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Plucking 'em out of thin air

ESPNcricinfo staff
Tight-rope walks by the boundary line, tag-team efforts and some spectacular close-catching feature in our list of IPL's most memorable catches

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WATCH - Best IPL catches over the years

Punter rolls back the years

Ricky Ponting, to dismiss Unmukt Chand, Mumbai Indians v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2013

It was Throwback Tuesday at the Wankhede, as Ponting pulled off one of his usual OMG takes at extra cover. Harbhajan Singh's loopy offbreak was met with a lunge forward by Chand, who spooned one into the vacant part of the off side. Diving a few inches across, a momentarily-airborne Ponting crashed into one of the practice pitches with the ball safely pouched in his hand, despite having appeared to have slipped initially.

Hop, skip and jump

Ajinkya Rahane and Johan Botha, to dismiss Rahul Sharma, Rajasthan Royals v Pune Warriors, IPL 2012

Relay catching has become commonplace in the IPL, with at least one or two such YouTube moments occuring every season. Ajinkya Rahane had to run 20 yards from long-on to collect an incredible lay over from Johan Botha at the long-off boundary. Rahul Sharma had skied one towards the end of his side's chase, and Botha had lost his balance moments before the ball was about to stick in his hands. Though the catch went in Rahane's name, the hard work was all Botha's. It was one of those moments where one is reminded why cricket scorecards need to re-consider how such catches are recorded.

Colly gets a taste of his own medicine

David Hussey, to dismiss Paul Collingwood, Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2010

Paul Collingwood is no stranger to taking spectacular catches off Australian batsmen. It's unlikely any ardent follower of the game will ever forget the incredible catch that got rid of Matthew Hayden in 2005. This time, however, roles were reversed as David Hussey plucked a fast-moving projectile that was on its way to one of the first few rows of the Feroz Shah Kotla stands. Hussey backpedalled, got his hand to the ball, juggled it over the boundary rope and, in a flash, threw it back into play while still airborne. It was an instance of third time lucky for the Australian as he completed one of the most memorable catches in IPL history.

A rare moment of magic in the cordon

Suresh Raina, to dismiss Suryakumar Yadav, Gujarat Lions v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2016

This one was a departure from the tight-rope walking stunts at the boundary line that have come to define many of the IPL's best catches. An innocuous-looking Dwayne Smith in-dipper was met with a cheeky ramp by Suryakumar Yadav that initially appeared to have blinded Suresh Raina at first slip. What followed, though, was one of those is-it-a-bird-is-it-a-plane routines, as Raina plucked one out of thin Eden Gardens air to send Yadav packing.

A sprint, a near-collision and a typical Bravo celebration

Dwayne Bravo, to dismiss Suryakumar Yadav, Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2015

It was that man Suryakumar Yadav again; this time, however, top-edging a skidder from Mohit Sharma. Two men hurried underneath the ball, but Dwayne Bravo's sprint from long-on outpaced Faf du Plessis' from the other side. A collision nearly ensued, before Bravo leapt over his South African team-mate, pulling off a low catch, inches above the ground. Chepauk erupted, and the Trinidadian was all too happy to break into a celebratory jig.

Tim Southee and Karun Nair pulled off a superb relay catch near the boundary © BCCI

Hop, skip and jump - Part 2

Tim Southee and Karun Nair, to dismiss George Bailey, Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2015

Chasing 163, with just about an over to go, George Bailey was Kings XI's last hope, and he duly dispatched a length ball from James Faulkner to the long-on boundary. While Southee was by the fence, he had no chance of taking the catch while remaining in play. He stuck his hand out, and with barely enough time before he landed beyond the fence, tossed the ball in the air milliseconds before his foot touched the other side of the skirting. An alert Nair ensured a tag-team effort was truly on, completing the formalities easily, much to the dismay of the opposition.

Kieron Pollard did it all by himself to pull off one of IPL's best-ever catches © BCCI

Pollard goes solo

Kieron Pollard, to dismiss Kevon Cooper, Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014

At a crucial moment during Royals' chase of 179, Kieron Pollard pulled off what was a blinder, even by T20 cricket's high fielding standards. In short, the West Indian did what two men normally do with a relay catch: he turned himself into a juggler-thrower by the rope and, then, doubled up as the diver-catcher a few metres within it. All those uniformly open-mouthed faces photographed in the backdrop go some way to explain the incredulity of it all.

Hop, skip and jump - Part 3

Shane Watson and David Wiese, to dismiss Shreyas Iyer, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2016

The catch to get rid off Iyer early was one of the few high points for Royal Challengers during Delhi Daredevils' 192-run chase that Quinton de Kock put to bed with a mind-blowing 108 off 51 balls. For everything else you need to know about the catch, we've got six freeze frames on hand to tell you the story of some more boundary-side relay-catching magic.

Shane Watson and David Wiese's brilliant tag-team effort put an early end to Shreyas Iyer's innings © BCCI

AB does what AB must

AB De Villiers, to dismiss Praveen Kumar, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2010

AB de Villiers took boundary-side catching to the next level with this effort against his future employers. A full-blooded Praveen Kumar pull looked well on course to cross the long-on boundary, when de Villiers intervened, not with a juggle or a relay throw, but by diving backwards with one hand outstretched, getting hold of the ball, before landing on his back within inches of the advertising boards. Did we expect anything less from AB?

Manish Pandey hugs Chris Lynn after he took a stunner to get AB de Villiers © BCCI

Lynnsanity by the midwicket fence

Chris Lynn, to dismiss AB de Villiers, Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2014

Chris Lynn's screamer, perhaps, has the highest match-winning quotient on this list of spectacular catches. It involved what was, at once, a belaboured and delicate effort on his part to make it happen. AB de Villiers was doing what AB de Villiers is known to do: piloting his side's chase to a thrilling last-over finish. With six runs needed off the last three balls, the advantage was truly with the South African, until he dispatched Vinay Kumar to the deep midwicket fence. Lynn lined himself up for the catch but, subsequently, slipped, fell, sat down, balanced himself and arched his body backwards - all in one motion - to create one of the most memorable, near-yogic images in IPL history. It was one of those times when a few inches separated a match-winning six and a decisive wicket.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • #BradmanForever on April 2, 2017, 10:44 GMT

    Chris lynn catch was absolutely amazing, my pick

  • espn62392796 on March 31, 2017, 13:38 GMT

    i was expecting a match in which Warner completed a five wicket haul in fielding. plzz include that too with his celebration after completing his fifth dismissal

  • cricfan8970970626 on March 30, 2017, 6:02 GMT

    Can your team combine all this literature into videos? Its quite boring and the video making will be very easy.

  • cricfan0765975143 on March 29, 2017, 14:26 GMT

    Lynn's catch turned the match

  • bhariii on March 29, 2017, 2:42 GMT

    The best catch has to be POLLARD'S and RAINA'S

  • bhariii on March 29, 2017, 2:40 GMT

    That watson_wiese catch was brilliant....thos 6 frames only show wieses effort ....while it was Watson's incredible effort that made it possible.He ran full speed towards the boundary with the ball over his heàd and streched his arms full length to catch it inches before the boundary and threw it back for wiese to do the rest

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