Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan, a street-wise batsman, gave a release shot to KKR. Mohammad Siraj took out game changers Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik in the space of three balls and although the equation was a run ball, it was tricky to run on a slow wicket. Virat Kohli has faith in medium pacer Don Christian who came up with a slow ball. Shakib might have expected it, he went over the off stump and assisted the ball on the fielder inside the circle. Shakib has no pace to work with and runs the risk of being easily caught if he misses it. But seeing the ball reach the boundary, he turned towards captain Eoin Morgan and patted his shoulders. Easy-PC Skipper seemed to say he did with a smile.
Far away in England, a certain Asif Iqbal is proud to have attended the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL eliminator in Sharjah. Sharjah has been a cricketing ground for four decades and the former Pakistan captain, with a strong Hyderabad (India) connection, played a huge role in taking the game to the desert. “While people still call me one of the leading cricket architects in Sharjah, I am proud. We started from scratch and now it has become a cornerstone, along with a World Cup for the IPL,” Iqbal told the Indian Express. I remember his emotions while I was there. “I enjoyed the game last night. Even in today’s match, I look forward to the best entertainment. When the nostalgia began, Iqbal left an idea for those who, along with him, had the courage to dream. “Some of them are still alive, some of them are not. The two of us made it happen together and the joy stopped.”
Bharat faces the turners and spins the tides
How night to night changes. There he was showered with all praise after the final match heroics with the last ball six. But today Sreekar Bharat struggled for 9 not out off 16 balls and could not make it big. There is also pressure on him due to the strategic decision taken by the RCB on certain issues. Virat Kohli strikes Bharat for singles against mystery spinners Varun Chakraborty and Sunil Narine. And also against Shakib Al Hasan. With the exception of one dot ball at this stage after the power play when the spinners were spinning, Kohli took every ball he faced as a single. But Bharat could not connect with his attempted aggressive hits. He was stumped almost once and misled the emperor and his associates. He could not reach the pitch of the balls – the spinners were awesome with their length, and he could not find any time. The shots continued to be more frustrating but nothing clicked and the misery ended when he made a hole until long-off. His innings gained momentum all built up during the powerplay.
Sharma is in a slow-spinning rotisserie
It was the slowest decision taken by on-field umpire Virender Sharma and the quick reversal of third umpire Anil Chaudhary. Shabaaz Ahmed went for a reverse sweep from Varun Chakraborty and it hit the edge, causing his pad to touch his width of almost two stumps. The emperor appealed. And appealed. Shahbaz went on the run and Virender decided to wilt and raise his finger. Other batsman Glenn Maxwell was shocked and said, “It’s hit the bat! ‘