IPL 2017, Match 43, RCB v KXIP, CT Player of the Match – Sandeep Sharma

The young pacer bowled with precision and guile to return with figures of 3/22 in his quota of 4 overs in the match.

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Sandeep Sharma of Kings XI Punjab
Sandeep Sharma of Kings XI Punjab celebrates fall of AB de Villiers’s wicket. (Photo: IANS)

The Kings XI Punjab have managed to keep their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive. The team needs to win their remaining fixtures in their bid to finish in the top four of the season. On the day, Kings XI Punjab beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their own den at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. One man who was superlative for the Kings on the day was Sandeep Sharma.

With a target of only 138 to defend, the RCB camp fancied their chances on the day. They had the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the lineup. However, all big names crumbled on the big day against the might of Sandeep Sharma. The young pacer bowled with precision and guile to return with figures of 3/22 in his quota of 4 overs in the match.

His spell first up sent the RCB on the backfoot. Royal Challengers could never recover from the early jolts that they received from the swinging ball of Sandeep. Needless to say, they eventually fell short of the target by 19 runs. Three-for from the Punjab lad helped his side defend the lowest total successfully defended at the venue in Bengaluru in the history of the tournament.

For his ominous spell on the day, Sandeep Sharma is the CT Player of the Match.

Making the ball do the talking

There was no doubt that Sandeep would be the bowler from KXIP lineup who the RCB batsmen would want to negotiate with safely. The pacer from Punjab is renowned to swing the ball both ways with the new ball. It is because of this reason that the KXIP skipper has rarely been shy in giving him the new ball. He often gets an extended spell with the ball for this special ability of his.

On the day, he made full use of the Bengaluru track. There was some assistance from the track and Sandeep made full use of it. He scalped three key wickets to ensure that he not only exploited the pitch conditions to the fullest, but also made complete use of the new swinging ball.

Choking the run flow

On most occasions, it is seen that the wicket taking bowlers end up going for aplenty in their bids to pick wickets. However, Sandeep Sharma is not one of those bowlers. He bowled a hostile spell first up which did not boast a lot about his mediocre pace but the swing. He did not give away easy runs and that created the pressure on the opposition batsmen.

All he needed to do was to choke the run flow and then see how things worked wonders for him. All top batsmen were seen itching to get their feet moving against him and ended up throwing up their wickets to his corner. Sandeep gave only 22 runs in his quota of 4 overs.

Making big men his bunny

This was the first instance when a bowler scalped all the three big wickets of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, and AB de Villiers in the same innings of a T20 game. Sandeep Sharma got the unique distinction etched to his name in the match. The big names were enough to intimidate any bowler on a given day. But the man showed great character to ensure that he got the better of the big names on the day when it mattered.

Gets two in two!

Well, the caption might be misleading as one would wonder that Sandeep bagged two wickets in two balls. That did not happen on the day. But the young pacer has now managed to get the Player of the Match on two successive occasions. He was awarded the Player of the Match for his sensational spell against Delhi Daredevils which saw them bundle out for 67.

Today, he he started off by getting Gayle caught by Martin Guptill on a duck. Soon, he went through the defenses of Kohli to send the RCB skipper packing on 6. AB de Villiers then tried to take the attack to him but only ended up edging an outswinger as Wriddhiman Saha completed the simple catch.

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