You would have seen bowlers bowling from 23 yards, but batsmen playing from 23 yards? That's a new one. In the final over of the Rajasthan Royals innings, Dishant Yagnik stood on off to face Lasith Malinga. He had already been going deep in the crease to counter the Malinga yorker, but this time he was outside the line of off and played this one from behind the stumps. It worked, for Yagnik took it on the half-volley and flicked it over square leg for four.
Turns out this was not new. It has been done twice in two balls, but not to such good an effect.
How unsettling it must be for a bowler when one batsman has gone behind the stumps and the other - in the same over - walks up and turns it into a 20-yard delivery. Later in the same over, even when Malinga was midway in his run, Brad Hodge had walked almost half the way up the track. For a moment you thought Malinga might pull out of the delivery, but clearly he hadn't learned from Sahara. Eventually Malinga tried to bowl a slower ball, but it slipped out of his hand so bad it missed the adjoining pitch too. Nor was it his first of that over.
The match was delayed by an hour because of the evening rain. The Mumbai Indians support staff was clearly the most desperate for the game to be of the longest possible duration. While others twiddled thumbs, Jonty Rhodes joined the ground staff and helped them dry the covers and take them off.
This was Rahul Dravid channelling his inner Taxi Driver. When Rahul Dravid drove Mitchell Johnson straight past him in the third over, Johnson had a word or three to speak. Johnson forgot to back it up with a good ball next up, and Dravid flicked it away regally for four. And Dravid walked up to Johnson and asked him, "You want to say something?" He may as well have asked him, "You talking to me?"