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Top Performer: Sensational Shami

By HARISH KOTIAN
March 29, 2022 07:38 IST
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IMAGE: Mohammed Shami celebrates Manish Pandey's wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Mohammed Shami gave Gujarat Titans the perfect start on their IPL debut with a wicket off the first ball of the match against Lucknow Super Giants at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Monday, March 28, 2022.

Shami claimed 3/25 as Gujarat Titans defeated Lucknow Super Giants by five wickets with two balls to spare and emerge triumphant in the battle of the debutants.

Shami, who has been in good form for India in Test cricket, made the most of some early help for the new ball at the Wankhede stadium.

The pacer produced a cracking delivery to bag Lucknow Captain K L Rahul for a first-ball duck, as the full delivery pitched on the off-stump line and moved away just a touch to take the edge.

In his next over, Shami produced a virtually unplayable delivery to clean up the dangerous Quinton de Kock (7). He got the ball to seam in sharply after pitching as the left-hander had no answers to it and was bowled through the gate.

With Shami in full form, Gujarat Captain Hardik Pandya decided to give the bowler a third over, which resulted in another wicket.

The experienced Manish Pandey made the mistake of playing a loose shot against Shami instead of looking to play him out. He tried to drive Shami through the off-side but was done in by Shami's incoming delivery which knocked the off-stump.

It was Shami at his rampaging best with wickets in his first three overs, for a dream first spell of 3/10 in three overs, as Lucknow slipped to 29/4 in five overs.

Shami's figures were spoilt slightly when he was smashed for 15 runs in the 18th over, but the impact he made with the new ball was instrumental in helping Gujarat get off to a winning start in IPL 2022.

 
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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com

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