Funny side up for Pandya
It was a conference of serious men on the pitch. Until Hardik Pandya strode in, wearing a roguish smile and a cheerful strut. Various shades of laughter ensued. Chuckle with captain Rohit Sharma. Giggle with Andre Russell. Grin at Dinesh Karthik. And then a guffaw when he got himself hit-wicket in the weirdest of fashions, in the process tweaking the very usage of “chopping onto the stumps.” It’s used to denote batsmen dragging the ball onto the stumps. Here Pandya missed the ball altogether, but he chopped his own bat onto the stumps, like the woodcutter’s first feeble swish of the axe to check the strength of the wood. He stood so deep at the crease on middle and off, that it was inevitable that any stroke on the off-side risked hitting the stumps. He was in control of his feet, but not the bat. He was shaping up for the ramp, moved further off and across—too back and much across—then realised that the ball was pitched outside the off-stump and tried to waft it. But the down-swing of the bat disarrayed the stumps. Pandya, though, was in a mood to find humour in everything, even in his own foibles. Even the tired Kolkata bowlers were amused. You get hit wicket, but not often do you chop the bat onto the stumps. And so much comic relief on a cagey night.
– Sandip G
Karthik goes through the wringer
Every time the ball breached the boundary – cameras looked for the best reactions, finally settling on the hapless opposing captain. Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik had to contend with his bowlers having a rough time in the Sharjah heat. From initially providing the odd clap and a shout of encouragement to his bowlers, especially Sandeep Warrier, who got walloped for four fours in his second over, he moved to dejectedly looking at the ground to swallow him up after Rohit Sharma stood up for yet another short ball to be dispatched out of the park. Karthik went through his five stages of denial. Occasionally the stump mic would pick his voice shouting an unconvinced ‘beautiful’ at his bowler. But what was meant to be encouragement was mostly desperate hope that the onslaught would end, some luck would magically appear or some divine intervention would mercifully take place. Nada. Mumbai plastered KKR for 195.
– Shashank Nair
Mavi wide agape
Shivam Mavi’s experimental slower ball while returning for his second spell in the 18th over for KKR left S Ravi, India’s best umpire currently, in one right quandary. It landed most unthreateningly, outside the cut strip. It was far away alright, from the already exhausted Rohit Sharma. But was it far and officially wide? Field umpires needed to parley, because anything beyond the strip is actually a no-ball. Ravi finally signalled with both outstretched arms. Another wide full toss followed and then some more, and by the fourth delivery, Sharma had had enough of this elusive baiting and shuffled wide, but Mavi had gone even more baggy in his bowling. This time the even wider delivery first ruled out the edge from Rohit’s broad chasing bat, and was given simply, a wide. Mavi’s face would reflect the ball – his mouth agape for a long moment at the temerity of his wide ball being given a wide, despite Rohit going swatting after it. The eluding trap worked in the end, as Rohit finally couldn’t butcher an easy low full toss – perhaps surprised that the ball hadn’t gone wandering again. A wide grin from Mavi, having snared Rohit, completed the wide spread.
– Shivani naik
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