T10 League: Bowlers strike back as Pravin Tambe and Amir Yamin have a ball on Day 2
Seamer Yamin shows the way for Bengal Tigers in the first match. Then spinner Tambe rolls back the years to destroy Kerala Knights in the second
In its five-day history so far, spread over a season and a bit, the T10 League has specialised in carnage. Almost always, that has been induced by batsmen.
Until now. The second day of the second season of the 10-over competition in Sharjah saw two hat-tricks, three overs and around 40 minutes apart, as some of the finest batsmen in the game went into meltdown.
First, Amir Yamin took four wickets with the first four balls of the penultimate over of the first match on Thursday. It was the final indignity as Northern Warriors slumped to a 36-run loss in their first outing as a competitive entity, to Bengal Tigers.
That was nothing compared to what ensued in the first over of the following match, though.
Kerala Knights have comfortably been the best side in this format to date. And the defending champions had eased to an eight-wicket win on the opening day of T10 League 2.0, 24 hours earlier.
It meant they were heavy favourites against a Sindhis side that had a chaotic build up to their first tournament, had been known by a different name until just before it started, and that had been whacked with six – six! – overs to spare the previous day.
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To try to right the wrongs, Sindhis gave the first over of the game to Pravin Tambe, the 47-year-old leg-spinner who only first found fame six years ago when he was given his chance in the Indian Premier League.
There was barely a hint of what was to come when he sent the first ball wide of Chris Gayle’s leg stump, through the legs of wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber, and on to the boundary.
All felt rather awkward when the next ball went hopelessly down the same line, only for him to be spared five more wides by Shabber’s knee. Just the one wide this time.
He landed the next one in the block hole, to get the relief of a dot. Then it all came together.
Gayle found long on with the next ball. Eoin Morgan played out a dot then went the same way as Gayle. He was followed, in successive balls, by Kieron Pollard and Fabian Allen.
Four for six – with none scored off the bat – eventually finished as 5-15 after his next over, as Tambe registered the first five-wicket haul in T10 cricket to date.
Stunned, Kerala were in an unwinnable position from then on. At least they made a respectable total of 103, but Sindhis chased it easily, with nine wickets left.
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“I have never thought about my age,” Tambe said of his remarkable Indian summer in cricket.
“I enjoy this game, and I keep enjoying this game. It is a great feeling. If you dream about something then actually achieve that, it is a nice feeling.
“This format is short, and it is for public entertainment. As a bowler, you have to try not to give any sixes or fours, and if you survive like that, you will get wickets. That is what happened to me today.
“I won’t rate any performance of mine. As a bowler, you have to keep improving in each and every game.
"In this format, you try to bowl in the channels, and if you do that, you can survive.”
Earlier, Yamin had taken four wickets for four runs from his two overs to provide the exclamation mark on an easy win for Bengal Tigers.
The seam bowler has fond memories of this competition last year, as he reckons the way he performed in it prompted a recall to the Pakistan side for their tour of New Zealand.
“The key to this format is variation,” said Yamin, who dismissed Nicolas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Ravi Bopara and Hardus Viljoen in consecutive deliveries.
“The batsmen were attacking every ball, so I was looking for lots of variation.”
Updated: November 22, 2018 10:58 PM