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Plays of the Day from the first semi-final between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the DY Patil Stadium
April 21, 2010
Kumble's winning move: As soon as he realised Dale Steyn was getting ample movement away from the bat, Anil Kumble removed the second slip and got a short cover for Sachin Tendulkar. With the pitch hard, there was always the intention to play the cut shot. But to cut the swing Tendulkar tried to play on the up, away from his body, and ended up offering a simple catch. It was a lame dismissal and Tendulkar bit his lip on his way. Steyn and Kumble couldn't stop giggling.
Kohli hits bulls-eye: Shikar Dhawan tapped a slower ball from Steyn towards the leg side and charged for a single, but Abhishek Nayar sent him back. Simultaneously, as Dhawan scampered back, Kevin Pietersen failed to pick the ball cleanly but just about managed to flick the balls onto the stumps. As the ball rolled on to knock off the bails, Nayar screamed for an overthrow. But an agile Virat Kohli, charging from point, picked and released the ball in one motion to catch Dhawan yards out of the crease at the non-striker's end.
Dravid goes down sliding: Robin Uthappa had his mouth gaping at an off-break from Pietersen which beat Nayar fair and square, and rolled towards the third-man boundary. But Rahul Dravid sprinted hare-like and a couple yards before the rope he went down sliding like he was on some ice rink to deflect the path of the ball and haul it back in the nick of time.
Mind your feet: Mumbai had started to put the hammer down by the time Kumble brought himself back on towards the end of the innings. It worked a treat too, with Ambati Rayudu miscuing one and Virat Kohli taking a superb catch on the run from long-off. Unfortunately, Kumble had overstepped the bowling crease. Later in the over, he did it again, and looked ready to blow a fuse.
No Cinderella story: He may have come from relative anonymity in Jharkhand, but Saurabh Tiwary's strokeplay is so devoid of aesthetics that there are unlikely to be any Cinderella comparisons. In that eventful Kumble over, he struck what was a candidate for the ugliest shot of the competition, a smear down to the sightscreen. Off balance, no timing, just maximum force.
Tendulkar, the marksman: He knows Dravid's strengths as much as the man himself. So when Dravid took guard for the first time Tendulkar rushed to the gully area, marked the patch where he wanted Dwayne Bravo (substituting for Kieron Pollard) to stand.
KP, what have you done boy!: Perhaps Bob Willis, if he was watching IPL anywhere, might have moaned that, watching Pietersen dance dumbly down the pitch against Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan, bowling from round the stumps, smartly guessed Pietersen would take him on and hence pushed a straighter delivery down leg. Having blindly stepped out, it was too late for Pietersen to correct his folly and Rayudu dived acrobatically to knock off the bails.
Jennings, the card player: Akin to shuffling a pack of cards, Ray Jennings sat on his favourite seat, the ice box, banging the ball hand to hand as he watched the his batsmen choke. There was no trump card for Bangalore today, as Jennings continued staring intensely with hopes of a second successive final berth flickering to death.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.