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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Obed McCoy’s Pushpa hook step; Ashwin’s carrom ball; McCullum’s bittersweet nostalgia & Hetmyer double yelps

KKR fall short by 7 runs against Rajasthan Royals.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: April 19, 2022 6:01:10 pm
RR defeat KKR by 7 runs. (Photos by Ron Gaunt / Sportzpics for IPL)

Real McCoy with the Pushpa hook

Obed McCoy ending up being the man of the moment on his IPL debut was probably not in the script, especially on the night when Jos Buttler scored a century and Yuzvendra Chahal bagged a fifer, including a hat-trick. IPL, however, revels in throwing up unlikely heroes and McCoy was resplendent in his ‘Pushpa’ dance moves.

Umesh Yadav refused to throw in the towel and kept Rajasthan Royals on the edge until the end. Kolkata Knight Riders needed 11 runs from the final over and 25-year-old McCoy from Windward Islands had the ball. Sheldon Jackson was taken care of with a delivery that barely arrived, while another slower ball castled Yadav. McCoy was surrounded by his team-mates who celebrated wildly. As for the bowler, his hook step would have had Allu Arjun’s approval.

When Supernaut McCullum touched the sky

Down memory lane, Brendon McCullum found a reason to smile. Fifteen seasons ago on this day, it was the unveiling of the Indian Premier League and the cricketing razzmatazz that would gradually become ‘India ka tyohaar’, had a heavy metal beginning, thanks to McCullum’s 73-ball 158 not out for Kolkata Knight Riders against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Cut to the present, and Knight Riders were at the receiving end of a Jos Buttler onslaught in their game against Rajasthan Royals at Brabourne Stadium on Monday. It offered a throwback to McCullum’s 2008 mayhem – sweet reminiscing for the KKR head coach, albeit with a pinch of salt, as he spoke to the host broadcaster mid-game. What has changed in 15 seasons? “After-game parties trumped cricket back then. Now it has changed, with the emergence of so many talented players from all over the world, especially young Indian talent,” McCullum said with a smile.

Even after 15 seasons, his blitzkrieg remains KKR’s tenuous link to an IPL hundred. The head coach wants it to change, having a feeling that something special could happen tonight.

Shimron ‘double yelp’ Hetmyer

That Shimron Hetmyer grunt would have comfortably out-grunted the original “grunt creators”; Jimmy Connors and Monica Seles – never mind that they played tennis. It was loud enough to be audible in every living room, via the stump mic.

Hetmyer was looking for full monty against Andre Russell in the final over of the Rajasthan Royals’ innings. He had hit back-to-back sixes and was nicely set up to hammer a slower bouncer. Just that he swung a little too early and missed the ball. A frustrated Hetmyer reacted with a jump and a ‘double-yelp’. The delivery was there for the taking. About 15 minutes later, Hetmyer was jumping with joy though, after his direct hit from cover-point effected Sunil Narine’s run-out.

Russel up a carrom ball

It was a case of unadulterated class trumping T20 pyrotechnics. Take this with a rider, for Andre Russell offered a tentative prod to a Ravichandran Ashwin carrom ball rather than attempting a big hit. It was comfortably the ball of the match, good length, pitching on off-and-middle, turning away a shade and knocking the off stump. It was too good a delivery to get first ball. Russell is strong-armed enough to hit any delivery out of the park, but he couldn’t pick the caroom ball. His forward defence was tentative, his dismissal for a golden duck in a high-scoring game was an anti-climax. Ashwin didn’t mind. He went for a celebratory run, his fingers pointing towards himself. There was absolutely no doubt about who was the boss.

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