Fielding is one of the most significant aspects of cricket. The best teams in the world not only take the catches that come their way but convert the half chances too. Be it any form of the cricket; it is rightly said that: "Catches win matches."
For instance, in 1999 World Cup, former Proteas player Herschelle Gibbs dropped a catch of the Australian captain, Steve Waugh. When he dropped the catch, Steve Waugh articulated saying "You just dropped the World Cup mate." Australia won that match and eventually won the World Cup also.
Especially in T20 cricket, every single run and every single wicket matters. Fielders give everything from their side to pull off a catch or a run-out. Everyone knows how valuable a catch or a run-out can change the course of a game.
Let us look at some IPL matches where fielding, great or poor, changed the momentum of the game.
#4) Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab,2013 (KXIP won by 6 wickets)
Batting first against Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore scored a mammoth total of 190 in their quota of 20 overs, thanks to the Gayle storm and a decent batting effort from Cheteshwar Pujara.
Chasing a mammoth 191, Kings XI Punjab were 64/4 at the halfway stage, needing 127 runs from 60 balls. David Miller was on 42* when Virat Kohli missed a sitter of Vinay Kumar's bowling in the 14th over.
Miller, then went on to score a century and guided his side to one of the famous victories in the history of IPL. Miller stitched an unbeaten 130* stand with Rajagopal Sathish, stealing 99 runs from last 5 overs of the game.
#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 2014 (KKR won by 2 runs)
Due to the elections in India, the 11th match of the season in 2015 between KKR and RCB was held in UAE.
Batting first on a flat track, Royal Challengers restricted Kolkata Knight Riders to 150 in 20 overs. The Royal Challengers Bangalore openers were well on course, and the match was well in the Bangalore's grasp. RCB required nine off the last over. Vinay Kumar took the responsibility to bowl the last over and brought down the equation to 6 off three balls. AB de Villiers was on strike during the fourth ball of the over and smashed the delivery towards the mid-on region. Everybody expected the ball to clear the ropes, but Lynn ran in and then had to dive backwards to complete a superb catch.
After Mr.360 fell, his compatriot Albie Morkel could only manage to score three runs from the remaining deliveries as IPL witnessed yet another nail-biter.
#2 Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians, 2017 (Kings XI Punjab won by 7 runs)
It was perhaps one more day where IPL continued to set high standards for fielding. This time it was the Kiwi international, Martin Guptill, pulled off one of the best catches in the tournament. Kings XI Punjab entered the match in a must-win situation to qualify for the playoffs.
Martin Guptill and Wriddhiman Saha gave visitors a fantastic start at Wankhede Stadium, stitching a partnership of 68 runs from 33 balls, before Martin Guptill getting out for 38 runs. In the middle overs, Maxwell stole the show with his stroke-making abilities. Saha remained unbeaten on 93 after their quota of 20 overs.
Chasing the big score of 231, Mumbai Indians started their innings with a high tempo. The opening pair of Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons stitched 99 runs from 8.4 overs, before the Indian wicket-keeper giving his wicket away. In the 3rd ball of 10th over, Maxwell bowled a low full-toss to Lendl Simmons. Simmons clobbered a full toss towards the long-on region, which would have cleared the ropes any other day. However, on this day, Guptill pulled off a one-handed catch to perfection. That switched the momentum of the match and Punjab won the nail-biting last-over thriller by seven runs.
#1 Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 2017(Kolkata Knight Riders won by 7 wickets)
A team known for squandering an advantage in the IPL is Delhi Daredevils.
In this match, Delhi batted beautifully in the first half of their innings. Shreyas Iyer was a pure class at one end whereas Samson was at his supreme best at the other end for Delhi.
Once Umesh Yadav sent Samson back to the hut in the last ball of 13th over, Delhi's innings took the worst turn, and the momentum shifted in KKR's favour. Daredevils' lower middle order crumbled and managed only 29 runs in their last five overs.
Delhi's bowling attack came back strongly after they lost momentum in batting. Kolkata were 36/1 after five overs with KKR's ystery'batsman Sunil Narine back to the pavilion.
The turning point of the game was the drop catch of Robin Uthappa. Kagiso Rabada banged the ball hard on the deck which surprised Robbin Uthappa. He skied the ball and came down sharply. The two men, Amit Mishra and Sanju Samson, went for the catch. As the ball went high, and neither of them called for the catch, and the ball landed safely.
Uthappa was just on 9 when this mess happened. He scored 59 runs, slamming five fours and four sixes during his knock before getting run-out by his Karnataka team-mate, Karun Nair.
Uthappa dashed the hopes of Delhi Daredevils before getting out, and Kolkata cruised into victory easily.