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'God's plan, baby': Yash Dayal redeems himself

May 19, 2024 13:27 IST

Yash Dayal breaks into celebration after Royal Challengers Bengaluru get the better of  Chennai Super Kings in the IPL match at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

IMAGE: Yash Dayal breaks into celebration after Royal Challengers Bengaluru get the better of Chennai Super Kings in the IPL match at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. Photograph: BCCI

Yash Dayal had the haunting memory of Rinku Singh's five consecutive sixes last year when Mahendra Singh Dhoni lofted his full-toss over the Chinnaswamy stadium roof in Saturday’s crucial IPL match in Bengaluru.

But he regained his composure to complete the 20th over and clinch Royal Challengers Bengaluru victory over defending champions Chennai Super Kings and a berth in the 2024 play-offs.


Dayal, who cut a forlorn figure after being hammered for five sixes in a row by his Uttar Pradesh mate Rinku last season, redeemed himself on Saturday night by defending 17 in the final over against the likes of Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja.

"God's plan baby," that was how Rinku summed the reversal of fortunes for Dayal.

The 26-year-old from Prayagraj was released by Gujarat Titans after the 2023 season but he found a new IPL home in RCB, who showed faith in him by paying a handsome Rs 5 crore at the auction.

Dayal not only repaid the faith but also erased the scars of last season.

"When I got hit the first ball (by Dhoni), subconsciously you reach that place (Rinku's five sixes off him). But I did well this whole season and I kept telling myself that I just had to bowl a good ball.

"I didn't have to look at the scoreboard. I just had to bowl well. I used that confidence in execution," said Dayal, who kept RCB's remarkable comeback story alive in this IPL.

The last over also indicated the coming of age for Dayal, who learned from the mistakes he made against Rinku's onslaught. After the full toss that Dhoni duly dispatched out of the ground, Dayal returned to bowling slower balls into the pitch that resulted in the former India captain's wicket and just one run off the following four balls.

"The last time what happened with me, it made me a little nervous. But since I have come in the RCB setup, I have worked very hard on practice and I have delivered in matches. I just wanted to focus on bowling two balls well.

"Even if when plans were not executed well, the seniors were standing, they did not scold me or anything. That was a positive thing and it helped me a lot on the ground."

In what arguably has been the toughest season for bowers, Dayal has taken 15 wickets in 13 games, at a decent economy rate of 8.94.

Dayal was supposed to bowl the penultimate over but a last-minute change of plan saw him bowling one of the most important overs of his life.

"Actually, I was going to bowl the second last over. But suddenly DK bhaiya and Faf spoke. I don't know what they talked about. They said that Lockie will bowl and then I'll bowl the main over. I was fine with both."

Dayal feels the constant support he has received from RCB has led to desirable results.

"I have got proper backing from RCB. When I came at the start, the management told me that I am an important player. I will be backed from the starting to the end, which is a very good thing.

"All the youngsters who were picked, they were told the same thing. That is now visible in the results also."

The home crowd was RCB's 12th man as usual and with a play-off berth on the line, the atmosphere fired up the team even more. It is difficult to keep emotions in check at such a juncture but Dayal tried to calm himself down.

"There are so many people around you, there is a whole crowd. So, somewhere or the other, the mind gets diverted. But as a player, we are built for this."

He also gave due credit to the army of RCB loyalists.

"I had never felt like this since childhood. Whenever I used to watch a RCB match on TV, I never thought that I would be part of this team. Today I am here and I was feeling unreal on the ground. It is an unbelievable crowd and very supportive," added Dayal.

What was the turning point of the game?

"I think Dhoni bhaiya's wicket was the turning point, as the first ball went for six." 

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