After an abrupt hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) catch is all set to resume on 19th September. It begins with a high-octane clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
The season came to a halt when the virus infiltrated the bubble, causing several infections and forcing BCCI to postpone the season to a later date. With less than a month to go until the second half of the IPL, the teams have begun their preparations as they look to lay their hands on the coveted trophy.
Over the first half of IPL 2021, we were treated to some absolute screamers on the field. Right from one-handed stunners to stupendous diving catches, there was no shortage of some eclectic fielding on display. Here's a look at five such catches from the first half of IPL 2021.
5. Glenn Maxwell's catch to dismiss Shivam Dube (Match 16)
Royal Challengers Bangalore's golden goose Glenn Maxwell puts up some breathtaking performances ahead of viewers' eyes. He came into the tournament with some heavy expectations and the Victorian silenced his critics, scoring a handy 59-run knock against SRH and a 78-run blitzkrieg against KKR.
He did not get to bat in the following game against the Rajasthan Royals, courtesy of an unbeaten 181 run stand between Virat Kohli and first-time IPL centurion Devdutt Paddikal. But he put up a show on the field when he took a decisive catch of Shivam Dube to tilt the game slightly in his side's favor.
Shivam Dube looked in ominous touch against his former side and was striking boundaries freely. He took a particular liking to the spinners and smashed them all over the park, crossing his highest score of 27 runs in the IPL in the process.
He was looking to take on Kane Richardson, but a clever slower-one from the Australian did him in. He holed out to Glenn Maxwell at deep midwicket where the Victorian took a jaw-dropping catch.
You can find the video of the catch below:
4. Ravindra Jadeja's catch to dismiss Manan Vohra (Match 12)
The list of the best fielding efforts can never be complete without one of India's premier fielders, Ravindra Jadeja. After being out due to a finger injury he sustained on the Tour Down Under, he came into the IPL after a gap of four months. He had a rusty first game but did well to make a strong comeback and chipped in with wickets at crucial stages while also contributing with some runs down the order.
One of his best catches came against his former side, the Rajasthan Royals. Chasing 189 for victory, the Royals were quick off the blocks as they scored boundaries off the bowling of Deepak Chahar in the first over. Sam Curran bowled an excellent second over as he conceded only 3 runs to keep the batsmen under check.
However, it was in the second over of Sam Curran's spell that this catch was taken. Curran was hit for a maximum on the previous delivery before he bowled a well-directed short ball. Vohra lofted the ball towards deep midwicket and Jadeja ran in at lightning speed to take a splendid catch. Later, Moeen Ali picked up three wickets in his two over spell and broke the back of the chase as the Royals lost to the Super Kings by 45 runs.
3. Rahul Tripathi's catch to dismiss Mayank Agarwal
After losing the toss and being invited to bat first, the Punjab Kings were jolted early in their innings. They lost the wicket of the talismanic skipper, KL Rahul, at the end of the powerplay. His partner, Mayank Agarwal, stuck around and played a laborious knock of 31 runs as wickets kept falling around him.
He looked to step on the gas in the 12th over off the bowling of Sunil Narine, who offered him a short ball on the off stump. Mayank Agarwal looked set to pull that one away but failed to get enough bat on that. He mistimed it and pulled it unconvincingly towards deep midwicket, where Rahul Tripathi came charging in and dived forward to complete a brilliant catch. Riding on the back of an 18-ball 30 from Chris Jordan, PBKS managed to put 123/9 on the board.
2. Dan Christian's catch to dismiss Shubhman Gill (Match 10)
Dan Christian was brought in by the RCB to bolster the experience in their squad. The all-rounder did not have many impactful performances with the ball or bat in hand but this certainly was one of his stand-out moments in the tournament.
Kyle Jamieson was taken to the cleaners in the few deliveries of the over. The tall Kiwi was smashed for 14 runs in his first three deliveries by Gill. Jamieson took pace off the ball, deceiving Gill, following which the batsman chipped the ball in the air. Dan Christian at mid-on took an excellent catch to dismiss the young KKR batsman and sent him back in the hut.
Rahul Tripathi and Andre Russell played some crucial cameos in the game. But it was the RCB bowling troika of Siraj, Harshal, and Jamieson towards the death overs that well and truly sealed the fate of the game. This handed RCB their third consecutive win by 38 runs.
You can find a video of the catch here:
1. Faf du Plessis' catch to dismiss Manish Pandey
Numero Uno on our list is Faf du Plessis' stunner to dismiss Manish Pandey. SRH won the toss and had elected to bat first, but were unable to get off to the best of starts. They lost Jonny Bairstow in the powerplay and David Warner failed to live up to the expectations, limping his way to a 55-ball 57.
The onus was now on Manish Pandey to steer his side to a decent total. He played a stroke-filled inning and completed his half-century within the blink of an eye. Just as he looked to accelerate, Pandey heaved a delivery towards deep mid-wicket, where Faf du Plessis put in a full-stretch dive and completed a magnificent catch.
You can find the video of the catch below: