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Match Analysis

Did an erroneous short run deny Kings XI Punjab victory?

We also look at Ravi Bishnoi's impressive IPL debut against Rishabh Pant

Nagraj Gollapudi and Shiva Jayaraman
The short run that denied Kings XI victory?
Kings XI Punjab needed 21 runs from the final 10 deliveries. Having lofted a one-bounce four on the second ball of the 19th over, Mayank Agarwal pushed the next delivery - a yorker from Kagiso Rabada - to the empty mid-on area and ran two. Chris Jordan, Agarwal's partner, was running to the danger end, and did well to complete the second run. Yet, Nitin Menon, the squre-leg umpire, declared a short run, signalling that Jordan did not tap his bat past the crease at the wicketkeeper's end before turning back for the second run.
TV replays subsequently indicated clearly that Jordan had in fact crossed the line and it was a legal run. Eventually the match was tied in regulation time after Rabada pouched Jordan at square leg to deny Kings XI victory after they needed just one to win off the last delivery. The incident saw a lot of people posting the replay on Twitter, with former India batsman Virender Sehwag, who incidentally was also once Kings XI's team director, highlighting the controversial umpiring decision by saying "it wasn't a short run".
Bishnoi trumps Pant on IPL debut
Legspinner Ravi Bishnoi's first ball of his maiden IPL was not a legbreak. Bowling from wide of the crease to Rishabh Pant, Bishnoi pitched it on off stump and angled it away from the batsman. Pant left it alone for a wide. Bishnoi repeated the act on the next ball, but this time bowled better by pitching it slightly fuller. Pant was aware of the plan and went for the reverse sweep, noticing the third man had been brought inside the 30-yard circle.
If he thought he had read Bishnoi's plan well, the Delhi Capitals batsman was actually beaten by the away spin. Bishnoi would continue to beat Pant with that angle as Pant would swing and miss twice in the same over. Bishnoi finished unscathed allowing just four runs in the over.
Before Sunday, if you had looked at Pant's numbers against legspin you would find no deficiency: 387 runs off 237 deliveries at a strike rate of nearly 160. Yet there remains one weak area for Pant: he is not the best player on the off side against the ball that is spinning away from him. His natural inclination is to play to the leg side with his balance mostly titled on his back leg.
As he showed in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, where he was the leading wicket-taker, Bishnoi's favourite delivery is the googly. Off the 13 deliveries he bowled to Pant on Sunday, Bishnoi had a dozen googlies and one slider. The one time Bishnoi bowled from closer to the stumps, he pitched it on good length on middle stump which Pant slammed for a four over long-on. However, the next ball, attempting to clear another googly over midwicket, Pant played-on.
A maiden IPL spell of 4-0-22-1. Bishnoi can be proud of his effort as he even made Anil Kumble, rarely emotional, clapping in appreciation from the dugout.
Jordan delivers, Stoinis dispatches
The wide yorker is a delivery bowlers have fired at Australia and Capitals allrounder Marcus Stoinis frequently. The slower ball is another useful option in the death overs, something Chris Jordan once made a name with. But these deliveries never rolled out of Jordan's hand when he bowled the last over of the Capitals innings to Stoinis.
Stoinis took an off-stump guard and Jordan kept bowling in the slot for Stoinis who stayed in his crease, shifted his balance and cleverly blended power and skills to clear the field. The first ball Jordan bowled wide outside off but Stoinis moved swiftly to his right and used his strong wrists and arms to loft a six high over deep square leg. Second ball outside off again, Stoinis swung and got a thick edge to third man for four. One towards the stumps and Stoinis whipped it past short fine leg. A wide delivery easily lofted over the covers for another four and then a full toss flicked for six to bring up his fifty off 20 balls.
Jordan leaked 30 runs in the over, the joint-most off the final over in the IPL. The 49 runs by Stoinis in the last three overs of the innings is the third-highest by an individual in that phase of an IPL match. It was, undoubtedly, a match-changing innings.
Kings XI's death over weakness
Kings XI have already been confronted with a big question: do they have enough death overs bowlers? In the absence of Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman on Sunday, captain KL Rahul had three options: Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammed Shami and Jordan.
Cottrell's economy rate in the final four overs is 8.84 compared to Jordan's 9.70 and Shami's 10.99. That weakness came to the fore against the Capitals as Rahul bowled three of Shami's overs in the powerplay as the India fast bowler dominated the Capitals' top order with pace, seam and bounce. He returned in the 15th over and quickly dismissed the Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer.
Kings XI are one of the three teams that have only one experienced (at least 40 overs bowled) death bowler (Cottrell) whose economy rate is under 9. The others being Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians) and Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals). All other teams have more than one such bowler.
That is a big challenge for Kings XI: finding a bowling combination that is well-equipped to shield them at the death from a Stoinis-like assault.