The emphasis on good fielding has increased a lot with the advent on Twenty20 cricket due to the quick nature of the game. The IPL has seen more than its fair share of dismissals through spectacular catches or lighting fast run-outs.
Here are five of the best such instances.
Trent Boult vs RCB, IPL 2018
Royal Challengers Bangalore were chasing 175 to win at the Ferozeshah Kotla and were in a good position with both Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers in the middle when a simple moment of brilliance in the field threatened to disrupt their chase.
Kohli went for a big shot off Harshal Patel and the ball looked likely to clear Boult, who was standing slightly ahead of the boundary line. Instead, the New Zealand bowler stuck out his right arm and completed a stunning catch, falling just before the ropes.
RCB eventually went on to win the match thanks to De Villiers’ unbeaten 90 but Boult’s stunning bit of fielding was adjudged the best catch of the 2018 season.
Yuvraj Singh vs MI, IPL 2008
Kings XI Punjab had scored 189 in the first innings after being put in to bat by the Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians. But a well-scored 65 from Tendulkar meant Mumbai stayed in the game and needed 19 off the final over.
The first two balls went for a six and four but KXIP pulled things back, taking two wickets in the next two balls as the equation came down to 4 runs needed off 2 balls. 2 runs were then taken off the fifth ball.
Thus, only 2 runs were needed for the win. The final ball was played to Yuvraj at cover who, seeing that the batsmen had already set off for the run, charged at the stumps and dislodged them in an effort similar to what Jonty Rhodes pulled off in the 1992 World Cup, thus winning his side the match by 1 run.
Kieron Pollard vs RR, IPL 2014
Pollard’s ability to pull off stunning catches is well-known and never was this more evident than on this instance. Rajasthan Royals were chasing 179 to win against the Mumbai Indians and were in a spot of bother but still had Kevon Cooper at the crease.
Sensing that quick runs were the need of the hour, Cooper went for a big shot off Harbhajan Singh but the ball went straight to Pollard.
The big all-rounder collected the catch but stumbled and fell backwards. He took two steps, almost touching the boundary ropes in the process but threw the ball back before recovering and completing the catch with an outstretched dive. MI went on to win the game by 25 runs.
Faf du Plessis vs MI, IPL 2015
The final of the 2015 edition saw the Chennai Super Kings take on the Mumbai Indians and South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis made his mark early in the game with a run-out for the ages.
Batting first, Mumbai had started the game slowly and openers Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel went for a quick single that spelled the end for the latter.
Parthiv played the ball towards mid-on and took off for a single. Du Plessis ran in, dived and collected the ball then threw it underarm while off balance and still managed to hit the stumps. Unfortunately for CSK, the night belonged to MI but Du Plessis’ athletics will always be remembered.
Chris Lynn vs RCB, IPL 2014
Lynn was making his IPL debut for the Kolkata Knight Riders and had already done his bit with the bat, scoring 45 off 31 balls to help KKR set the Royal Challengers Bangalore a target of 151.
RCB looked set to win the match as they needed 9 to win from the last over with De Villiers and Albie Morkel at the crease. Three singles later and the equation was a simple 6 runs from 3 balls.
De Villiers went for a six off Vinay Kumar on the fourth delivery but his hit found Lynn at deep mid-wicket, who slipped at first but then recovered and dived backwards to pull off a stunning catch. RCB lost the match by 2 runs.
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First Published: March 27, 2019, 2:47 PM IST