A duck for a victory
Pre-ordained part 1
"I was thinking this morning in fact that I would take a duck (I didn't think first-ball duck of course) if we go on to win the game," Gilchrist said at the end of the match. Even throughout the 2009 IPL, he shared his pre-game thoughts and most of them, eerily, came through. Perhaps that's why Gilchrist walked so fast after he nicked it today. He flashed at a length delivery, which angled away from him, and walked even before it reached Robin Uthappa.
Pre-ordained part 2
Bounce the Indians. It's been Bangalore's mantra. Other teams have also followed suit but not with Bangalore's success. Dale Steyn let rip a bouncer, a brute that climbed sharply at a pace too quick for the hapless T Suman. A hurried ugly fend and the ball lobbed to the man placed exactly for that at a square short-leg. Thanks for coming Suman.
Perhaps inspired by Steyn, Vinay Kumar bowled a short ball. Everything seemed slower. The pitch seemed to suck the pace out of the ball and Gibbs seemed to play his pull too early. The ball lobbed towards square-leg where Ross Taylor expected it to come at him with more pace than it did. And so he jumped quickly only to find the ball had not arrived yet. He tried to adjust, even as gravity brought him back to earth, but he couldn't and ended up palming the ball down. Two balls later, Vinay tried the short one again. Blink. Someone returned it from beyond the midwicket boundary.
The DJ's warning
Anil Kumble had overstepped in the ninth over and Monish Mishra was about to face the free hit. The DJ issued a warning: "Watch the ball folks. It might be coming to you". Kumble zipped it across and Mishra could only punch it back to the bowler. What a letdown. The DJ didn't have to worry though as Mishra charged at the next delivery, a legal one, and heaved it over the midwicket boundary.
The big screen flashed the word "Respect" after Rahul Dravid played a classy on-the-up boundary off the third ball he faced. Whoever chose the word couldn't have said it better for it oozed class. It wasn't a bad delivery; it rose from short of length outside off, Dravid leaned forward and across to play it through cover point. Just a firm punch. The crowd near the VIP enclosures forgot their Bollywood stars and actually clapped. Okay, maybe they didn't. But they should have.
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo