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T20 cricket has redefined the fielding standard. But the ‘boundaries’ were redefined again in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 with players taking some stunning catches especially on the boundary ropes. Abhijit Banare and Nishad Pai Vaidya take a look at some breath-taking catches in IPL 7.
1) Kieron Pollard redefines juggling boundary catches
In the past few IPL seasons and in international cricket, there have been many instances of fielders juggling the catch while overstepping the boundary and coming back to take the catch. But Kieron Pollard’s presence of mind during the Mumbai Indians’ (MI) match against Rajasthan Royals (RR) was astounding. Kevon Cooper played it towards long-on and the ball looked set to sail over. Pollard managed to catch it with his outstretched right hand and within a fraction of a second he realised that he was sure to fall over the ropes. In what seemed like a rhythmic movement, Pollard hurled the ball back high in the air while crossing the boundary. He realised that he had thrown it too far inside the playing area but that didn’t deter him to make an attempt. Pollard threw himself and with an outstretched right hand he caught ball again. It has already been termed as one of the best catches of the century!
2) Chris Lynn’s gravity-defying catch
The first gravity-defying stunt before Pollard took over was by Chris Lynn. There are many ways to look at it but the reason why Lynn’s catch was better than Pollard was the situation in which it came under. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) could have won the match easily if AB de Villiers had stayed there, but the catch changed the match completely. In the last over of the chase against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) needing nine to win, de Villiers pulled a short ball from Vinay Kumar, there was enough power in the shot. Lynn settled at deep midwicket to take the catch but slipped a bit. While regaining his ground Lynn realised he would be too late and managed to take the catch while he was off-balance. The force of the delivery saw him trip again and somehow land inches inside the boundary. It even prompted Amul to make an advertisement.
3) Faf du Plessis Part 1/2!
This was the first of the two matches Delhi Daredevils (DD) played against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Suresh Raina had already pulled off a stunner to dismiss Mayank Agarwal. In the fourth over of the chase, Murali Vijay went after Mohit Sharma and played one high over mid-off. Faf du Plessis ran back and covered a lot of ground before hanging on to a superb catch before falling to the ground. Only du Plessis could’ve pulled that off.
4) Faf du Plessis Part 2/2!
A déjà –vu four balls later. This time Manoj Tiwary doesn’t get the timing right but seemed just enough to clear du Plessis, but the South African was in no mood to let anything fly over him. Du Plessis steps back and plucks off another stunning catch.
5) Suryakumar Yadav’s pauses on the boundary
Rajasthan Royals were being powered by Shane Watson as he was consistently finding boundaries and was threatening to take them to a good score. But then, in the penultimate over, Watson smashed one from Sunil Narine to long-on and it looked set to clear the fence. Suryakumar Yadav positioned himself and realised he was close to the boundary. He plucked it just over the ropes and as he realised the ball was taking him over, he had his balance quite remarkably on one leg.
6) Steven Smith beats two fielders to take a blinder
Dwayne Smith was going great guns at one end even as Brendon McCullum tried to get into his groove. In the sixth over, McCullum tried to smash James Faulkner over midwicket, but did not get enough on it. The ball soared high as three fielders converged towards its. As it came down, the fielders were perilously close to each other, almost set for a collision. But the other two stopped. In the middle was Steven Smith who had beaten them and dived to take a catch as he was running back to hold on to it. This was all about co-ordination, teamwork and ultimately the inherent skill in Smith’s fielding.
7) Beuran Hendricks takes a swirler
Murali Vijay top edged one from Sandeep Sharma and it went high in the air towards fine-leg. The fine-leg was in the circle and had the man been back, it would have been an easy catch. But, Beuran Hendricks had to run back and judge it well. It went miles in the air and took almost forever to come down. But as it did, Hendricks caught it right in front of his chest as he was running back. Although such catches are made to look easy, they aren’t and Hendricks deserves full credit for his effort.
8) Glenn Maxwell fumbles, but recovers well
As Delhi Daredevils’ innings came to a close at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Wayne Parnell smashed one to long-off and Glenn Maxwell was in position to take it. He held it with his hands outstretched to his right and he fumbled. But he responded by holding it a few inches away from the boundary with his right hand.
9) Mitchell Starc stays within the boundaries after taking a splendid catch
Royal Challengers Bangalore were defending a small total and needed some inspiration early. When Wriddhiman Saha pulled one to fine-leg, Mitchell Starc ran along the ropes took the catch and somehow ensured he stayed within the boundaries. Common sense would have suggested that Starc’s momentum would have taken him out but he somehow managed a bank and stayed inside to affect a good catch. He soon followed by taking another good one to dismiss Maxwell.
(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)
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