CT Flashback: Shoaib Akhtar destroys Delhi Daredevils with his fiery spell of 4/11

CT Flashback: Shoaib Akhtar destroys Delhi Daredevils with his fiery spell of 4/11

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Indiatimes.com)

Do you even remember that Pakistan cricketers once played in the Indian Premier League? Apart from the ardent cricket followers, it will be very difficult for the spectators of IPL to recall that many international Pakistani cricketers played in the inaugural IPL. It’s been 9 long years that the Pakistan cricketers haven’t been allowed to participate in the cash-rich league for the political turmoil prevailing in the two countries.

Going down the memory lane, one of the fiercest bowling spells came in the opening year from a fellow Pakistan pacer. Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar ripped through the star-studded batting line-up of the Delhi Daredevils in the 35th match of the tournament and handed Kolkata Knight Riders a sensational victory. The magical spell of 4/11 will forever remain one of the greatest spells in the history of IPL.

The KKR captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat. Tainted Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt provided a good start to the home team but soon started losing his partners at regular intervals. They failed to press on the accelerator in crucial junctures of the game which eventually allowed them to manage only 133 in their allotted 20 overs. Apart from Butt’s 48, David Hussey also held the fort with a run a ball 31.

It needed something exemplary from the home team to tilt the scale in their favour after posting a paltry total on the board. The moderate target of 134 didn’t seem to pose a threat for Delhi with a start studded batting lineup. In came Shoaib Akhtar in the opening over of the innings and the match turned on its head. The speedster dismissed the dangerous Virender Sehwag in only the 2nd delivery of the innings.

It was an outswing delivery outside the off stump and Sehwag slashed at it hard. He didn’t move his feet an inch and edged it straight to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps. It was just the start of what was about to come. He came back in his 2nd over to remove Sehwag’s opening partner Gautam Gambhir. It was not a great delivery under any stress of imagination but Gauti found out the point fielder.

It was a short of length delivery outside the off stump. Gambhir who was at his prime in 2008 attempted a square cut over the point fielder but failed to get it over the fielder. David Hussey stationed there completed a straightforward catch in the end. The assault on the DD batsmen was not over yet as “Mr. 360 AB de Villiers too fell cheaply to the Rawalpindi Express in his very next over.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo by Subir Halder/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

It was a well directed short delivery and De Villiers was in no position to pull it. He was cramped for room and top edged an attempted pull straight to the mid wicket fielder Tatenda Taibu. It needed him just another delivery to send back Manoj Tiwary to the pavilion. It was a full-length delivery and came tailing in to strike him plumb in front of the stumps. There was no hesitation in the umpire’s mind and ruled it in favour of the bowling team.

Lower order contributions from Farveez Maharoof and Tillekeratne Dilshan went in vain as the visiting team fell 24 runs short of the eventual target. Medium pacer Laxmi Ratan Shukla played the perfect foil for Akhtar bagging 3 wickets in the process which derailed the visitor’s progress.

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