KKR vs RR: Boult gets it on the shin, Rana wins battle with Ashwin again & Rinku flings a man-stole

As Abhinav Mukund said on air, Prasidh Krishna replayed some action from the kid’s game ‘seven stones’ and hurt teammate Trent Boult. An inswinging delivery was pushed to mid-on and Boult, the bowler, was still thinking about how close it was to the pads and a plausible LBW call, and had his face in his hands when he suddenly realised he could be in the path of danger. Krishna picked up the ball at mid-on and fired a throw at the striker’s end to which Aaron Finch was rushing. Boult just about put his hand up towards Krishna, as if to suggest don’t throw, but by then it was too late. Up he jumped to get out of the way, and luckily the ball smashed into his boots. A little higher and Boult could have damaged his shin. Jos Buttler smiled, so did Krishna himself as Boult shrugged off the pain and walked back. Krishna took a couple of steps and did a high-five with the Kiwi, who must thank his stars he managed to jump just in time to get it on his shoes. “Good quality shoes saved him there,” said S Ramesh on air. “Krishna was playing ‘seven stones’,” Mukund would say, “That’s where before the person re-arranges the stones, you have to hit the shin!”

Rana wins battle with Ashwin… again

R Ashwin doesn’t like to bowl off-spin too much in T20s against most batsmen not named Rohit Sharma, whom he took out in the last game with a regular off-break. One waited to see if he would use it more often against the left-handed Nitish Rana, who has a good record against him. He did slip in a lovely off-break that turned and spat past Rana’s defensive prod. Ashwin cast a cheeky look across at the batsman. Next over, though, Rana took charge. A carrom ball on middle-and-leg was reverse-paddled to the fine-leg boundary. An under-cutter on a similar line was flung over midwicket for a six. Finally, a slower off-break arrived but somehow Rana reverse-lapped it to the fine-leg boundary. “Rana is one of those left-handers who is actually good against the ball leaving him,” Ian Bishop would say. That may be the case but Ashwin didn’t really test him with it. Perhaps, he could have trusted his big-spinning off-break more but he seems to fear that reverse-sweep. Considering that Rana still plays that shot to him, a ripping off-break wouldn’t be that bad a try. 16 runs came in that 11th over that kickstarted the Kolkata Knight Riders chase.

Rinku Singh of the Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo by Ron Gaunt / Sportzpics for IPL)

Rinku flings a man-stole!

With 46 needed from 29 balls, left-handed Rinku Singh had to do something. Facing the pacy Kuldeep Sen, he decided to do a Rishabh Pant. It was a full-length ball on the legs and Rinku leaned forward, flexed his knee, collapsed his arms and played a wonderful pick-up shot over backward square-leg for a six. The way the hands fold up and go up suggests as if he is throwing an Angavastram, a man-stole, over the shoulder, exactly how Pant does it too. It’s a mutation of Saeed Anwar’s marvellous swat-flick, a shot he would play often against Javagal Srinath. Anwar’s talent allowed him to flick the ball angling across him from off-and-middle too. Pant, and now Rinku, have mutated that shot to a fling of a man-stole and can hit a fine arc behind square-leg.

Sanju Samson of Rajasthan Royals has a word with the umpire. (Photo by Ron Gaunt / Sportzpics for IPL)

When umpire took centrestage

Umpire Nitin Pandit, Sanju Samson and Prasidh Krishna were locked in a battle of their own during the end overs. In the 17th over, Krishna bowled two well-outside-off deliveries past the tramline as Rinku Singh shuffled across to have a swing. The first one was called wide and both Samson – the Rajasthan Royals captain – and Krishna, the bowler, were in anguish. The next one wasn’t called a wide. In the 19th over, the scenes repeated. Rinku didn’t shuffle this time and calmly collected a wide, correctly called. Next ball was misfielded by Trent Boult and ran away for a four. Then, Rinku shuffled across and failed to connect with a cut shot to a ball wide outside off. But he had moved across, and the ball wasn’t past the white line of the return crease. Now, Pandit extended his arms and Samson wasn’t happy. He first protested gently before signalling for a DRS claiming a catch. Perhaps, he just wanted the umpire to see the replay on the screen in front of everyone and make a point as the ball was no way close to the stumps. The wide stayed, of course.

Then again came another wide ball as Nitish Rana shuffled across and this time, even though the ball was very close to the bat, it was past that white line of the return crease – which means it is indeed a wide. If the ball is away from the pitch strip as that extreme white line indicates, it’s a wide despite whatever movement the batsman has made. Samson jogged all the way across to have a chat with Pandit who patiently explained the rule. Be that as it may, because of a couple of earlier tight calls, he was roasted on social media.

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