KKR need 7 off 6 balls to get a place in the final. Rahul Tripathi could have scored “1 off 5 balls” if Ashwin had shown enough disrespect for rank long-hop. He swings the bat but the ball bounces long-on, just as Tripathi slowly pulls his feet to the non-striker end. Did he miss the chance to be a hero? The next 4 balls were filled with every emotion. The players on the field, the dugouts, the WAGs in the guest boxes, the owners in the VIP suits were all on a crazy stadium-sized rollercoaster — one moment of extreme rush and the next moment bored. There were awkward ducks in those manic last moments, one almost six. Ashwin finally looked like he had his big IPL moment and Pant was on the verge of becoming the next Dhoni. While all this was going on, Rahul was incensed inside for not taking Ashwin’s opening gift. According to second thoughts, if he had killed the climax off the first ball of the last over, it would have been so IPL. KKR, a Bollywood star-owned franchise, is very unrealistic to reach the final without drama. The next time Rahul was on strike, he did not miss. This time the ball flew over the long on boundary. Tripathi gave his toothy smile to the delight of KKR dugout and millions of pandals around the world. As in most movies, Rahul first tied himself up and when the world felt he was trapped, he gave up. Just like those Bollywood Rahuls.

Brusque Ananthapadmanabham

Prithviraj has no chance if he does not read the ball once from the hands of Varun Chakraborty. He kicked his front foot forward and horizontally and waited for his doom. The ball from the emperor landed on the length and broke to pre-wrap the pad before touching the bat. Appeal umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan went on to say that he was a leg-spinner with good googly during his playing days and took his time to reconcile with the increasingly angry Emperor and Dinesh Karthik. Shah was a bit late to check on his partner whether he should go for DRS or not, while Shikhar Dhawan was checking the replay on reference dressing room television. Ananthapadmanabhan is a respected umpire in domestic cricket and during the 2019 Ranji season, the other umpire was injured and in the final he became the umpire from both sides and comes only after replacement. His role model in umpiring S Venkataraghavan, his harsh style seems to have offended Ananthapadmanabhan, who is tough if players continue their appeals or question his decisions unnecessarily.

Toss candies & friendly finish after torrent

It’s just a smile, but its importance cannot be underestimated. Shikhar Dhawan sees a fish out of the water against the speed of Lucky Ferguson. Ferguson bowled 152-kph and Dhawan wanted to play it in the last point. But the Delhi Capitals opener crossed the ball a little late. The next delivery arrived at 148 kph, charging the Southpa track, aiming to fly over the point. Still, he was beaten for the pace. After another express delivery, fuller and thudding on the pad. Dhawan still does not remember. One over later, he was against the Sunil Narine Mystery and the first ball hit the bat again. The pressure mounts when Narine throws a friendly full toss, allowing Dhawan to break the shackles. Coming out of jail deserves a smile, the relief on his face is high.

Danted, defensive Ashwin

R Ashwin’s only slow and consistent action in his first three overs was to carefully tie Venkatesh Iyer’s shoelaces. Iyer asked Ashwin to sort his laces and Ashwin immediately stopped wiping the snow off the ball and helped. His bowling was disappointingly defensive. He continued to shoot or side-arm the ball rather than take wickets. Maybe, it’s the ice factor, but the man who dared Ashwin to overtake high-class off-spinner, Ion Morgan with another lovely loop-off break or dare to throw it out and pull out the likes of Chris Gayle and Rohit Sharma is not in the past. Instead, we have a version that burns them. He furiously wipes the ball with a towel and is on the defensive. Fields set by Rishabh Pant for him from the second over of the chase were also defensive. There seemed to be no clear plan to take wickets and both Iyer and Shubman Gill continued to hit him and lead him to spin the strike. He releases the sitter after a few overs.

He had a chance to redeem himself in the last over and almost took it off as well. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortze failed with almost 7 wickets, while Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine were still there. Ashwin slowly made his knees, bend, and side-armed loop this time. Not as fast as the previous three overs. And Shakib fell, lbw and then Ashwin grabbed his nerve to keep the ball up to Narine, he bowed for a long-off. With 6 runs needed in the last two overs, Ashwin made his first mistake of the over. He went for the small and flat things and walloped for the match-winning six in the Tripathi long-off.

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