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Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate their stunning win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. — KT photo by M. Sajjad
It was easily one of the greatest catches ever made in cricket. This was in the 20th over on Thursday night when KKR’s death over specialist Vinay Kumar (4-0-26-2) was operating from the Qasim Noorani stand end at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. RCB needed nine runs from it.
Kumar said: “Chris’s effort will be quite difficult to match. It turned everything around in one go. It’s unforgettable for all of us. I was intend on different approaches for Villiers and Morkel. “Chris’s show was an outright matchwinner and it got all of us sprinting towards him for what was, well I find it difficult to describe it,” medium pacer Kumar added.
In hushed silence, the packed audience saw Chris Lynn come forward from deep mid wicket to accept the AB de Villiers offer off Kumar. Lynn however found the high-fly ball swirling over his head for what looked a certain six just over the ropes, which would have almost sealed the match in RCB’s favour off the fourth ball.
At the last second, Lynn went a step or two back with his back to the ropes and the packed audience, stretched both hands backwards blindly, more with the hope of perhaps luck making the ball to land on his palms. Well, land it did on the palms and it stuck. Realising this, Lynn whose body momentum was carrying him towards the boundary ropes, flung himself away from it (rope), lurched forward in a side fall, broke the fall – all in one go - and came off with that spectacular piece of perhaps ‘humanly impossible’ catch in contemporary cricket of any form.
The two-run win on Thursday night in the 11th match of Pepsi IPL 2014, over RCB, when the Bangalore squad needed nine runs in the final over will be in the minds of everyone who was fortunate enough to see it at the ground or on the television sets.
Kumar said: “Situations like this makes me a better bowler. Bowling to men like De Villiers and Albie Morkel was going to be a difficult task irrespective of the nine still required situation for a win in the last over.”
Chasing 151, RCB after cruising comfortably, fell short in the death overs. Lynn, who had earlier helped himself to a quickfire 31-ball 45, stretched his body backwards at the deep midwicket fence to pull off the blinder and send back the ever reliable AB de Villiers in the death over.
Kumar completed the formalities when Albie Morkel could take only a single from the final ball when four runs were needed for RCB. Thanks to Kumar’s refined art of containing batsmen in the death over and Lynn’s ‘once in a lifetime’ work of genius on the field, RCB could only muster seven runs from the final over, giving KKR their second victory in the tournament by two runs.
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