Running in hard, taking a giant jump and then releasing the ball with all the force from that shoulder was the important element of Shoaib Akhtar’s swashbuckling yet lethal bowling. On one occasion while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, Akhtar drubbed the Delhi Daredevils batting line up in an Indian Premier League clash.
The script goes back to the 2008 edition where the homogeneous circumstances and ethical way of playing were pretty prominent in the cash-rich league. Pakistan players were part of the IPL and there were no dark clouds hovering on the league. During this clean exhibition of the Indian Premier league, former Pakistan quick-bowler gave KKR and the Eden Gardens crowd something aesthetic.
The Sourav Ganguly-led team scored a total of 133/6 in 20 overs and it was upto their bowlers to defend the total against the team that already had an image of dangerous batting line up. With the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, de Villiers, Dhawan and Dilshan in the batting, the target of 134 runs didn’t really seemed to create any mess.
But Akhtar was keen on disturbing the party for Delhi fans and the franchise. The second ball of the innings saw Sehwag edging a ball straight to Saha behind the stumps and then he scalped Gambhir in the third over when Hussey held on to a decent catch at point. The third wicket for Akhtar came in the form of AB de Villiers when the right hand batsman mis-timed a hook shot off a good length delivery to give a sitter to Taibu at square leg.
Reduced to 28/3, Akhtar didn’t put a halt in dislodging the DD batting and trapped Manoj Tiwary in front of the stumps as his fourth victim. Later, DD were bundled out for 110 in 17.5 overs and KKR won by 23 runs.