Disbelieving stares, and a match-turning helmet

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the IPL eliminator between Kolkata and Mumbai

Sriram Veera
The helmet that saved the day  •  Associated Press

The helmet that saved the day  •  Associated Press

Stop and stare at the umpire - I
Manoj Tiwary was trapped in front by Dhawal Kulkarni, but he couldn't believe it when the decision went against him. He froze. He stared. He remained frozen. He eventually stirred and left the scene.
Stop and stare at the umpire - II
Ambati Rayudu was gobsmacked when he was given out caught behind. It was a bouncer from Jacques Kallis and the ball flew over the flashing blade to take refuge in Shreevats Goswami's gloves. Kallis kept on running towards the keeper who too had started his celebrations. A puzzled Rayudu had a wry smile, perhaps wondering what all the fuss was about. He had a quick look across at the umpire; so did the rest of the field. Asad Rauf's index finger went up. A stunned Rayudu yanked off his helmet and looked again at Rauf, with his mouth wide open. At long last, he left the crime scene.
Bounce, bounce till you succeed
Everybody knows that the best place to bowl at Yusuf Pathan is at the head. His Indian team-mate Munaf Patel didn't shy from trying out that strategy in the 13th over. He bounced once and it flew off the top edge over the keeper. The second bouncer was swatted uncomfortably to fine-leg and third was mis-hit over midwicket. Yusuf reclaimed strike for the final delivery and Munaf banged it short again. Yusuf tried to flat-bat it out of the park but couldn't clear long-on.
Times, they are a-changing
Munaf used to be a poor fielder. Used to be. Nowadays he gets irate when his team-mates slip below his standards. The proof of the pudding arrived in the 16th over when Kulkarni chose not to go for a risky catch at third man, preferring the stop the ball on the bounce. Munaf, the bowler, wasn't impressed. He stood there, hands on the hip before slowly turning and suggesting to another team-mate that he thought Kulkarni should have gone for the catch. Later, in the final over of Kolkata's innings, when Brett Lee steered a short ball to his left at short third man, Munaf rushed across and threw in a dive to prevent the boundary. Now Kulkarni, that's how you do it.
Protection can get you a boundary
Mumbai needed 15 runs from 12 when Lee hurled a bouncer at Harbhajan Singh. It had pace, the awkward height, and the uncomfortable line to fetch a game-turning wicket but it went away for a game-breaking four. Harbhajan was late on the pull, and not only were his tooth saved by the helmet, he also got some vital runs. The ball flew off the edge, crashed into the helmet grille and flew down to the fine-leg boundary.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo