Chahal breaks the 100 kph-mark
The wrong exit
Hamilton Masakadza is an imposing presence. He drove Dhawal Kulkarni through the covers without even batting an eyelid, but had to be rather watchful against Barinder Sran, for the left-arm quick was swinging the ball into him as adeptly as he was angling it towards the slips. Unsure of what he was facing, Masakadza was looking for an escape when a full and wide delivery arrived in the fifth over. He went after it with a fierce front-foot slap, could only manage a thick outside edge, and third man took the catch. Masakadza had taken the wrong exit.
Vusi Sibanda was playing a sparkling innings. For nearly all of the hour and a half he spent at the crease, he knew which ball to hit and hit them sweetly, and which to defend and defended solidly. So it was no surprise that when he was two short of fifty and left-arm spinner Axar Patel pitched it short, the batsman leapt back and pulled over midwicket for a four. Interim coach Makhaya Ntini, sitting by the boundary, was up on his feet waving a towel like it was the chequered flag ushering the winning driver to the finish line in Formula One. Perhaps Sibanda mistook it as a signal to return to the dressing room. Little else could explain the poor swipe to long-on that led to his wicket two overs later.
It took Yuzvendra Chahal only two years to become a household name in the IPL. But he has played only 20 first-class matches in over six years. This is because he plays for the same state as Amit Mishra, who may well be the best of India's currently active legspinners. The plus side of that situation is young Chahal had a good role model and he borrowed a variation from Mishra's arsenal on Monday. In his second over, after he had overstepped the previous ball, he made sure the free-hit amounted to only one run by bowling a seam-up delivery at 109 kph.
Karun Nair, on debut as opener, had fallen to a short ball that held on the pitch and messed with his timing on Saturday. He was given another chance by the team management and it seemed he had wasted this one too when in the fifth over of another small chase, he wafted at a short and wide delivery and was caught behind this time. Nair was slowly trudging towards the pavilion, practicing a drive with a straighter bat, when the umpires asked him to hang around while they checked for the no-ball. And sure enough, Tendai Chatara's front foot had strayed an inch too far. A relieved Nair belted the free-hit delivery down the ground.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo