary but his balance was lost. He composed himself, took an extra second to hold his shape, and tossed the ball towards Saurabh Tiwary, who had run to his left from long-on, before falling over the ropes.

The knuckle ball

Legspinner KC Cariappa's exclusion meant that seam-bowling allrounder Rishi Dhawan was handed his second game of the season. He made a cameo - 11 off 4 balls - and helped take Kings XI to 172 for 7. His night got better when he undid Irfan Pathan with a lifting slower ball in the 14th over of the chase. Replays showed that Dhawan had flicked the ball from the knuckle, à la Zaheer Khan. It pitched outside off and burst off the surface. Irfan got into a tangle and toe-ended the pull to the keeper. Dhawan's joy, though, was short-lived as Kings XI finished at the bottom of the pile for the second successive season.

Ashwin's riposte

Hashim Amla, an orthodox batsman, has expanded his game to suit the needs of T20 cricket. He unleashed several whip-slogs during his 96 against Sunrisers Hyderabad last weekend. On Saturday afternoon, Amla welcomed R Ashwin with an unorthodox four. He pre-meditated by walking across the off stump to reverse-sweep a full ball from outside off to the left of short third man for four. Two balls later, the offspinner lobbed one up and got it to stick in the surface, having Amla spoon a simple catch to George Bailey at short midwicket.

Ashwin's second riposte

Ashwin's last over was the 18th of the innings. Gurkeerat had already found his hitting range and struck the first two balls for fours. The first one pinged into the sightscreen with a lofted drive while the second was steered to the left of point for four. The batsman brought up his half-century off 29 balls and received a pat on the back from David Miller. Ashwin then replied by taking the pace off the third ball. Gurkeerat miscued the pull and sent a top-edge to deep square leg. Ashwin eventually finished with 4 for 34 - his best figures in IPL.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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