“Catch of the year”: Mohammad Kaif takes one-handed blinder of a catch to dismiss Upul Tharanga in LLC 2023 Eliminator match

Gurpreet Singh
|Published 18/03/2023

Leaving the fans slack-jawed even at the age of 42, and refreshing their memories of his acrobatics while fielding for the Indian team, Mohammad Kaif plucked a one-handed diving catch to dismiss Upul Tharanga in the ongoing ‘Eliminator’ fixture of the Legends League Cricket (LLC) 2023 at Doha.

Despite having won just one of their four league stage matches, such is the format of this three-team tournament that the India Maharajas are playing this do-or-die clash against the Asia Lions, who had finished second in the table with a couple of victories.

Opting to bat first post winning the Toss, the Lions’ skipper Shahid Afridi’s decision was aptly justified by the opening pair of Upul Tharanga (50 off 31) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (27 off 26), who stitched together an 83-run stand inside nine Overs. However, a Mohammad Kaif blinder helped the Maharajas draw first blood.

Mohammad Kaif takes one-handed blinder of a catch to dismiss Upul Tharanga

The nostalgic moment occurred during the ninth Over of the innings being bowled by Pragyan Ojha. On the penultimate ball, Upul Tharanga rocked back to a delivery which was slightly on the shorter side and wished to cream it towards the cover region.

The well-timed shot would have crossed the boundary fence for sure, but Kaif threw himself full stretch towards his right, and plucked a one-handed gem out of thin air to have the entire crowd stand up on their feet.

Asia Lions surge towards a strong finish

As far as the ongoing match is concerned, the Asia Lions are heading towards a strong finish, having already posted 132/2 after 15 Overs at the time of writing.

With Thisara Perara at the crease and the likes of in-form Misbah-ul-Haq plus hard-hitters in Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzak yet to bat, th Lions might well post in excess of the 180-run mark.

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Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

Even before persuing his post-graduate diploma in English journalism from IIMC, Gurpreet was certain that Cricket had to be the driving force to keep him sane and optimistic in all life-related matters. Hailing from Ranchi and having represented Jharkhand at the Under-14 level, he believes that the more you keep digging in while understanding the nitty-gritty of a sport, the more humble you become with the realisation that you hardly know anything!

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