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Recapitulating Bumrah’s Super Over Heroics

April 30, 2017

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What was supposed to be a walk-in-the-park for the Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions produced some electric fielding and gun-like direct hits to force a tie. But in the tiebreaker, it was the nerveless Jasprit Bumrah who outclassed his counter-peer, the birthday boy James Faulkner, in all sorts of death bowling art, to the courtesy of which Rohit Sharma was presented with one of the most exciting birthday gifts he would ever have.

Despite losing Andrew Tye (who had to be stretched off due to what looked like a dislocated shoulder) and subsequently 3 overs from his quota, the Lions didn’t quite allow Mumbai to get away on a pitch that played slower and slower as the game progressed. With the help of Ravindra Jadeja hitting the stumps from crazy angles inside the ring and some brilliance from Irfan Pathan fielding at fine-leg, even before the men-in-blues had realized what was actually going around, the match went into the super over out of nowhere. At this point, Raina was left out with no other option but to throw the ball to Faulkner who was having a blasting birthday night.

The Aussie all-rounder did reasonably well. Keeping Buttler-Pollard firepower down to 11 and dismissing them both in succession could well have been a match-winning effort as it asked Finch and McCullum to get only a couple of lofted strikes from the sweet-spot of their bats. And hence, 9 out of 10 times you fancy the deadly-duo to make it look a regulation chase.

Bumrah had a bitter-sweet night as apart from picking up the crucial wickets of Raina and Faulkner he had also bowled 2 no-balls and was taken for a six straight down the ground off the final ball of the GL innings by a mere #11 batsman. Still, if someone was to save the day for the visitors, it was none other than he. MI’s death bowling responsibilities of late have been handed over to him from Lasith Malinga. And the way he bowled showing no signs of nerves whatsoever, backing his strength and executing them to perfection goes to show that fast bowlers still have a huge role to play in the shortest format too. He took up the job, showcased his death bowling expertise and made a serious statement that he is, now, officially Mumbai Indians’ undisputed No. 1 penultimate over bowler.

He started with a perfect Yorker that followed Finch. But as the ball went past the leg stump, with the frustrating reactions from Parthiv behind the stumps Bumrah realized that he had bowled his 3rd no-ball of the night. On the follow-up ball Finch anticipated another Yorker and tried a ramp shot off the free hit. Though the batsman’s perception was correct, full credit to Bumrah that this time he bowled one that dipped into Finch from which he could not manage more than a leg bye. 10 off 5 now with McCullum on strike.

The Kiwi moved across the stumps, trying to upset the bowler’s rhythm – something similar to what the non-striker attempted on the previous delivery. Bumrah was possibly compelled to bowl it outside off which landed on the other side of the guideline – wide! Here though I must say that the other night Unadkat’s ball to Rohit went miles away from the line with Rohit standing at a similar position to that of Buzz – a wide wasn’t given. Up to this there was every reason for a bowler to lose his composure, Bumrah didn’t. He came up with one of the finest balls of the over. As it came off the hand it seemed like a fast Yorker and McCullum shaped up to get under it. But suddenly on the midway it appeared as a deflating balloon dipping late and squeezing under Brendon’s bat – an absolute peach of a slower one.

With 9 needed from 4, Bumrah followed up with yet another slower one. But this time due to some poor glove-work from Patel behind the wickets the batsmen sneaked thru a bye.

The Lions now needed 8 off 3 as Bumrah went back to the Yorker again. Finch tried to make room for himself but ended up playing inside the line of the ball. He was rather lucky not to have been bowled as the ball missed his off-stump by a whisker.

By this time the 23-year-old had already bowled six balls without letting two of world’s fierce strikers get bat on ball and GL still found themselves where they were at the start of the over – 2 hits away. Their confidence must have had been rocked by Bumrah. And as a result when the bowler missed his mark fractionally, Finch was still not able to get the big shot away.

All that left McCullum 7 runs to get of the final delivery and even if he had hit a six, MI would still have gone on to win the match on the virtue of hitting a boundary more than their opponents during the super over. So all Bumrah had to make sure that he balls a legitimate delivery, and that’s exactly what he did. McCullum on the other hand could get it only as far as the man at long-off for a single.

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