RCB vs CSK: Kohli exclaims, David yawns, Faf scoops in Chennai’s six-wicket win

Chennai Super Kings (157/4 after 18.1 overs) moved back to the top of the IPL 2021 standings after registering a six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (156/6 after 20 overs) in Sharjah.

The first scoop of delight

Even as Faf du Plessis shuffled across to lap-scoop a pacy delivery from Navdeep Saini to the fine-leg boundary, Simon Doull and Murali Kartik on air started to discuss who was the inventor of that shot. Doull was the opinion that Zimbabwe’s Flower brothers, Andy and Grant, and Guy Whittall had attempted these. Murali Kartik plumped for Douglas Marillier, who swatted Glenn McGrath in a thrilling last over in 2001 (he lapped two fours off attempted yorkers but Zimbabwe lost by a run). Doull cued up Australia’s Ryan Campbell who played the closest to the modern-day lap in 2002 against Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Zoysa. “I am just wondering someone in 90s played that shot,” went Doull.

Hey Doullie, perhaps you are remembering your countryman Dion Nash in 1998. Another last over thriller it was. Shaun Pollock had the ball with New Zealand needing 7 off 2. Nash shuffled a touch towards off, bent down and paddled Pollock to fine-leg. The exhilaration at the choice of shot (Tony Greig on air would manage “what a beautiful little paddle shot!) was brutally cut short as the commentators, players, and umpire started to sweat whether it was a six or a four as it had landed on the rope. Rope meant four then. There were two ropes adjacent to each other which overlapped at one point and after replays, it was judged to be a four (Check the famous cricket YouTuber Robe Linda’s channel to see Nash’s beauty). Nash would hole out to deep midwicket next ball where Lance Klusener took a good running catch and a distraught Nash trudged off. History would perhaps be kinder to him as that “beautiful little paddle shot” was perhaps the real progenitor of the modern-day version of the lap.

To yawn is human… Davidine

Tim David let out a yawn on the sprawling sofa inside the dressing room. In full gear, barring the helmet. He stretched his limbs, slumped back over the sofa, tilted his head, and kept yawning, his mouth agape. The moment, funnily or embarrassingly, was caught on the camera. In the dug-out that hugged the pitch, Simon Doull was mining info on the latest IPL debutant, who turns up for Singapore, from Sanjay Bangar, and the smart producer might have thought it was the appropriate time to introduce David to the world. The timing was incredible—he was yawning just when Bangar was waxing lyrical on David’s energy and intensity. Maybe, he was still jet-lagged, maybe the action that was unfolding in the middle wasn’t thrilling enough (Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal were dealing at a strike rate of 130-135 thereabouts, while our hero belts at 154), or maybe it was his way of dealing with nerves (yawning, some neuroscientists believe, is a stress-buster), or maybe it was the sheer restlessness of sitting geared-up for his IPL debut. His wait only stretched longer, as the openers ate up 13.2 overs. And instead of him, they sent AB de Villiers next. You could imagine how he would have reacted to the decision. With a yawn obviously! To yawn, after all, is human.

Oi! goes Kohli, Jads like that

The exclamation escaped Virat Kohli’s lips after he was stunned by how much Ravindra Jadeja spun the ball. It had landed outside leg stump and broke right across his startled jab and went past the off stump. Oi! went Kohli. He let out a chuckle. So did Jadeja. Only man who didn’t show much surprise was of course MS Dhoni who had his right gloves in the right place to pouch it. Where did that turn come from, though? In fact, the top soil came off a touch on that occasion – a puff of dust flew up as the ball gripped and spun. This pitch isn’t known for much turn. Perhaps, it’s down to the newly-relaid surface after the last IPL which is yet to settle down, maybe. Kohli fell next over, swat-flicking Dwayne Bravo straight to the deep midwicket fielder. And Kohli had a wry smile at the missed six.

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