Two Indian cricketers showed incredible teamwork as they made a barely-believable catch in a T20 game earlier this week – which was rendered even more remarkable considering the game was already sewn up.
Railways were taking on Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in India, in the short-format T20 version of the game.
Railways were chasing 178 to win and effectively found themselves out of the game, needing 22 runs from the final ball.
That didn’t stop players from either side pulling out all the stops for the final ball, however, as batsman Manjeet Singh hauled a delivery towards the boundary in an effort at least finish the game in style.
But even though the win was sealed, Maharashtra’s Rahul Tripathi was in no mood to let up.
He raced to the boundary in an effort to stop the runs, leaping over the rope to catch the ball in his right hand, before flicking it up behind his back and back across the boundary in one swift movement, so as not to touch the ground with the ball in hand, which would have signaled a six.
Teammate Divyang Himganekar was there to collect the ball gratefully – although somewhat selfishly tossing it into the air in celebration without initially acknowledging the efforts of his teammate.
He did at least turn back after taking several steps to congratulate Tripathi, who had been carried off into the stands by the momentum of his incredible dive.
“Oh, that’s beautiful, look at that, back of hand, beautifully done,” the commentator is heard purring as replays showed the catch was legitimate and that Tripathi had managed to release the ball to his teammate before touching the ground.
Sadly, there was a sparse attendance at the 30,000-capacity Holkar Stadium in Indore to see what was possibly one of the greatest catches to grace the game, with a polite ripple of applause echoing around the empty stands.
But the catch has at least earned the recognition it deserves on social media, where it was applauded in all its glory.
Loved the commitment. 22 needed of 1 ball. Still the effort was put in ! Great stuff !
— Shreyans Mehta (@ShreyansMehta7) March 15, 2019
Catch of 21st century for sure…
— Mudassar Sohail (@msmalik102) March 15, 2019
Maharashtra have since gone on to lose the final of the competition, going down to an eight wicket defeat to Karnataka on Thursday.