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More a talking point than a turning point? Both, actually!
Shall we get the obligatory applause and kudos done, and be over with them? We say let’s.
Chris Gayle was just Chris Gayle. Why do they have boundaries chalked out when he is doing his own thing? Why are there singles and twos at all when sixes are a staple diet? He is a colossus, he is!
Sarfaraz Khan was a happy mixture of power and cheek. Well played indeed!
Jofra Archer is prodigiously talented alright. Truly a well-oiled unit that churns out lightening pace and accuracy.
Jinx Rahane’s first three boundaries were so beautiful that Gayle’s bludgeoning style paled in comparison.
There! Now let’s dig into the main course if you please. Jos Buttler had the game by the scruff of its neck and some desperate action was needed to get him out and make the game sit up on its head. Getting ‘Mankaded’ is perhaps the most inauspicious, most unfortunate way of being dismissed. It practically pulls the rug from under your feet when you are blissfully oblivious of the possibility. There are three ways of looking at what happened out there. Was it legal? Totally. Was it in the spirit of the game? No way. And did it really happen on the spur of the moment? Now there lies the rub. Without being judgemental, it did look to the naked eye, a move only to effect a much needed wicket, and not to rap on the knuckles of a naughty batsman. When seen closely, the video clearly shows that Ashwin played a little wicked hand by purposely waiting just long enough for Butler to take a couple of steps backing up. In all fairness, Butler never looked like consciously trying grab an inch or two that didn’t belong to him.
Well, folks, whichever way we choose to look at probably the most controversial dismissal in the history of IPL, it will be registered in the records only as a ‘run out’.
Oh ! Did we mention Ashwin bowled a fantastic captain’s spell? He sure did.
Congratulations, Kings! Tough luck, Royals!
By the way, it was hilarious to see Ankit Rajpoot going up in a hosanna of an appeal for LBW on his second consecutive no-ball. The laughter it evoked was rather muffled and awkward though, on the background of ‘The moment’ of the day.