Winning five out of five was always going to be difficult, but few optimistic RCB fans would have had hopes of a repeat of last year’s heroics from their side. However, after another humiliating loss at the hands of RPS, RCB stand dangerously close to the exit doors.
Earlier in the day, Pune fought hard to put up a below-par 157 on a good batting surface after being put in to bat first. But what followed after the innings break was another catastrophic display of batting by the under-the-pump RCB top-order. The fact that Virat Kohli was the only one to get to double-digits for RCB tells the entire story.
While there was plenty that RPS did right on the field today, Steve Smith’s diving catch to dismiss the Kerala batsman, Sachin Baby, was clearly the stand-out effort. While the catch in itself was an outstanding effort, the RPS skipper won the hearts of the fans as he, in the spirit of the game, admitted that he was unsure if he took it cleanly.
This is how the things transpired.
It was the fourth delivery of the 9th over, and Washington Sundar bowled a flatter one in line with the stumps. Sachin Baby, looking to rotate the strike, tried to flick the ball to the onside. However, he hit it straight to Smith who had positioned himself at the short mid-wicket position.
There wasn’t enough pace on the ball for it to carry to the Aussie, so the RPS skipper leapt forward and got his fingers underneath the ball. The bowler and the close-in fielders went up in appeal, but Smith straight away signalled that he was unsure if he took the catch cleanly. The umpire decided to go upstairs with a soft-signal of out.
However, it was clear after multiple replays that Smith had got his fingers under the ball and the third umpire rightly adjudged Baby out. Baby’s brief stay at the crease had been brought to end by a brilliance piece of fielding by the Supergiant skipper.
You can watch the video here
It is very easy to claim a catch wrongly as every wicket is important when you are defending a small total. But Smith showed great character and upheld the spirit of the game with his actions. It was great to see him in this vein and his act could serve as an example to many aspiring young cricketers.