Twenty20 cricket has witnessed quite a few close finishes, but there is nothing quite like the Super Over. In its 10th edition already, and the Indian Premier League has seen only seven so far, with the latest coming between Gujarat Lions and Mumbai Indians in Rajkot on Saturday (April 29).
Needing 154 runs to win, Mumbai Indians were cruising in the chase for the longest time courtesy opener Parthiv Patel’s 44-ball 70, but the innings fell apart thereafter. With two runs needed off the last two deliveries, Krunal Pandya drove Irfan Pathan to mid off and set off for a single. Last man Lasith Malinga was on strike for the final delivery and failed to take the last run as Ravindra Jadeja ran out Krunal with a direct hit.
“I wanted to go after the first two balls of the last over (20th), that six helped me,” Krunal said. “When we needed two from two, I just wanted to go for a single and let Malinga get the other run. I just told him the same, I didn’t want to take a risk in the fifth ball.”
Krunal, who was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai Indians on Saturday, later also went on to play a crucial role with the bat. As wickets kept tumbling far too frequently for the visiting team’s liking, Krunal held the innings together, making a 20-ball 29 – the second highest score in the innings. For his all-round contribution, he was eventually awarded the Man of the Match.
“I feel I am an all-rounder and need to contribute with bat, ball and in the field,” he said in the post-match press conference. “Need to think as a batsman while batting and as a bowler while bowling. It wasn’t an easy wicket, you couldn’t simply go and start playing your shots straightaway. I knew that I had to stay until the end and steer the team home.
“I am learning. Previously, I was very aggressive on the field, but now I control my emotions. I see what I can control and I think about a particular situation and how to handle it – whether it is bowling or batting.”
When the match eventually went to the Super Over, Mumbai Indians opted to bowl Jasprit Bumrah instead of the experienced Lasith Malinga. It was a surprising move, but Krunal believes it was Bumrah’s better form on the day which made the team management take that decision. The move worked all well, despite the 23-year old bowling a wide and a no ball as he consistently foxed Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch off the other deliveries. Gujarat Lions, who needed 12 to win the match in the Super Over, could manage only six.
“In this match, Bumrah had bowled well and he was confident and I guess that is why he was chosen to bowl the Super Over,” Krunal told IPLT20.com. “He bowled eight balls (a wide and a no ball) and still defended 11 runs. It was a great over. He is known for his death bowling and he can bowl yorkers day in (and) day out.”
Speaking of the over, Bumrah said: “I don’t practice keeping a shoe like Malinga does but I practice with him. I practice consistently. I always have a death bowling session when I practice. They told me to back my skills and not to take extra pressure. ‘Be confident, be calm and try to execute your plans.'”
2015 Kashmir Despatch