With nine runs needed off the last over, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were in the driving seat to win the IPL tie against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), on Thursday, especially when you had the dangerous AB de Villiers batting.
In the end, though, they lost by two runs. The bowler who did the job for KKR was Ranganath Vinay Kumar. Under the circumstances, one would expect him to make the headlines.
On the contrary, it was a certain Chris Lynn, Kolkata Knight Riders' Australian recruit, who stole the limelight.
After scoring a 31-ball 45 to help KKR post a total of 150 for seven, he pulled off a stunning catch to get rid of AB de Villiers in the last over.
The catch took the wind out of RCB sails and sent the KKR camp into delirious celebrations.
The job, though, was still not done for KKR. RCB needed six off the last two balls and were harbouring hopes to pull off a win.
But Vinay Kumar mixed it up well as KKR snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Lynn maintained that he would any day prefer getting more and more runs for his team rather than taking sensational catches.
“Talking about that catch… I slipped and I thought if I stood up and dropped the catch, it would look very silly, so I just stayed down,” he said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Chasing on a good batting surface, Bangalore were off to a blazing start with Yogesh Takawale (40) and Parthiv Patel (21) dealing in boundaries.
Takawale was the more aggressive of the two as hit a flurry of boundaries. He was especially reckless against KKR pace spearhead Morne Morkel.
The job of getting a quick breakthrough was done by Kallis when he dismissed Takawale. Patel was soon to follow suit.
But captain Virat Kohli (31) and Yuvraj Singh (31) remained focussed and the two experienced players went about the task in a calculated manner. In the end, their efforts were all in vain.
Gambhir was all praise for Lynn, saying the catch surely tilted the match in their favour. He termed his side’s victory as “incredible”.
“It was an incredible win for us. Some would say that we were lucky, but we deserved some luck.
“I believe no other team have suffered the lack of luck as much as we did,” Gambhir said at the post-match presentation after his side’s second win in the tournament.
Gautam Gambhir: It was an incredible win for us. Some would say that we were lucky, but we deserved some luck. I believe no other team have suffered the lack of luck as much as we did.
It was a good deck to bat on initially but as the ball got older, it became difficult to hit. It was getting difficult to clear the fence.
We were perhaps 10-15 runs short. I know I am not scoring runs, but I am trying my best. I am happy about the fact that the team is doing well. Lynn scored useful runs for us, and so did Jacques Kallis and Suryakumar Yadav.
We did put up a competitive total… We knew that once the ball gets old, we will be in with a chance. Having said that, we were scratchy with the bat… And with the ball too. Definitely, there are areas we need to improve in. Lynn deserves all the awards for that unbelievable catch.
We had only a few runs to defend and that catch surely tilted the match in our favour. He kept his calm and composure and pulled off a blinder, otherwise AB de Villiers would have finished the game. Hopefully, we will continue to do well.
Virat Kohli: I would say we lost the match rather than KKR winning. Yes, they did bowl well in the last couple of overs, but with an asking rate of just above six runs per over with six-seven wickets in hand… we would win nine times out of ten. Perhaps, today is that one time when we failed to get over the line and pull off a win.
My jaw is doing fine but it was a bad hit. There was an awkward bounce and the ball took off from nowhere.
I am not very disappointed because throughout the match, barring the last couple of overs, we played some really good cricket. We bowled really well on this kind of a wicket to restrict them to 150.
Even we got a good start to the chase, we have had good partnerships in between. We just messed up towards the end of the innings. I really believe we have a lot of positives to take from this game and we will surely come back stronger.
Chris Lynn (MoM): It was my first match of the season. I got some runs under my belt and that catch too… But, if one asks which one of the two is more important to me, I would prefer runs any day. It was a good win for us.
The boys were all pumped up and while batting, we were looking at somewhere around 180. But 150 was okay as the pitch was a little bit two paced and the boys defended really well. Talking about that catch… Thrilling... I slipped and I thought if I stood up and dropped the catch, it would look very silly, so I just stayed down.