There is no better sight in cricket than seeing batsmen being bowled off express deliveries. Twenty two-year-old right-arm pacer from Jammu and Kashmir, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Umran Malik provided this beautiful sight at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night, castling four Gujarat Titans batsmen en route to taking the best bowling figures in this edition – five for 25.Most often, such bowling efforts end up on the winning side. But, Malik was not lucky on the day as he did not receive adequate support from his team-mates, especially left-arm medium-pacers T Natarajan and Marco Jansen.
Malik had bowled SRH on the victory path, picking up at least a wicket in each of his four overs. He completed his quota of four overs, bowling in two spells, by the 16th over and Gujarat Titans were reduced to 140 for five, needing another 56 in 24 balls.
Malik, who was consistently clocking the mid and late-140kmph besides a couple of 152-153kmph, broke the growing first-wicket partnership worth 69 between Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill by removing the latter. Gill made room to work Malik on the off-side but was beaten by sheer pace and the stumps were disturbed before the bat could come down.
Such was the pace of Malik that the first ball he bowled to Titans’ No. 3, captain Hardik Pandya, the batsman shaped to pull but the ball was quick to beat him and hurt his right shoulder. Though Pandya did pick a four off Malik in his second over with a push past mid-off, Malik dismissed the Titans’ captain with a short ball that took the top-edge of Pandya’s bat and flew to third man.
With a tidy first spell reading two for 14 in two overs, Malik was given a break before his captain Kane Williamson brought him back in the 14th over. Saha and David Miller were building a partnership when Malik yorked Saha with a 152kmph express delivery. With three wickets in his three overs, Malik uprooted the middle stump of danger man Miller for 17 and the off-stump of Abhinav Manohar the next legal delivery (he had bowled a wide down the leg side in between).
Malik was the only bowler who took wickets for Sunrisers and he would have been better off with others including the vastly experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar supporting him. Even off-spinner Washington Sundar, who usually bowls tight and picks a couple of wickets, was unable to get into the wickets column.The 22-year-old pacer from Jammu and Kashmir is only improving by leaps and bounds, getting better with every passing match. Only two matches earlier, he had picked up four for 28 against Punjab Kings. While his latest effort was much better, the team result was not what he would have desired.