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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Faf Defies The Law Of Physics!

Faf Defies The Law Of Physics!

By CHITRANGADA DATTA CHAUDHURI
May 19, 2024 11:03 IST
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IMAGE: Faf du Plessis celebrates after picking up a stunning catch during RCB's IPL match against CSK in Bengaluru, May 18, 2024. Photographs: BCCI

Did skipper Faf du Plessis take the best catch of the tournament?

It surely was in contention as the RCB skipper put up a brilliant effort in the field to lead his team to a 27 run win over Chennai Super Kings.

Not just win, but win by a margin was RCB's task of the day. And even if a win was assured, the hosts fended off a late charge to knock CSK out of the play-off's race and become the fourth team to qualify for the finals.

A month ago, RCB was languishing at the bottom of the table, with six losses on the trot. One more defeat would have sent them home early. But the Bengaluru team pulled off a stunning turnaround, winning six matches on the trot to seal their place in the play-offs.

This is the ninth time, RCB, who are yet to win their maiden title, have qualified for the knockout stages.

While the batters and bowlers did their bit, some brilliant fielding effort swayed the match in RCB's favour at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

A look at the best fielding efforts on Saturday:

 

Daryl Mitchell 

CSK's Daryl Mitchell took two outstanding catches on the edge of the boundary.

The Kiwi all-rounder took an important catch to dismiss RCB batting maestro Virat Kohli at a crucial stage. Kohli smashed 47 from 29 balls to give RCB a flying start before he looked to hit spinner Mitchell Santner over the top but ended up lofting it towards Mitchell at long on.

Mitchell took a few steps back to take the high catch but the momentum seemed to have taken him over the boundary cushions. An alert Mitchell flicked the ball up as he crossed over before returning to the field to complete a superb catch, in the 10th over.

Mitchell produced a similar effort to get rid of Rajat Patidar. The RCB right-hander mistimed the full toss from Shardul Thakur as he lofted it down the ground. Again Mitchell took the catch before throwing the ball back as he went over the boundary and promptly got back inside to complete another excellent catch.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

The match was played in Bengaluru but the amount of support for Dhoni felt like CSK were playing at home. His every move was being cheered loudly by both home and away fans.

Glenn Maxwell swung his bat hard against Shardul Thakur in the final over but his timing went awry off the slower ball.

The ball went miles in the air and who better than Dhoni to pouch it with his big gloves. He took time to nicely settle under the ball and made it look like another easy catch.

Mitchell Santner

Mitchell Santner's quick reflexes brought RCB Faf du Plessis' crucial wicket.

The RCB captain, who stroked his way to 54 from 39 balls, was unlucky to be run out at the non-striker's end. Rajat Patidar hit the overpitched delivery from Santner straight back. The bowler did well to get his hands on it and deflect it to the stumps.

Du Plessis backing a bit too much was caught short as he failed to drag his bat back in time.

Virat Kohli

After Daryl Mitchell picked up his catch earlier, Kohli got his revenge as his fielding skills were put to the test very eary into CSK's chase.

Mitchell mistimed a shot off Yash Dayal in the third over. Looking to clear his front leg and lofting over mid off, Mitchell mishit to Virat Kohli. Running to his left and then backwards, Kohli completed the catch to send Mitchell packing for 4.

Faf Du Plessis

The skipper picked up two catches in RCB's must-win encounter and one may have been the catch of the tournament.

His catching skills were first put to the test in the 10th over. Ajinkya Rahane fell to Lockie Ferguson's slower delivery. Looking to go over cover, Rahane ended up slicing it to Faf at covers. A stellar effort with the skipper made it look like an easy one.

Faf's next effort tilted the scales heavily in RCB's favour. In the 15th over, Santner lofted Mohammad Siraj's low full toss and du Plessis defied the laws of physics to leave one and all stunned.

Stationed at mid off, Du Plessis 'flew' with his right hand stretched out to pluck it out of the air. The 39 year old timed his jump to perfection as he was 2.3 metres off the ground when he grabbed the ball.

The RCB dugout behind broke out in celebrations, while Santner and the CSK dugout were left shell-shocked.

Swapnil Singh

In the context of the game it was the most important catch of the night. With Dhoni threatening to ruin RCB's chances of securing the play-offs berth, Yash Dayal came to RCB's rescue.

In the 20th over after dispatching Dayal for a mammoth six, Dhoni looked to hammer Dayal for a second six on the trot, but managed to only get to to deep backward square leg.

Swapnil Singh made no mistake as he picked up the catch at deep backward square leg. While RCB celebrated the mammoth moment in the game, the spectators realised that this may be the last time they saw Thala in action.

CSK Vs RCB: Who Was The Best Fielder?

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CHITRANGADA DATTA CHAUDHURI

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