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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

RR vs KXIP: Pooran’s leap of joy, Smith’s laugh of disbelief, Cottrell’s payback salute

Emotional roller coaster: Hot heads, calm minds and everything in between at the game.

Written by Sriram Veera | Updated: September 28, 2020 8:02:34 am
ipl 2020, rr vs kxipNicholas Pooran pulled off a fielding marvel. (BCCI)

Pooran’s leap of joy

It has to be the best boundary-saving leap outside the boundary. In some ways, even better than those hop-out-hop-in stunning catches that have been normalised. Rarely has anyone contorted the leap over boundary into a boundary-saving acrobatic effort as Nicholas Pooran did. In the 7th over, Samson lofted the leggie M Ashwin to long-on where Pooran was waiting at the ropes, his body already turned to his left. That body angle allowed him to leap back full stretch, with both hands stretched out as the ball sailed over him. By the time he caught it, he was fully outside the boundary and was falling. Somehow, incredibly, he let the left hand, that held the ball, drop down and continue to swing it down in a fluid movement. And just before he hit the ground, he had released the ball back on to field of play. It had his fielding coach Jonty Rhodes jump out of his dugout seat and bow down in respect.

Smith’s laugh of disbelief

Ian Botham would have been impressed with the long hop that Jimmy Neesham produced to Steve Smith in the 8th over of the chase. Botham has taken a few Test wickets including Greg Chappell with his long-hops but this Neesham’s donkey-drop must take the cake. It was dug in that close to himself and as it looped up and across, Smith, who was one short of fifty, was startled.
Then, as the ball started to drop down on him ever so gently, a perplexed Smith swatted it behind square for just a single. He raised his bat for the 50 but shook his head for a while as he processed that ball before he started to smile as he had a look at the dugout and soon started to head-shaking laughter. Neesham had the last laugh, though, slipping in a good wide yorker next ball he bowled at Smith who sliced it to deep point.

Cottrell’s payback salute

18 months after he had found himself at the receiving end of a meme, Sheldon Cottrell got his payback time with Jos Buttler. Last February during a series in the Caribbean, in a cheeky dig at Cottrell’s celebratory salute, Buttler smashed a six, looked straight at the bowler, and saluted him. It created a torrent of memes and gifs. Cottrell had never dismissed Buttler for West Indies but got his chance now after he made his IPL debut this year. He just needed three balls at Buttler but managed to induce a catch to midwicket and he of course, did that celebratory marching salute and arched back to let out a scream of joy.
Buttler didn’t look at him this time around, just put his head down and kept walking back. Alas, the evening would later turn disastrously for Cottrell as Rahul Tewatia turned a night of embarrassment into the best night of his life when he looted five sixes off the pacer, turning the game on its head.

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