In last night’s victory over West Indies on the first day of the concurrent T20 series, Team India were able to pack the visitors up with 207 runs in the first innings at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The highest of the credit is due for Yuzvendra Chahal, who picked up the wickets of Shimron Hetymyer and the Windies skipper Kieron Pollard. The appraisal doesn’t stop there, because the leg break bowler now joins Ravichandran Ashwin as the joint highest wicket takers for India with 52 wickets!
There is another feat for Chahal in the achievement, as it just took him just 35 matches for equalling Ashwin’s tally of wickets. However, it took 46 matches for the Delhi Capitals spinner to bag 52 wickets.
The two wickets has also helped Chahal to overtake the pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s record of 51 wickets from 41 matches for the Men in Blue. However, the fastest bowler to reach 50 wickets in the shortest format of the game is Ajantha Mendis, the former Sri Lankan spinner who reached half century in just 26 matches. Chahal achieved the same in 34 matches, prior to last night’s double pick up.
Chahal, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, was chosen for the 18th over, his 4th and final of the match, and the 29 year old picked both the wickets in the same.
The first wicket came when West Indies’s score was 172/3. Hetymyer, who scored 56 runs off 41 balls, with 2 fours and 4 sixes, whacked the first ball of the over right into the hands of Rohit Sharma.
Pollard’s wicket was picked up although scoring a blistering 37 runs off 19 balls along with 1 four and 4 sixes, was bowled out by Chahal in the third ball of the over. Windies were 173/5.
Chahal, who is a former chess player, made his both his T20 and ODI ebut against Zimbabwe in 2016. The Haryanvi has earned 60 T20 caps and 211 ODI caps.
The Men in Blues won the match in the 18th over, scoring 209 with 6 wickets left. Winning the toss and choosing to bowl first worked in favour of captain Virat Kohli, considering the pitch.
“It’s a beautiful wicket to bat on, and it’s going to get better to bat with the ball coming on nicely and the ball travels. Chasing has been better for us to be honest – our strength. The data has to be taken into account, particularly when you win the toss, which is an uncontrollable.” Kohli spoke after the toss.