During Match 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mohali on Saturday, Shardul Thakur’s bowling performance was disappointing. Despite high expectations for his debut with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the Indian all-rounder returned expensive figures of 4-0-43-0, contributing to the Punjab Kings finishing on 191/5 while batting first.
However, Shardul’s performance drastically improved when he came in to bat at No. 8 during the run chase. In the 15th over, facing Sam Curran, the record-breaking signing, Shardul hit a perfectly-timed shot off a good length delivery, sending the ball sailing over deep mid-wicket with grace.
Commentators and Twitter users were amazed by Shardul’s unexpected feat, and even Curran, the Player of the Series in the previous T20 World Cup in Australia, was stunned by what had just occurred against him.
The match was decided by rain, and PBKS began their season on a winning note by claiming victory on the DLS method. KKR’s chase was disrupted early on by Arshdeep, resulting in the loss of three wickets. Although Venkatesh Iyer, who was drafted in as an Impact player, and Nitish Rana were able to make some progress, Rana eventually fell to Raza, and Rinku Singh departed soon after.
At that point, DreRuss joined Iyer, and the pair launched an attack on PBKS. However, after an expensive over, Sam Curran claimed the big wicket of Russell, and with the onset of rain, KKR fell behind on DLS.
Russell’s dismissal further hampered their progress, and despite a few sixes, they were trailing by 7 on DLS when play was halted. Shikhar Dhawan astutely rotated his spinners to speed up the overs, anticipating the rain, and the tactic proved successful.