The second day of IPL 2019 proved to be a slog-fest as Andre Russell, and later Rishabh Pant, set the tournament alight with some ferocious striking. Kolkata Knight Riders snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the day game while Delhi Capitals kickstarted their season with a massive away win over Mumbai Indians.
Here, we take a look at some awe-inspiring moments from the double header on Sunday:
Johnny Bairstow gets a cold welcome
Johnny Bairstow barely had time to settle in at the crease on IPL debut when Prasidh Krishna delivered a beamer off the first ball he faced in the league. The England opener was visibly shaken despite swaying out of the way quite comfortably. With the umpire calling for a free hit, Bairstow had a chance to start his career in the gala tournament with aplomb but instead he received a nip backer off that smashed into his padding box.
Prasidh not only corrected his line but also denied the England opener room to free his arms off the free hit delivery. Bairstow swung wildly but missed as the ball, smashing into his sensitive area and breaking the abdominal guard. The Englishman went on to have a more relaxing day after an eventful start and eventually fell after scoring 39 off 35 balls.
Yusuf Pathan's gift to KKR
Yusuf Pathan had been a Kolkata faithful for seven years until he switched over to Sunrisers Hyderabad last season. On Sunday, he showered some of that love on the Knight Riders when he gave Robin Uthappa, his former teammate, a reprieve in the eighth over. Uthappa, who was on 20 off 13 balls, was starting to look extremely dangerous when Rashid Khan foxed him into playing an ugly hoick.
The ball travelled high and handsome down the ground but did not last the distance as Yusuf looked to settle underneath the ball at long-off. The former Indian all-rounder fumbled in his attempt and let the chance was gone. Luckily for Yusuf, Uthappa went on to add just 15 more runs before Siddharth Kaul cleaned him up.
Russell's sensational hitting
Kolkata appeared all but out of the run chase when Andre Russell walked in at 95/3 in the 13th over. The required run rate had shot up to over 12 and it seemed like Sunrisers would seal a comfortable win. Russell, though, had other ideas. His first seven balls yielded just nine runs as the required run rate was up to 17.6.
Nonchalant and calm, Russell went about altering the complexion of the game with some sensational hitting against Siddharth Kaul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. By the time he finished his onslaught, he had already raced to 48 in just 18 balls.
17.1 - Kaul to Russell - SIX - Russell clears his front leg and slogs Kaul's length ball over mid-wicket.
17.2 - Kaul to Russell - SIX - Russell misses the timing on this hit down the ground off a missed yorker, but the ball travels the distance comfortably.
17.5 - Kaul to Russell - FOUR - A short ball outside off from Kaul is bludgeoned through cover for four by Russell.
18.1 - Bhuvneshwar to Russell - FOUR - Whips this inswinging ball from Bhuvneshwar through mid-wicket for four.
18.2 - Bhuvneshwar to Russell - SIX - Full delivery on his legs but the batsman is in no mood to defend. Sends this one over cow corner for a massive six.
18.3 - Bhuvneshwar to Russell - FOUR - A yorker on leg-stump from Bhuvneshwar but Russell has cleared his front leg and sent this down the ground for a four.
18.5 - Bhuvneshwar to Russell - SIX - A mistimed hit over long-off but it goes the distance.
The equation came down to 13 in the last over and Shubman Gill tonked Shakib-al-Hasan for two sixes down the ground to seal a win for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Rishabh Pant takes Jasprit Bumrah to the cleaners
Before Sunday, Rishabh Pant had faced 17 balls from Jasprit Bumrah in the IPL, making eight runs while being dismissed thrice. It's the kind of record that would force a captain to bring on the bowler as soon as the batsman in discussion walks in. However, Rohit Sharma missed a trick by delaying the face off between Bumrah and Pant. By the time the strike bowler came into the attack, Pant had helped himself to 41 off 15 balls quite effortlessly.
Having just sent Axar Patel packing, Bumrah steamed in to bowl at Pant for the first time this season but missed his line and length first up. The length ball at the stumps was sent over the deep square leg fence by Pant with a Dhoni-like helicopter shot. He went on to smash the bowler for 18 runs in seven balls with two sixes and a four.
When million hearts skipped a beat
Off the final ball of the first innings at Wankhede, millions of Indians were left in coma as Jasprit Bumrah hurt his shoulder. The premier fast bowler delivered a fine yorker to Rishabh Pant but while attempting to stop the ball on his follow through, he landed awkwardly on his arms and clutched his shoulders in pain.
The physio came out to check Bumrah and the two were seen walking off together for the break. Much of India's World Cup hopes are pinned on the exceptional Mumbai Indians seamer and an untimely injury to him is the last thing Indian fans would want.
Merciless Yuvraj bludgeons his former Kings XI mate
Vintage Yuvraj Singh was on display at Wankhede after the think-tank opted to play him ahead of the in-form Ishan Kishan who had enjoyed a fruitful Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. On 8 off 10 balls before Axar Patel came into the attack, Yuvraj went on to slaughter his former Kings XI Punjab teammate in the next few overs.
He swept Axar away for four, thanks to a misfield from Shikhar Dhawan off the first ball he faced from the left-arm spinner and followed it up with a six and a four off the final two balls of the over. He went on to smash Axar further in his third over by thumping him down the ground and over mid-wicket for sixes. In all, he hit Axar for 32 runs in 10 balls including three sixes and two fours. From the remaining 25 balls he faced, Yuvraj scored just 21 runs.
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