PBKS vs RR: Tyagi gets Sanga smiling, Samson left vexed & perplexed; Arshdeep’s stress-face

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Tyagi getting Sanga to jump with joy
Which fast bowler can make the stoic looking Kumar Sangakkara hop, skip and jump with joy? The Rajasthan Royals’ director of cricket cantered onto the field from the dug out as 20-year-old fast bowler Kartik Tyagi turned the game on its head in the final over. Tyagi conceded one run and dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Deepak Hooda. The pacer from Dhanaura, Hapur, came to the limelight at the Under-19 World Cup with speed guns at 145 kmph. He had an eventful first over; a referral for caught behind was wasted when ultra edge didn’t show anything on Mayank Agarwal’s bat, a full toss was dismissed by KL Rahul for a four. Though he didn’t have much luck, Tyagi smiled after every delivery. He would have the same smile pasted across his face when kept his cool and got Sanga to loosen up.

Perplexed skipper Samson
When Chris Morris — IPL’s most expensive player ever — bowled one of his more expensive overs ever, Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson could only muster a wry laugh. After a decent first over conceding only six runs, the South African seamer lost his line, and the plot. There were the two half-volleys on the leg stump, deposited into the first and second tier respectively by Mayank Agarwal. Then there were the three grisly wides, prompting three full-stretch dives from Samson. Samson the wicketkeeper was already vexed.

Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson.

Samson the skipper was equally perplexed. His counterpart Rahul had been dropped thrice in the powerplay and now his lead bowler was struggling. Sporting a helpless grin, Samson ran across to comfort his bowler. Morris eventually got the line and length right on the last ball, and Agarwal lofted him over cover for a boundary. All in all, 25 runs conceded, and the camera never cut to Samson.

Flood or famine, Lewis stays same
Like his idol Chris Gayle, Evan Lewis is six-savvy, and even bettered Gayle’s haul in the last edition of the Caribbean Premier League. But unlike the ever-grinning, hyper-expressive Gayle, Lewis seems permanently poker-faced, entirely inexpressive when he bats. The lips barely move, the eyes are stone cold. No shake of his head or shrug of his shoulders. He wore the same sober expression when he brutalised Ishan Porel as well as when Mohammed Shami beat him neck and crop on a couple of instances. Batsmen are supposed to vent out their anger at least when they get out, especially after a robust start. Not Lewis. He walked away as cold as he had been batting in the middle. An anti-Gayle in terms of pouring his mind out in the middle. More like another six-hitting Caribbean opener Dwayne Smith.

Arshdeep’s stress-face
Arshdeep Singh is not a tearaway to groan in the follow-through like Shoaib Akhtar or Brett Lee. He bargains his wickets with the change of pace than outright pace. Mid-130 kmh at best, but mostly the 125-130 kph bracket. But he does put a lot of effort into his deliveries, especially the release. The run-up, gather and leap are smooth, the release less so.

Arshdeep Singh in action.

A grunt, and a reverse angle later, his face would contort, the bright eyes leaping out of sockets, the eyebrows shrivelling and lips curling in the strain as he sends down another of his cleverly-designed slower ball. He was dismayed when the fifth ball of his 12th over was called a wide, having already leaked 15. But the extra stress was worth it, as he finally had Liam Livingston acrobatically caught in the deep by Fabian Allen.

Long face, longer over
Chris Morris wears exaggeration for a beard at the best of times. One of the most emotive visages around, he found more than half a dozen chances to react to catches that were spilling all about the Rajasthan Royals’ field. Pulling his jaw far down when in the outfield as KL Rahul got one reprieve after another, he would also witness Riyan Parag pop one out of his hands at the end of his first over. And rein in his frustration with elaborate gritting of teeth that sprawled his laugh lines all over. It was Mayank Agarwal though who stretched his facial sinews. Completely losing his radar in his second, he would wilt three wides down the leg side when he wasn’t being carted around for two sixes and as many boundaries off four other deliveries. He ran in nine times in all in the never-ending over for 25 runs, getting a bemused Sanju Samson to offer a silent walk-back-to-start. Beneath the peals of sweat and the soaking towel, Tipo Morris’ face finally settled into a pummelled grimace that was forlorn.



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