Morgan’s KKR getting closer to the playoffs; Kane avoids drama; KL continues to play well in vain and Kohli watches with daggers … his bat

Eoin Morgan was present among the non-strikers to see Dinesh Karthik finish for KKR who won by 6 wickets. On the other side of his commiserations for losing was Kane Williamson, who smiled politely with his lower jaw grin, shook his head in stoic acceptance, and gently eased the proceedings, like his usual good self. Not that Kane isn’t able to bubble up in all the excitement that is playing out on the pitch. His outfield catch while running earlier brought something akin to a Ketchup Song jig over the shoulder with Jason Roy. But a loss in the low-scoring match on a slow wicket, even as things were coming to an end, put him in a familiar outcome, as SRH is practically out of action. Later, he would be seen after the match chatting happily with DK and Morgan, doing another bustling upper body jive, telling a source of amusement. The world will remain hooked on this dramatic 50-point final which the England national team won against New Zealand. The two captains remain affable totems of normalcy, as if to say, it’s just a game of cricket.

Prepared for impact

Jaw tight, eyes closed, face turned to the other side. Devdutt Padikkal was ready for impact. Sunil Gavaskar in the comment was ruthless – criticizing the youngster for not being brave enough to face the ball. But then again, this was a more unconventional delivery from Mohammed Shami. The eighth ball in RCB’s innings, Shami’s release and pitch suggested he was looking for a bouncer. And the left-hander with the bat read so much and started to slip away. Only, the ball refused to go up. Padikkal, already halfway through, saw the low rebound and tried to get as close to the surface as possible to stay clear of the ball’s path but wasn’t sure he had dodged enough. Perhaps instinctively, he turned the other way, expecting a hit anywhere between his shoulder and the top of his helmet. But the ball had enough juice to pass and nestle in the gloves of KL Rahul.

Don’t blame the bat

The moment Virat Kohli found his stumps disturbed – the clatter of the leather on the wood was enough, he did not turn around – he gave his bat a wary and fierce look (face). A look so fake the bat would have collapsed and crashed into the sand. As if the willow was the reason he couldn’t throw the ball in Sharjah’s Sunday traffic, which he had already achieved once in his rickety shot. Poor sticks, it is often the object of anger, whenever a batter fails to connect or connects weakly, or when he tucks the ball. A fall guy, through no fault of his own. The Kohli stunt itself was a classic example – a hideous non-Kohli hack on a track that lacked rhythm. In addition, the ball had remained a little low. He could have blamed himself, or the pitch, or even the twittering goalie. But blaming a big piece of wood, their best friend (to some their soul or soul mate), seems instinctive. If only the bat could speak, or at least look at its angry masters. Or if the wood could turn into a mirror.

No peak of joy for KL

The Punjab Kings are hanging on to the straw in the tournament’s commercial end and even the TV referee didn’t help matters. RCB opener Devdutt Padikkal attempted to lower a faster spinner Ravinder Bishnoi past the point and the Punjab Kings used the DRS. Snickometer showed a slight spike as the ball passed the glove, but the on-field referee was told to stick with his decision. The clearly annoyed Punjab captain KL Rahul approached the referee and gestured towards the crampon. But the more he tried to get his point across, the more desperate his appeals became. Rahul had a decent game with the bat, until he perished trying to pick up the pace. Later, as his team floundered through the chase, he wore a sheepish smile. Being the orange cap holder should bring joy to the opener, but instead he was left simmering in collective batting failure.