Dramatic ups and downs in an over to take Rahul Tripathi home to KKR

KKR needed 7 runs from 6 balls to make it to the final. Rahul Tripathi could have easily scored “1 run in 5 balls”, showing deserved disrespect to Ashwin’s rank long-hop. He swung the bat but the ball rolled over long-on, and equally slowly, Tripathi would pull his legs to the non-striker’s end. Did he miss his chance to be a hero? The next 4 balls were filled with every emotion possible. Players on the field, in the dugout, WAGs in guest boxes, owners in VVIP suits were all on a crazy stadium-sized rollercoaster—feeling a fast rush one moment and nauseated the next. There were some embarrassing ducks in those frantic final moments, one about six. Ashwin looked like he was finally having his big IPL moment and Pant was on the verge of being called the next Dhoni. While all this was happening, Rahul must have been burning inside for not taking Ashwin’s gift early. On second thought, if he had hit the climax on the first ball of the final over, it would have been so un-IPlish. Bollywood star-owned franchise KKR, reaching the finals without drama would have been so unrealistic. The next time Rahul was on strike, he didn’t miss. This time the ball went over the long on boundary. Tripathi gave his toothy smile to the dugout of KKR and the delight of millions of pandals across the world. Like in most films, Rahul first tied himself in knots and when the world thought he was trapped, he cut himself. Just like those Bollywood Rahul.

Brusk Ananthapadmanabhan

Prithvi Shaw He had no chance after not reading the ball from Varun Chakraborty’s hands. He had moved his front leg back and forth and was waiting for his doom. Chakraborty’s ball hits the length and breaks to wrap the pads before hitting the bat. The appeal went to umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan, who was a leg-spinner with a good googly during his playing days and took his time to agree with the fast-moving Chakraborty and Dinesh Karthik. Shaw paused for a while to ask his partner if he should go for DRS but Shikhar Dhawansuggested that the replay of dressing room television be investigated. Ananthapadmanabhan is a respected umpire in domestic cricket and in the 2019 Ranji season, he umpired from both ends in the final as the other umpires got injured and the replacement was to come later. His role model in umpiring is S Venkataragavan, whose brutal behavior has plagued Ananthapadmanabhan, who can be quite harsh if players continue their appeals or unnecessarily question their decisions.

Torrent followed by candies and friendly full-toss

It was only a cursory smile, but its importance could not be overstated. Shikhar Dhawan was watching the fish out of the water against the pace of Lockie Ferguson. Ferguson bowled a thunderbolt at 152 kmph and Dhawan wanted to play it at the back point. But the Delhi Capitals opener was late and the ball was left behind. The next delivery took place at 148 kph, with the southeast rolling down the track, aiming to throw it on point. Still, he was beaten for speed. Another express delivery followed, fuller and pat on the pad. Dhawan was still not off the mark. An over later, he was up against Sunil Narine’s secret and the first ball struck the bat again. The pressure was building up when Narine bowled a friendly full-toss, breaking Dhawan’s shackles. The shots on his way out of prison deserved a smile, a sigh of relief.

Dwarf, Defensive Ashwin

The only slow and steady act that R Ashwin did in his first three overs was carefully tying Venkatesh Iyer’s shovels. Iyer requested Ashwin to fix his laces that had come undone, and Ashwin immediately stopped wiping the dew off the ball and helped. His bowling though was disappointingly defensive. He kept on firing or side-arming the ball in an attempt to stop instead of taking the wicket. Perhaps, it was the dew factor, but Ashwin was the high-class off-spinner who dismissed Eoin Morgan on the second night with a beautiful loop of break or guts who dared to toss it and the like. Chris Gayle And Rohit Sharma was missing in the past. Instead, we had the version that just kept firing them. He used to towel dry the ball in anger and was on the defensive. Even the farm set by them Rishabh Pant Was on the defensive from the second over of the chase itself. There was no clear plan for taking wickets and both Iyer and Shubman Gill kept on punching and motivating them to rotate the strike. He will drop a sitter after a few overs.

He got a chance to redeem himself in the last over and he almost ended that too. He was defending after just 7 runs Kagiso Rabada And Enrique Nortje had almost pulled off a heist with a fast wicket, but there was still Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine. This time Ashwin bent his knees, bowed, and side-armed the loopy slow stuff. Not as fast as the last three overs. And Shakib falls, lbw and then Ashwin holds his nerve to keep the ball up to Narine, who is dismissed at long-off. Then 6 runs were needed in the last two, Ashwin’s first mistake of that over. He goes for the short and flat stuff and Tripathi closes it for a match-winning six at long-off.


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