21 October 2020 20:32
The ball is a lie. Everything about it goes against everything else. And it fools Nitish Rana. He isn't ready for it to be pitched up. He is beaten completely by the swing.
He hears the wreckage behind him. And for half a second he just stands, suspended in disbelief. There are wickets that bring great joy to a fast bowler. Most of them involve the stumps being shattered in some form or other. And while that alone is often enough, the sight of a batsman struggling to comprehend what had happened is bliss.
In only his second season of Ranji Trophy cricket, he found a way to average nearly five wickets a game. Performances in the shorter format came just as naturally. In the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy, he line-and-lengthed his way to three five-fors in six matches. He even cracked A-team cricket, single-handedly dismantling an Australian side with eight wickets in an innings. That spell of 8 for 59 came on the back of several other ferocious ones. Two five-fors in the same game against South Africa A. Two four-fors against West Indies A away from home. Siraj had only begun playing with a cricket ball in 2015. His rise is intoxicating. And frustrating. Mohammed Siraj's first two overs against KKR ESPNcricinfo Ltd Here was a bowler who was accurate and dangerous and yet every time the IPL rolled around he turned into cannon fodder. Before this game, he had an economy rate of 9.29 - the worst among 92 bowlers with at least 100 overs to their name. Tons of people watch the IPL. Performances here have led to India call-ups. Even if that doesn't quite happen, making a good impression of yourself can change your entire life. But do badly and you become a target. You get labelled. And as much as you try, you end up being known for all the wrong things. In Abu Dhabi, Siraj decided to change the way he is seen. He was given the chance to bowl with the new ball because Royal Challengers Bangalore had seen that the pitch was offering sideways movement. So instead of powerplay specialist Washington Sundar, who has been a big part of the team's success this season, it was the new man in who was asked to set the tone for the innings. "I have been practising a lot with the new ball," Siraj said at the presentation. "We hadn't planned that I will open but when we went out, Virat bhai said Miyan, ready ho jao. [Sir, get ready.]." Siraj became the first bowler in IPL history to bowl two maidens in a single game. He had picked up three wickets before he had given up a single run. He finished with the most economical figures this season. Essentially, he went from punching bag to heavyweight champion. And it looks like this is just the start. "Last year he had a tough year and a lot of people went quite hard at him," Virat Kohli said at the presentation. "This time around he worked hard, he was really determined, and in practice as well, he was hitting the right areas, talking to the bowling coach. So look, when you gradually work towards something, you know, there's a reason why people mention process being so important and he's worked on the process now and he's seen a result now but we want him to keep continuing the same way." Pacer's opening spell of 3-2-2-3 hurts Kolkata, which can only manage 84 for eight; Kohli's men win with 6.3 overs to spare and move to second Mohammed Siraj steamrollered Kolkata Knight Riders with a blistering fast-bowling display (4-2-8-3) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The 84 runs that KKR managed for the loss of eight wickets was the lowest total in IPL history for a team that wasn't bowled out. Royal Challengers Bangalore romped home with eight wickets and more than six overs to spare. Pat Cummins was economical in the PowerPlay (3-0-18-0) but KKR needed wickets. Lockie Ferguson, who had impressed against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, was introduced only in the seventh over, by which point Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch had slashed the target by half and there was no turning around. The win lifted Virat Kohli's men to second spot (14 points), ever closer to the playoffs, which has eluded the side since 2016. For KKR (10 points), the crushing defeat can potentially drag it into the scrap for the last playoff position. Striking gold Kohli lost the toss, but struck gold with every roll of the dice, right from selecting Siraj in place of Shahbaz Ahmed, to the bowling changes he rang in through the contest. KKR never recovered from Siraj's opening spell (3-2-2-3). The pacer made full use of the moderate swing, and was aided by some impulsive batting. KKR scored just 17 runs in the PowerPlay for the loss of four wickets. Rahul Tripathi went first, caught by A.B. de Villiers while trying to glide an away-going delivery from Siraj to third-man. Nitish Rana was out next ball when he pushed forward without accounting for the movement, only for the ball to curl in and hit the off-stump. Navdeep Saini, the first-change bowler, excised Shubman Gill. Tom Banton, who replaced Andre Russell, drove a half-volley beautifully down the ground and then sent Saini soaring over the deep square-leg boundary. But his counter-attack was short-lived, caught by de Villiers when he swung at Siraj without moving his feet. Siraj's first two overs were both maidens, the first time in IPL history anyone had done so. These were superb returns for someone who has often attracted criticism for being profligate. Then, the Yuzvendra Chahal-Washington Sundar double act suffocated KKR, with just 16 runs coming off six overs (nine to 14). Chahal trapped Dinesh Karthik leg-before with a googly that spun slightly and then outwitted Cummins with a teaser. When Washington snuffed out Morgan (30, 34b, 3x4, 1x6) in the 16th over, all hopes of a KKR recovery had evaporated. SCOREBOARD KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS Shubman Gill c Morris b Saini 1 (6b), Rahul Tripathi c de Villiers b Siraj 1 (5b), Nitish Rana b Siraj 0 (1b), Tom Banton c de Villiers b Siraj 10 (8b, 1x4, 1x6), Dinesh Karthik lbw b Chahal 4 (14b), Eoin Morgan c Gurkeerat b Washington 30 (34b, 3x4, 1x6), Pat Cummins c Padikkal b Chahal 4 (17b), Kuldeep Yadav run out 12 (19b, 1x4), Lockie Ferguson (not out) 19 (16b, 1x4); Extras (lb-2, w-1): 3; Total (for eight wkts. FALL OF WICKETS1-3 (Tripathi, 1.3 overs), 2-3 (Rana, 1.4), 3-3 (Gill, 2.2), 4-14 (Banton, 3.3), 5-32 (Karthik, 8.4), 6-40 (Cummins, 12.3), 7-57 (Morgan, 15.4), 8-84 (Kuldeep, 19.6). RCB BOWLINGMorris 4-1-16-0, Siraj 4-2-8-3, Saini 3-0-23-1, Udana 1-0-6-0, Chahal 4-0-15-2, Washington 4-1-14-1. ROYAL CHALLENGERS Devdutt Padikkal run out 25 (17b, 3x4), Aaron Finch c Karthik b Ferguson 16 (21b, 2x4), Gurkeerat Mann (not out) 21 (26b, 4x4), Virat Kohli (not out) 18 (17b, 2x4); Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5; Total (for two wkts. in 13.3 overs): 85. FALL OF WICKETS 1-46 (Finch, 6.2), 2-46 (Padikkal, 6.4). KNIGHT RIDERS BOWLING Cummins 3-0-18-0, Prasidh 2.3-0-20-0, Varun 4-0-28-0, Ferguson 4-0-17-1. Toss: KKR; MoM: Siraj. RCB won by eight wickets with 6.3 overs to spare. cricket Updated: Oct 21, 2020, 22:29 IST Royal Challengers Bangalore have won the 39th match of IPL 2020 by 8 wickets, successfully chasing the target in the 14th over. Devdutt Padikkal was the highest scorer with 25 runs. The highest partnership of the innings was between Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch who contributed 46 runs to the innings. Varun Chakravarthy bowled an expensive 12th over of the innings where 10 runs came from the over. Lockie Ferguson bowled an expensive 13th over of the innings where 5 runs came from the over. Prasidh Krishna bowled only 3 balls in the 14th over of the game and gave away 3 runs. That brings us to the end of the match. KKR will now face DC at Abu Dhabi whereas Royal Challengers Bangalore will meet CSK in their respective next matches. Follow live score and updates from IPL Welcome to ESPNcricinfo's Rolling Report of the 39th game of IPL 2020, between the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore. Tonight the likes of Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson take on Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal, and others. Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore ball-by-ball commentary If the blog doesn't load for you, refresh your page or click here.