IPL 8: Fielding howlers in limelight again at EdenKolkata: It was another run feast at the hallowed Eden Gardens on Saturday but the fielding howlers proved to the game changer yet again as defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders went down by three wickets
Kolkata: It was another run feast at the hallowed Eden Gardens on Saturday but the fielding howlers proved to the game changer yet again as defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders went down by three wickets to Royal Challengers Bangalore in a thrilling IPL encounter.
The fielding lapses almost mirrored Wednesday's IPL opener at the same venue between KKR and Mumbai Indians, when six catches were spilled.
The on-field action on Saturday evening in fact started off with a boundary - courtesy a mis-fielding.
Making his IPL debut for RCB, Australian pacer Sean Abbott saw his very first delivery going past the boundary rope after Abu Nechim made a mockery of a regulation stop at the third man.
Long in the news for bowling the ball which fatally hit compatriot Phillip Hughes, Abbott was at the receiving end of another sloppy work two balls later when Harshal Patel let go another through midwicket.
Abbott himself was involved in poor judgement on the field along with fellow pacer Varun Aaron as the duo tied themselves into a bundle of confusion failing to attempt a simple catch offered by Andre Russell.
The Jamaican then on 24, clobbered 17 more runs of the last few deliveries to take the Knights to a formidable 177/6.
Incidentally, it's not the Indians alone, rather Australian and South African recruits known for their fielding prowess, who have been butter fingered in the early days of the tournament.
In fact Knights' South African pace spearhead Morne Morkel dropped Chris Gayle twice, in what proved out to be the turning point as the big hitting Jamaican took away the game with a blistering 56-ball 96.
Both Gayle and Knights skipper Gautam Gambhir dwelt on the issue after the match.
"One of the turning points of the game was Morne dropping my catch...," man of the match Gayle s,aid at the presentation ceremony.
"If you keep dropping catches, someone like Chris will hurt you," is what Gambhir had to say after the lanky pacer first dropped Gayle on 33 and then again on 63.
Incidentally Gambhir, who scored his second successive half century, was himself a beneficiary of a AB de Villiers largesse. The southpaw was on 31 when the South African made a mess of a simple catch at mid-wicket.
Knight's all-rounder Yusuf Pathan though sought to defend his team 's sloppy work in the field.
"Catches win you matches, but nobody drops them intentionally. The good thing is the mistakes have happened at the beginning of the tournament and we have the time to rectify them. It would become difficult if this happens at the later stages," Pathan said at the post match media conference.