‘Catches win Matches’ – Introduction :
‘Catches win Matches’ is an age-old saying in the sport of cricket to emphasise how important it is to make catches when the opportunity arises. Throughout the history of the sport, a catch or two dropped in a match or series has determined the final result. In fact rosters, today are created with great fielders in mind. They are valued highly because they could be the player that could push a team over the top and make them a championship-level team.
On the second day of TATA IPL 2022, we saw once again why the saying ‘catches win matches’ is not just an expression as both the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore failed to hold on to the opportunity to get the opponent out with a catch and ended up on the losing side even after putting a good score on the board.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Punjab Kings (PBKS) :
A great start for the Royal Challengers Bangalore :
The Royal Challengers Bangalore began the TATA IPL 2022 under a new captain Faf Du Plessis, with a brilliant start as the team got on to a good 50 run stand against the Punjab Kings at the D Y Patil Stadium, Pune. RCB’s first wicket fell on the last ball of the seventh over, much to the delight of not just the Punjab Kings’ fans, but also the RCB fans, as it meant the arrival of Virat Kohli.
The former skipper partnered with the new skipper to stitch together a 118-run stand before Faf departed for a brilliant 88. Virat Kohli who mainly played a second fiddle to Faf looked in decent touch and stayed not out on 41 from just 29 deliveries. Dinesh Kartik, who moved back to RCB this season, came in at the fall of the second wicket and played a quickfire 32 off just 14 deliveries hitting 3 fours and 3 sixes to finish the total at 205/2.
A bitter pill to swallow :
Du Plessis and co would have come out to defend their total pretty happy, but what awaited was a bitter pill to swallow. They realised the hard way that catches win matches. The Punjab Kings’ openers stitched together a 71 run partnership from 7 overs with skipper Mayank Agarwal making 32 before perishing to Hasaranga. Co-opener Shikhar Dhawan also looked in good nick but got out after scoring a well made 42.
Some quick wickets in the middle overs did bring some solace to the RCB camp, but that was just temporary before Shahrukh Khan and Odean Smith made sure that the Kings got over the line with an over to spare. Odean Smith was dropped on 1 by the debutant Anuj Rawat and this proved to be a changing point in the game as Smith made 25 from just 8 balls smashing three sixes and 1 four. It was a heartbreaking loss because, if the catch was made it would be a whole different story. That is why the saying goes, ‘catches win matches’.
The Mumbai Indians (MI) vs The Delhi Capitals (DC) :
Ishan Kishan helps the Mumbai Indians put up a decent score :
Another instance in the TATA IPL 2022, where the phrase ‘catches win matches’ held true was when the Mumbai Indians faced the Delhi Capitals at Brabourne Stadium. After being sent in to bat by the Delhi Capitals, the Mumbai Indians got off to a good start with both Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan looking in dynamite form. But Rohit got out after making 41 off 32 deliveries.
Though the Delhi Capitals managed to pull things back in the middle overs, opener Ishaan Kishan stuck around and remained not out on 81 showing why he is worth the big bucks. His innings along with some help from the other batsmen helped the Mumbai Indians post a target of 178 for the Delhi Capitals.
Chasing the target, Delhi was off to a good start but captain Rohit Sharma’s move to bring on the spinner Murugan Ashwin into the attack proved to be a masterclass as he removed both a dangerous-looking Seifert and Mandeep Singh in the same over. Delhi Capitals seemed to be losing the way as the skipper Rishab Pant, opener Prithwi Shah and the powerhouse Rovman Powell were back in the pavilion within the tenth over leaving their side reeling at 72/5.
But Lalit Yadav stuck around, along with Shardul Thakur and managed to take the heat out of the game for some time. The 32 run partnership between the two stabilized the ship for Capitals before Shardul Thakur got out for a brisk 22 off just 11 deliveries. Rohit Sharma would have felt pretty good taking the catch of Thakur as the Capitals still needed 74 runs from 41 deliveries. But what followed was a great comeback from the Capitals as Lalit took the company of Axar Patel to complete the mission.
Carnage from Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav :
Things were under control for the five-time champions until the end of the 15th over when they still had 56 runs to defend. But what followed was carnage from Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav as they took on the spearhead of the MI bowling, Jasprit Bumrah for 15 runs. But things still would have gone their way had Tim David held on to the chance when Axar Patel tried to hit Basil Thampi for a six over long-on. Another example of why catches win matches in the sport of cricket.
Thampi also missed a runout opportunity off the same ball, as they managed to steal a couple of runs off the dropped catch. The Mumbai Indians soon realised that they had not just dropped a catch but also the match as Axar and Lalit thrashed the MI attack apart and won the match with an over and a half to spare.
‘Catches win Matches’ – Conclusion :
Both the Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore might be pretty happy with the batting performances of their squads, but will be looking to rectify their mistakes on the field as they prepare themselves for the upcoming matches in the tournament. Hopefully this time the 2 teams can hold onto the catches they make. As tough of a lesson as it was, they are lucky that they understand early in the season that catches win matches and can improve their fielding for the rest of the tournament.
While the missed opportunities to get a batsman out with catches are definitely a major factor in cricket matches, it might not always be the reason a team loses. In order to break down why a team lost or a team won using the data obtained from the cricket matches, it is necessary to understand the concept of cricket analytics.
Cricket analytics involves the collection and breakdown of data from cricket matches that have taken place over a period of time. This data is collected from players, teams and matches. The breakdown will give us an idea of what exactly went wrong in the match and what the major reason for the loss was. It gives us the most accurate data possible in today’s day and age.
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