Gujarat Lions v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2016, Qualifier 1, Bangalore May 24, 2016

Kohli's rage, Watson's dramatic 19th

Plays of the day from the Qualifier between Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium

Shane Watson picked up two wickets and conceded 21 runs in an action-packed 19th over © BCCI

Toe-crusher, heartbreaker

Facing his first ball in the IPL, Eklavya Dwivedi walked across his stumps to Yuzvendra Chahal, looking to sweep or scoop him over short fine leg, and ended up playing a combination of the two strokes, inside-edging finer than intended but getting the four runs he desired.

In the next over, the 18th of Gujarat Lions' innings, he was back on strike as Chris Jordan ran in to bowl the fifth ball. He sent down a near-perfect yorker, swerving in late, denying the batsman any time or room to get his front leg out of the way and bring his bat down. The ball hit his boot and, even as the umpire shook his head to turn down - rightly, with replays showing it was angling past leg stump - Jordan's desperate appeal, sped away to the third man boundary.

Twice caught, once dismissed

In the next over, Dwivedi showed he was no mere chancer of inside-edged fours and lucky leg byes. He stepped out, all still head, and hit Shane Watson's first ball inside-out for a sweetly-timed six over extra cover. He then went back rather than forward, and pulled a short ball disdainfully over the midwicket boundary. Then Watson went around the wicket. Dwivedi jumped out, and couldn't quite time his shovelled drive down the ground. Virat Kohli ran in from long-on and fell forward to catch the ball inches off the ground. Then he got on his feet, threw the ball into the turf, and spat out an expletive.

This was a trademark Kohli celebration, of course, one of his endearingly puzzling displays of rage. But Dwivedi stood his ground, and Kumar Dharmasena, the umpire, asked him to wait. The commentators wondered if he had read Kohli's reaction as frustration at not catching the ball cleanly. Then Dharmasena consulted with his partner at square leg and called for the third umpire's intervention.

Up came the replays: Kohli throwing himself forward, low to the ground, getting his fingers under the ball, just about; then rolling over, his right hand letting the ball slip out of its grasp and then, miraculously, grabbing it back again, all in the matter of a slowed-down fraction of a second.

The back-foot non-no-ball

Watson stayed around the wicket even with Dwayne Bravo - who had crossed over to the striker's end - facing him. He sent down a fullish, stump-to-stump ball, and Bravo played all around it. This looked like a routine dismissal, but Dharmasena wanted the third umpire to get involved again. Why? To check if Watson had bowled a no-ball, of course. But not the front-foot no-ball on the bowling crease. Dharmasena wanted to check if Watson, going wide of the crease, had touched the return crease with his back foot.

It was an eagle-eyed bit of work from Dharmasena. Watson's back foot had landed excruciatingly close to the return crease. The third umpire looked at replays from every possible angle, slowed down, magnified, served with a smear of Dijon mustard. None of them seemed conclusive. Was there a hair's breadth between the edge of his foot and the crease, or were they in contact? It was too close to call, and the decision went in the bowler's favour in the end.

The beginner's swimming-pool dive

In the 15th over of Royal Challengers Bangalore's innings, AB de Villiers ran down the pitch to Dwayne Smith. He had already hit the previous two balls for six and four, and the pendulum of the match was beginning to tilt in the chasing team's favour. Smith saw de Villiers coming and shortened his length, while shifting his line wider to make the batsman reach for the ball. De Villiers flat-batted it down the ground, in the air, using his bottom hand to manufacture power out of nowhere. It was flying to the right of Dwayne Bravo at long-on, descending rapidly, and he threw himself at it, sideways, landing on his stomach, much like the technique swimming instructors advise beginners against. It looked painful, but he had managed to put himself behind the line of the ball just as it fell, and he palmed it away meatily, towards the fielder running towards him from deep midwicket. The effort restricted de Villiers to just a single.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Allrounder on May 24, 2016, 20:16 GMT

    Wow.......a great read. Seems every bits and nuances of the game is read and briefed by Cricinfo. An eagle's view or shall I say a hawk's eye giving out every special things that happen on the field which we TV viewers often miss out. Hats off!!!

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