While Kuldeep Yadav was the star of Delhi Capitals (DC)'s bowling performance against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Thursday (April 28), Rovman Powell scored an unbeaten 33 off only 16 balls to lead the franchise to victory with an over to spare.
Delhi were in a perilous situation following a middle-order collapse, chasing 147 for victory. At a time when his side was losing wickets at regular intervals, opener David Warner fought alone at the top, striking a 26-ball 42 to help his team stay in the chase before falling at the team score of 82.
Powell, on the other hand, once again showed his big-hitting skills by guiding Delhi to a nervy four-wicket victory at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. The West Indies all-rounder had just 67 runs in the current season before yesterday, but he rediscovered his form just in time.
Powell, like many other local and overseas players, had humble beginnings before breaking into the world of cricket. The Jamaican's life has been dramatically transformed by the sport, as he had promised to his mother that he would lift them out of poverty.
West Indies great Ian Bishop said many people including him want Powell to succeed as they are aware of his struggles in early life.
"If anyone has the opportunity of 10 minutes to spare, go and look at Rovman Powell’s life story - a video on YouTube. You will see why so many people, including me, are happy that this guy has gotten a taste of the IPL. He has come from humble beginnings. He promised his mom that he will take them out of poverty when he was still in secondary school. He is living that dream to do that. Great story," he said on ESPNCricinfo.
“I was trying to think back about his hundred against Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in the Caribbean. He averaged 43 against India with these same spinners in India last February. He has improved a lot, is very good against seam and shows a great temperament," Bishop further added.
Rovman Powell, after the match in a press conference admitted that he had a difficult start to the IPL, but he was confident in the hard work he had put in before to the competition.
"Yeah, it was a tough start, but I was in form. In the early part of the season, I was going out for like one ball, two balls and those kinds of stuff," said the 28 year old, who had managed just 31 runs in the first five matches this season.
"When you get those innings, they don't state whether you're a good player or bad player. The team - the captain, coach - rallied around me, and told me that I'll play all the games. 'So just relax, just to play cricket and to enjoy it'.
"My start in the competition wasn't the best, but I trust all the work I had done before the IPL."
DC had slipped to 84 for 5 in 11.1 overs with Umesh Yadav taking three wickets for 24 runs but Powell said he was confident of pulling off the chase.
"It was a simple situation that require you to play singles early. Once you get the singles early, the boundary balls will always come. It was not that difficult of a situation. I played it well," Powell, who was bought for Rs 2.8 crores in the mega auction, said.
He further added, "They bowled their best bowlers early trying to get us out. Once we didn't get out, you know that in the back-end some makeshift bowlers will come and bowl..."
(With PTI inputs)