RR vs RCB: All over for RCB, same bouncing ball gets Kohli & intruder jumps fence again

As he wrapped up the match with his fourth hundred of the edition, he shook hands with Virat Kohli, who had done the four-century feat in 2016, and proceeded to do the same with rest of RCB. Then, at the end, Butler turned and shouted ‘Virat’ who swung back, and Butler would throw his hands around Kohli’s shoulder and say something. A smile appeared in Kohli’s tired face. Couple of days ago, R Ashwin had spoken about how the late Shane Warne led team had won the first edition and “there is something special” in the air this time around. We shall know on Sunday if Warne’s team can do it again in his memory. Placards of Warne bobbed around the stadium as Rajasthan hunted down a paltry total without much fuss. RCB were deflated as soon as Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal exploded away in the Powerplay and even when he caught Jaiswal in the fifth over, Kohli showed no emotions. He would have fist-pumped and roared but by then, pretty early in the piece, he must have known it was all over. And it was.

Same bouncing ball gets Kohli again

That same Dushmanta Chameera ball. This time it was Prasidh Krishna with a lifter from back of length outside off stump. Previously Umesh Yadav too had cracked open Virat Kohli with it. As it kicked out outside off stump, with a bit of width on it, Kohli, as is his wont, tried to ride the bounce with wrists, with a semi-vertical bat. Many top-order batsmen would have opted for the horizontal cut or slash but Kohli doesn’t do cuts. He likes to punch and when the ball rears up more than he expects, he tries to ride the bounce with his wrists, with a shot resembling a steer somewhat. When the ball has pace allied with bounce, it becomes difficult. And unsurprisingly, Kohli edged it to Sanju Samson the wicketkeeper who quietly pouched it and just ran ahead without much celebration. Kohli had made one positive contribution to the highlights package when he walked down a couple of steps to Trent Boult, picked a length delivery, and swat-flicked it over backward square-leg for a six.

Intruder jumps fence, reaches and touches Kohli

In the third such incident in three successful IPL playoff games, an intruder rushed onto the field at the Narendra Modi Stadium right after the very first delivery of the Qualifier 2 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad.

In an open bio-secure bubble breach, the man burst in from around the third-man boundary and managed to make it all the way upto Virat Kohli, who was on strike and preparing to face the second delivery from Trent Boult. He held out his hand towards Kohli, who stood guardedly on the crease but from afar, the man still appeared to have touched the former India captain’s glove. He then started to run back towards the third-man rope, but about half way through, a couple of security personnel finally caught up with him and tackled him to the ground. They then carried him off the field.

At the Eden Gardens during the Eliminator between RCB and Lucknow Super Giants, a fan had jumped onto the arena and was rushing towards Kohli but police intercepted him before he could reach his target. Before that, during the Qualifier 1 between Gujarat Titans and RR in Kolkata, a fan had managed to clear the fence as well but was cut off before he could make much progress.

Krishna sets trap, Patidar falls, but Parag frees him

What do you do when you have been spanked for two successive boundaries off back of length balls outside off stump? Prasidh Krishna opted to repeat the delivery, this time putting more effort into it to get it up higher and nearly had his man Rajat Patidar. But Riyan Parag spilled a head-high catch straight at him at backward point. The first two boundary balls showed what Krishna’s intent was: to produce a delivery similar to the one he dismissed Kohli. Unlike Kohli, Patidar punched them to the point boundary. Once in the previous Krishna over too, he had slashed it up and over slips. Krishna persisted with it for the third time in a row rather than float anything fuller. And this one kicked up more. Patidar hopped up, feet in the air, as he tried to punch it again but the extra bounce meant he couldn’t control the shot. The ball seemed heading right into the palms of Parag, who cupped his hands above his hand but it spilled out. Krishna cast an glance at Parag, Ashwin sighed, and Patidar had survived.

McCoy threw in a last-instant dive, and somehow managed to get his palms under the ball in the gap where it didn’t seem to exist and pouched it. (Twitter)

Who is the real McCoy? Obed or Ajay Jadeja

Wonder if Ajay Jadeja watched the Obed McCoy catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell. For those of us, with a bit of gray in our hair, it reminded us of Jadeja’s catch at long-off to take out Allan Border in the 1992 World Cup. Off dashed McCoy ahead with full speed from fine leg but it still looked it might not be enough for the ball seemed on a death wish, dying rapidly on him. But McCoy threw in a last-instant dive, and somehow managed to get his palms under the ball in the gap where it didn’t seem to exist and pouched it. When Jadeja did it back then before dawn, as the game was in New Zealand, he shrugged off any left-over sleep from our eyes, high-fiveing ​​and gleefully grinning. These days no one is surprised by the athleticism but McCoy’s effort was a throwback for Indians of a certain vintage. For the record, India lost that match by one run. #justsaying.

Virat Kohli was addressing the pre-chase huddle, talking intensely with all the RCB players standing in a circle with hands on each other’s shoulders. (Photo by Samuel Rajkumar / Sportzpics for IPL)

Drip drip drip … what would win: Hazlewood’s sweat or Kohli’s speech?

Whether it was the sweat or he had just washed his face, water beads started to drip down Josh Hazlewood’s forehead. The problem was Virat Kohli was addressing the pre-chase huddle, talking intensely with all the RCB players standing in a circle with hands on each other’s shoulders. It was Kohli who was doing all the talking with Faf du Plessis locked next to him. Meanwhile the water/sweat started to drip down Hazlewood’s nose. More beads were following it. Kohli was his passionate self, mouthing away. And Hazlewood waited. As soon as Kohli finished his speech, Hazlewood turned to dug out and asked for the towel. Phew.

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