Rajasthan Royals (RR) bowling coach Lasith Malinga showered rich praise on Yuzvendra Chahal after the wrist-spinner produced another match-winning spell in the ongoing IPL to beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday (April 18).
Thanks to Chahal’s five-wicket haul (5/40), which included a hat-trick, RR defeated KKR in a high-scoring thriller by 7 runs.
"Chahal has a lot of international experience. He is the most experienced leg-spinner in the country and in this tournament. Every bowling unit has 2-3 wicket-taking options and leg-spinners have more wicket-taking options. Today, Chahal showed how he can take wickets and change the game within a single over. That is the most important thing. He showed that all leg-spinners are match-winners in this competition," Malinga said in a post-match press conference.
Malinga also extended his support to Riyan Parag, who is struggling for runs in the IPL 2022 season. He fell for just 5 against KKR in an attempt to hit Narine for a six.
"He has not got much time on the wicket since he has played only five to ten balls in his previous games. I feel he will deliver for us in the next match. It also means that our top order is doing well, that is why he is not getting many opportunities to play his game," added the RR bowling coach.
Lasith Malinga enjoys working with the young fast bowlers at KKR and he wants to keep working with them in areas like yorkers and slow balls.
"I want to give them a clear idea of what the team expects from them. Like if I am a bowler, sometimes we are supposed to adapt to the team plan. We need to bowl for six overs, at the end of innings as well. We have to develop our skills too since there are only two types of batsmen, right-handed and left-handed. We should not think too much and just stick to our plans. We need to develop our wicket-taking options, stock balls and a good line and length. I can share all my experiences with them of my last 12 years with Mumbai Indians and in International Cricket," he added.
Coming to the match, RR rode on opener Jos Buttler’s dazzling century (103 off 61 balls) to pile up a massive 217/5 in 20 overs.
Chasing 218 to win, KKR lost Narine on the very first delivery for a duck but the duo of Aaron Finch and captain Shreyas Iyer added 107 runs for the second wicket to keep the team very much in the contest
While Finch fell on 58 off 28 balls, Shreyas continued to attack the Rajasthan bowlers even though KKR kept losing wickets in quick succession. The likes of Nitish Rana (18), Andre Russell (0), and Venkatesh (6) failed to make a mark with the bat.
Thanks to Shreyas Iyer, KKR were still in the chase with 40 needed off the last four overs with 6 wickets in hand. However, Chahal changed the course of the match in the 17th over as he took four wickets, including a hat-trick with the successive dismissals of Shreyas (85 off 51 balls), Shivam Mavi (0), and Pat Cummins (0).
In the death overs, Umesh Yadav produced a dazzling cameo (21 off 9 balls) for KKR but it wasn’t enough. RR debutant Obed McCoy removed Sheldon Jackson and Umesh in the last over to bundle out the Knight Riders for 210 with two balls still left in the innings.
(With ANI inputs)