Co-ordination, ball sense, and the over from hell

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kochi Tuskers Kerala in Bangalore

Sidharth Monga
Sidharth Monga
Chris Gayle converted Prasanth Parameswaran's dream into a nightmare  •  AFP

Chris Gayle converted Prasanth Parameswaran's dream into a nightmare  •  AFP

The run-out
AB de Villiers had no clue there was no need for the spectacular, which is just as well. For if he knew that Parthiv Patel wasn't coming for the single, we wouldn't have seen this breathtaking run-out. Brad Hodge had started running after hitting straight to short third man, Parthiv stopped after a couple of steps, and that's all de Villiers saw as he ran in to collect the throw. The throw was wild, way wide on his left, de Villiers made a dive for it, and even as he was coming down he flicked the ball - with the left hand - onto the stumps. It was athleticism and innovation at its best, and to think that it wouldn't have happened had de Villiers known that Parthiv had given up early.
The calling
Bangalore is known for its congested traffic, but with the communication skills that they showed today, some of their big players will manage just fine. It was one of those hits made to order for a collision: a thick-edged skier from Ravindra Jadeja that promised to fall at an equidistant point between backward point (Chris Gayle), extra cover (Daniel Vettori) and sweeper cover (Mohammad Kaif). Kaif came running in, calling for the catch, Vettori heard the call and started gesturing towards Gayle to stay away, and then Kaif - ideal man to catch it because he was running in - made the low catch without fuss.
The catch
Cricketers have wonderful ball sense even if they might not be the most athletic of sportsmen. Zaheer Khan is one such, and he exhibited superb ball sense today at short fine leg. Hodge pulled one high to his left, and it seemed it was travelling for a four, but Zaheer stretched full length, and then stuck his left hand out to take this as if he was plucking a fruit from a tree. Later he said that it helped that he didn't have any time to think about it.
The sling
With Chris Gayle going the way he was, it would take something out of the ordinary to stop him. And playing at his home ground, albeit for the opposition, R Vinay Kumar came up with the extraordinariness. He went round the wicket, and tried his best impersonation of Waqar Younis, bowling low-arm - not as low as Lasith Malinga - and full and straight. And it squeezed under Gayle's bat to take out off stump. Vinay was pumped up, he had earned himself him a moment of celebration.
The over
Prasanth Parameswaran dismissed Virender Sehwag with a short and wide delivery in a Twenty20 match, and became an overnight hero. So big that he was now preferred to Sreesanth. Cloud 9 to depths of hell, it turns out, takes but one over. Gayle hit his gentle pace and length bowling for two sixes over point, one over cover, one over the sight screen, one four wide of midwicket, one past the keeper. All in one 37-run over. Game over.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo