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IPL 2017, Match 50, DD v GL: CT Player of the Match – Shreyas Iyer

In spite of a tall ask, Shreyas Iyer kept the Delhi Daredevils in the hunt with a 57-ball 96.

Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Daredevils
Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Daredevils. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Doors to the playoffs may have closed early on the Delhi Daredevils, but that didn’t stop Shreyas Iyer from constructing a dazzling and match-saving innings to stun the Gujarat Lions. Iyer batted his heart out, but quite like his DD teammate Rishabh Pant, he fell agonisingly short of a century. The youngster played shots along the ground and pierced the gaps to perfection. At times, the ball seemed to linger up in the air as Iyer took the aerial route to dispatch it into the stands. In spite of a tall ask, Shreyas Iyer kept the Delhi Daredevils in the hunt with a 57-ball 96. Although he couldn’t see his team through till the last ball, Shreyas Iyer secured the CT Player of the Match award for tonight.

Aggression meets class

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An attacking top-order batsman, Shreyas Iyer is capable of marrying shots that exude class with shots that reek of brute force. The young man made headlines when he was snapped by the Delhi Daredevils at the 2015 IPL auction for a whopping INR 2.6 crore. Iyer didn’t disappoint those who had invested in him and repaid the faith with interest. Batting at the opening slot, he aggregated 439 runs from 14 matches. Shreyas Iyer eventually went on to win the IPL emerging player of the year award. By the end of the 2015-16 season, Iyer’s career graph took another massive leap in the Ranji Trophy. He racked up a stunning 1321 runs at an average of 73.38, including a century in the final, an instrumental knock which brought Mumbai their 41st title.

Iyer to the rescue

Shreyas Iyer had just the one fifty to his name this season and was due for a big knock. He pounced on the Gujarat Lions’ bowling attack to gun down a target of 196 on a batsman’s paradise at Kanpur. The Delhi Daredevils found themselves in a spot of bother having lost two wickets with only 15 on the board. Both Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant, heroes for DD on previous occasions, were back in the hut before the end of the second over.

Saviour Iyer then dropped anchor. He immediately began to repair the damage as he stitched a valuable partnership with Karun Nair. Delhi were back on course with 72 at the start of the 8th over, when Nair walked back to the dressing room. Iyer, however, upped the ante, as he kept finding the boundary ropes at regular intervals.

Wickets kept tumbling at the other end, as Shreyas Iyer watched the match slipping away from DD’s hands. Both Marlon Samuels and Corey Anderson paid the price of taking on Jadeja’s arm, as they were short of the crease when a rocket throw disturbed the woodwork. Nevertheless, Shreyas Iyer’s knock was yet to see its speciality in a tough chase.

Falling in the 90s

After bringing up a classy half-century off 33 balls, Iyer shifted gears. A flurry of boundaries off Dhawal Kulkarni and James Faulkner was enough to ease the asking rate. With a laudable supporting role played by Pat Cummins, Iyer brought down the equation to 15 off 12, and subsequently 9 off the final over. Shreyas Iyer was however undone by a sharp Basil Thampi yorker, with Delhi still 7 away from victory. The youngster, 4 shy of a maiden IPL hundred, had to make the long walk back.

Consecutive cheeky boundaries from Amit Mishra sealed the deal for the Delhi Daredevils. There isn’t a better sight than a pumped Rahul Dravid giving high-fives to each of the players and support staff, all while beaming away in joy. The primary reason behind Dravid’s smile was a memorable knock by young Shreyas Iyer. He crafted an innings which shed light on the importance of ground strokes. With 15 fours in the game, he hit the highest number of fours in an innings this season. Shreyas Iyer will undoubtedly take a lot away from this game, as will we, who had the opportunity to witness a budding talent of Indian cricket at work live.

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