Jofra ‘Lasith’ Archer and the easy-as-you-like-it yorker
It took Jofra Archer a fabulous return catch, some searing yorkers and a direct hit from the boundary ropes to become a cult figure in the Big Bash League (BBL). However, in a league where players become overnight heroes, Jofra Archer is turning into one hell of a cult hero courtesy his immaculate skills with the yorker.
On Sunday, Archer nearly had Kane Williamson with a superb yorker and got his first wicket when he landed another one in the blockhole to Shakib-al-Hasan. Although the Bangladesh all-rounder saw it coming, he couldn't keep the pacy yorker out and ended up just jabbing in mere hope.
Since 2017, Archer has six wickets from 31 yorkers, the most by any pacer, according to CricViz. Who is missing Lasith Malinga now?
Since the start of 2017 Jofra Archer has taken six wickets from 31 yorkers - the most by any pace bowler in world cricket in that time frame - giving him a yorker strike rate of 5.1 balls per wicket. #IPL #RRvSRH pic.twitter.com/SV9MLDZQxo
— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) April 29, 2018
Butterfingers from Rising Pune Supergiant
The ongoing year has been a dreadful one for Rahul Tripathi after his beginner's luck at the IPL last year for Rising Pune Supergiant. He ended up dropping catches this season that cost his team the game twice!
Against CSK, Tripathi put down Shane Watson in the slips and the batsman went on to crack a fine hundred. On Sunday, he put down yet another sitter — that of Kane Williamson, once again in the slip cordon — and the Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper went on to smash a crucial half-century that sealed the game for the visitors.
About 2,031 kilometres apart, Murugan Ashwin, another ex-Rising Pune Supergiant player , put down a juggling catch off Chris Lynn that eventually went on to hurt Royal Challengers Bangalore real bad. Lynn stood unbeaten and compiled a fabulous half-century to take Kolkata Knight Riders home and Ashwin, who bowled well to his credit, was left repenting a lost opportunity of making his IPL comeback more memorable.
Sanju Samson wins the battle of Keralites
As elegant as he has been this season, few bowlers know Sanju Samson as well as Basil Thampi, his Kerala teammate. The duo are just one year apart and have played most of their Ranji matches together. However, pitted against each other at Jaipur, the ever so classy Samson showed he had a wood over Thampi.
In his first over of the match, Thampi was brought on to put brakes on a dangerous-looking Samson, but ended up conceding two fours and a six against his Ranji team mate. Samson drove off the back foot through cover off the first delivery bowled by Thampi, followed it up with a swivelled six over square-leg and another pull shot for four through the same area.
Thampi, one of the most economical bowlers in the league this year, ended up conceding 17 runs from his first over, all of them taken by a merciless Sanju Samson.
Virat Kohli turns cowboy
We all saw and adored the short-arm jab six that Virat Kohli played off Chris Woakes a few months back. Just as the former skipper, MS Dhoni, started setting the IPL alight with his swing-less-hit-big powerful sixes, Kohli added two special ones of his own against Andre Russell at Chinnaswamy on Sunday night.
With the West Indian all-rounder finding his rhythm with the ball, Kohli was up against him in the 18th over. He arrogantly dumped the first ball over the ropes with a whip for six that had the crowd in awe. The RCB skipper got to the pitch of the delivery, unveiled the cowboy in him and whipped the bejesus out of the ball, sending it soaring over long on with minimal follow through.
Kohli wasn't done and got underneath yet another one from Russell off the final ball of the over and wristily whipped it yet again, through long-on, for another six.
Chris Lynn sweeps Chinnaswamy clean
The super sopper at Chinnaswamy took a backseat despite the rains as Chris Lynn, who didn't quite hit 'Lynnsanity' mode, went down on his knees and swept clean the whole stadium with a plethora of sweep shots.
The Australian showcased his versatility and employed the sweep shot everytime one of the two leg-spinners — Murugan Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal — bowled. It seemed like Lynn had somehow gotten obsessed with the shot as he went about sweeping anything and everything.
At one point of time, he played 10 successive sweeps (against spinners) on the trot with as many as five in an over off Yuzvendra Chahal. He reached his half-century off 42 balls with the landmark run coming off a sweep shot. Interestingly, he had played just two of them in his IPL career before, but unfurled close to 20 of them on Sunday.
Kohli does a Kaif and doesn't celebrate
Not many can forget Mohammad Kaif’s outstanding catch at mid-off against Pakistan many years ago. In an absolutely ravishing moment at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Virat Kohli, sans the extra fielder conundrum as in Kaif's case, pulled off quite a catch in the penultimate over of KKR’s run chase.
Dinesh Karthik was in sublime touch and had raced to 23 off 9 balls to all but seal RCB’s hopes but, almost as though to fulfill his part, Kohli ran in from long on as Karthik hit Mohammed Siraj down the ground and miraculously got his hands around the ball. However, his habitual animated celebrations were not to be seen as he disappointedly flicked the ball backwards knowing that the brilliant effort wouldn't alter the course of the match.