Sandeep Sharma keeps the promise he made to Preity Zinta

Sandeep Sharma keeps the promise he made to Preity Zinta

Sandeep and Preity had a pact just before the start of the game.

Kings XI Punjab player Sandeep Sharma celebrates fall of Virat Kohli's wicket
Kings XI Punjab player Sandeep Sharma celebrates fall of Virat Kohli’s wicket. (Photo: IANS)

Kings XI Punjab pacer Sandeep Sharma achieved an incredible feat on Friday. He became the first bowler to dismiss the three greats of the game, Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, and AB de Villiers in the same match. Banking on the seamer’s exceptional spell, the Punjab side registered a 19-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

Chasing a low total of 138, Challengers found themselves all-out for 119 runs in 19 overs. It has been a forgettable campaign for RCB, while for KXIP it has been a topsy-turvy ride. But the Swing king of Kings XI team has maintained his line, length and composure throughout the tournament, and Friday was no exception either. In his four overs, he picked up 3 wickets and maintained a brilliant economy rate, conceding just 22 runs.

After the match, in an interview to IPLT20.com, Sandeep said, “Felt very good after taking three wickets and winning the man-of-the-match. I was thinking before the match that if I could get Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli out, it will be so amazing. Everybody will talk about it. So whatever I was thinking, it came out to be true and I am very for that”.

While he mesmerised everyone on the field, the secret to his jaw-dropping performance was revealed by none other than team owner Preity Zinta. According to her, she had a verbal agreement with Sharma before the game, where the pacer promised to take four wickets in return of tickets for his family.

Zinta, who was also present during the interview said, “Sandeep asked me for tickets before the game and I told him that there were no tickets available. But he needed the tickets for his family at the last minute. I asked him what will you give me? So, he said four wickets… but its okay he bagged three.”

Besides Sandeep, there was another hero in the ranks for Kings XI. Axar Patel, who contributed to the victory with his all-round performance; he gave the credit to mentor Virender Sehwag for his advice during the strategic time-out. Axar smashed an unbeaten 38 off just 17 deliveries, and picked up 3 wickets in as many overs, leaking just 11 runs.

“During the Time Out in the 16th over of our innings, Viru Sir (Virender Sehwag) told me to stay at the crease till the end because if we have a batsman till the 20th over, it will be good for the team. The wicket was behaving so we knew that even 140 would not be easy to chase. I was just thinking to take the team to 140 and it happened. At the end we won and that’s what really matters,” Axar said.

Punjab is now placed 5th in the points table, with 5 wins in 10 matches. To qualify for the playoffs, they will need more magical performances like Friday from Sandeep and Axar.