@Ben_Wisden 3 minute read
In one of the games of IPL 2021 so far, Sam Curran delivered a special over, including an inch-perfect yorker to dismiss Krunal Pandya.
It seemed he had wrested a high-scoring game away from Mumbai Indians and into the grasp of Chennai Super Kings, only for Kieron Pollard to have the final say.
CSK seemed to have the game wrapped up when they racked up 218-4, with a death-overs Ambati Rayudu assault giving them the finish they needed. However, Kieron Pollard trumped even that blitz, striking sixes seemingly at will as Mumbai Indians blitzed 75 runs in the space of four overs.
With the required run rate tumbling, MS Dhoni tossed the ball to his star all-rounder, even at a young age already relied upon in the vital moments. And Curran didn’t disappoint. He nailed three consecutive yorkers, two straight and one wide, and while Pollard dug out the first and tucked a single off the second, Krunal Pandya was no match, struck plumb in front by an inch-perfect toe-crusher.
His brother Hardik entered, himself one of the game’s most destructive hitters. Curran out thought him first ball, with a slower ball bringing a swish and a miss, before two more yorkers conceded one run between them.
Pollard crushed 17 off the next over to bring Mumbai Indians back into it, and when Pandya smashed two sixes off the first two balls of Curran’s next over, the game seemed gone. But Curran’s resilience and stomach for the fight has been proven before, and he showed the same tenacity again. Two of the next four balls were nailed yorkers, one searing in at 86.5mph, and the other two nestled safely in the hands of fielders in the deep.
Curran had conceded 15 runs and taken three wickets in his last two overs. Among the other bowlers asked to bowl overs 12-20, none claimed a wicket, and none conceded fewer than 16 runs in even one over.
As it was, Pollard was the all-rounder to win the day, keeping the strike and holding his nerve in a last-ball thriller. But Curran had still provided another example of his rarest of talents: to stand up and show his worth exactly when his team needed it most.
Watch Curran’s superb yorker to Pandya below, with the highlights of his spell following: