Shami Swings It First
Right from the second ball of his spell, a peach to Prithvi Shaw, Mohd Shami underlined why he is still one of the finest in the business. Bowling inside the powerplay, the right-arm seamer picked 3-0-8-2 –figures that would make any captain proud.
With swing upfront and just enough inward movement, Shami probably gave a reminder of the benefits he was reaping, courtesy, the hard yards during the lockdown.
Clicking 140’s, he hit the right length and Prithvi Shaw was his first victim. Shaw went for a pull to a ball to a delivery which was just short good length. But the sheer pace got the better of the youngster and he could only connect the toe end of the bat.
The same length and pace along with an accurate seam position helped Shami pick up another wicket in the same over as Shimron Hetmyer was gone for 7. The Trinidadian attempted to work one on the on-side only to get a leading edge. The extra-bit of pace became the problem for Hetmyer and he closed the bat face a fraction early.
Shami was on cloud nine while Delhi was left tottering at 13/3 after just 4 overs. The pitch map below shows how accurate Shami was in his four-over spell with just two deliveries in the slot.
Should Shami have bowled out?
Shami was brought back to finish off his spell with five over remaining in Delhi’s innings. It was a gamble KL Rahul took hoping that the rest of his bowlers would finish the job. Shami rewarded his skipper with a wicket as he outfoxed Shreyas Iyer with the knuckleball.
With Delhi at 93/5 after 15 overs, it seemed like Shami’s spell would be the game-changer. But Rahul’s move backfired as Marcus Stoinis hit a 20-ball 50 to bring Delhi back in the game.
Shami is a fabulous new ball bowler and any captain would want him to bowl three upfront. But this is where the problem arises — if the bowlers bowl at the death-like they did today, they will need at least one from him for the death overs. It must be recalled here that Shami does have one more missile in his arsenal – a terrific yorker that can nip back at speed.
Mohammed Shami’s best figures in IPL history:
3/15 vs Delhi (2020)
3/21 vs Mumbai (2019)
Sweet revenge for Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin picked two wickets in one over to remind Kings Xi Punjab why it was a mistake to let him go before the IPL auctions last year. Bowling inside Powerplay with Delhi on 33/1 chasing 154, the wily off-spinner got a wicket off his first delivery against his former side as he lured Karun Nair into a big shot only to find the top-edge and fall for 1.
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Ashwin got two in five balls when he bowled Nicholas Pooran for a duck. The Trinidadian was playing for the turn but Ashwin, bowling wider from the crease, got it to come in with the angle. The gap was enough for the ball to hit the pads and hit the timber. Before the wicket-taking delivery, Ashwin had bowled a couple of off-spinners to which Pooran had driven comfortably. The difference was in the dismissal, Ashwin simply kept it with the angle.
Ashwin started off on a good note but on the final ball of his first over, he went to stop the ball off his own bowling but landed badly on his left hand. He was helped off the field by the physio and by the looks of it did not look good.
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