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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Ball chases Riyan who chases off Kohli and Patel’s wide ball on 6th stump before claiming another three

Emotional Rollercoaster: Royal Challengers Bangalore big guns Maxwell & Kohli fire to secure 7-wkt win against Rajasthan Royals

By: Express News Service |
Updated: September 30, 2021 8:06:10 am
RCB beat RR by 7 wickets (Twitter/IPL)

The ball magnet

Sometimes, you are a ball magnet. Often in a negative sense, as when you have dropped a catch or let a boundary sieve through your palms, but the ball keeps chasing you. In the seventh over of RCB’s chase, the ball just kept following Riyan Parag, as though it were obsessed with him. The first ball, Virat Kohli bunted a single into his hands, prowling backward point, and he effected a direct hit of little consequence. More of the showboating variety. The next time Kohli regained strike, he slapped the ball airily, again at Parag, who flung to his left and grassed the catch. A ball later, Kohli was again on strike, and he again found his favourite fielder and set off for a quick run. A smuggled run, rather, but he underestimated Parag’s accuracy and power. It was identical to the catch, but this time the ball was hit along the ground. Parag leaped to his left and thwarted the ball, but the ricochet fell a few yards away from him, giving Kohli the leeway to run. But Parag had not lose sight of the ball. He sprung back to his feet, collected the ball in a trice, and thrashed out a tracer-tipped throw that had a searing Kohli stranded at the non-striker’s end, much to the disbelief of the hunter and the hunted. Parag was a ball magnet but this time in a positive sense.

Dead ball?

When does the ball become dead? We would have found out had the umpires got involved after RCB wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat’s attempted run out of Yashasvi Jaiswal. In the last ball of the third over bowled by Glenn Maxwell, Jaiswal had cut to the point fielder. Even as the throw came to Bharat, Jaiswal was in his own bubble, shadow-batting that cut shot again. Bharat spotted an opportunity and started to move his right glove, that held the ball, towards the stumps and waited for Jaiswal’s foot to be lifted in the air. The front foot was outside the crease and the back was shuffling up and down. Bharat would then remove the bails at a rather interesting point and it would have perhaps needed slow-motion replays to conclusively say whether the foot was grounded or not. It’s not clear whether he appealed (broadcasters only showed him taking off the bails). According to Law 20.1.1, the ball becomes dead when “it is finally settled in the hands of the wicket-keeper or of the bowler”. Would the umpires have deemed the ball was dead by the time Bharat tried to give it a re-birth?

(Wide) Ball of the tournament

Ball of the tournament is passé. Bring on the (wide) ball of the tournament with a sponsor prefix. If so, Harshal Patel’s first ball of his second over would not only be a contender but an outright winner. Bowling from round the stumps to the left-handed Evin Lewis from the edge of the crease, the ball landed somewhere on sixth stump—that is on the leg-side, drifted away and KS Bharat had to spread the full breadth of his wing-span to claw the ball inside his webbing, landing almost where a leg-slip would have been stationed. So wide a ball that even if Lewis had been right-handed the ball would have still been called a wide. The intended slower ball had slipped off Patel’s greasy palms, and an ashen-faced Patel apologised gingerly to his teammates, especially Bharat, who was still catching his breath after the superman leap (was he a goalkeeper too in school?). The IPL has seen its share of wide balls, from ridiculous to bizarre, but this one would win the contest hands down.

Hat-trick almost-ball

What should be the hattrick ball? That was the question that Harshal Patel faced for the second successive match. In the last game, Patel had gone for a marvellous slow-dipping yorker. Here, the moment came in the last over after he had taken out Riyan Parag and Chris Morris. In a post-match chat with Yuzvendra Chahal after the last hat-trick, Patel had spoken about his thought process. “Last time (when he found himself with the opportunity to take a hat-trick) I had bowled the same ball (the slow dipping yorker) but it just missed the leg stump by two inches. But I decided to try it again. This was the first hat-trick of my life at any level of the game.” It was a no-brainer then that he would go for the same lucky dipping-yorker and he nailed it too but Kartik Tyagi was ready, and managed to stab it away. Siraj would perhaps be relieved as Patel had almost injured him in hat-trick celebrations by jumping onto his feet. Not to fret though, as Chetan Sakariya would miscue another slower one two balls later to make it three wickets in five balls.

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