The inaugural match of the IPL will always be remembered for Brendon McCullum's whirlwind knock. But one bowler from Bengal had also come up with an equally impressive performance that electrifying night in Bangalore four years ago.
Unfortunately, such was the impact of the New Zealander's innings that Ashok Dinda's effort of 3-0-9-2 went completely unnoticed.Ever since emerging on the scene seven years ago, Dinda has become used to going unnoticed as a pacer. Perhaps, it is because of his physique that is quite unlike a genuine fast bowler. Dinda, who has featured in just seven ODIs and three T20 Internationals for India, is also a valuable asset on the field.
Even though it took a long time for the selectors to get convinced about the improvement in his bowling — he picked 37 wickets in six Ranji Trophy games this season — Dinda was finally rewarded with a place in the Asia Cup squad and the one-off T20 international in SA.
Needless to say, when he took the field for the Pune Warriors against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday, Dinda was brimming with confidence. And just like that famous night on April 18, 2008, he set up the team's victory in his first over. By getting rid of Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma off the first and last deliveries, respectively, Dinda broke the back of MI's batting.
The Bengal bowler then added two more scalps to top the wicket-takers’ list.
For an effort of 4 for 18, that too for a side that was defending a low total, any bowler would have walked away with the MoM award. But Dinda again went unnoticed. The adjudicators thought Steven Smith's contribution with the willow was more vital.
Huge home support
Last year, there was hardly any buzz around the Warriors team as their stadium on the outskirts of Pune was far from complete and they were forced to adopt Navi Mumbai as their home ground.
But as Dinda and teammates checked into the team hotel, the grand welcome they were accorded on the eve of their first home game gave a glimpse of the kind of support the Warriors will get in their tie against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. Even if Dinda's contribution goes unnoticed, he will have no reason to complain if he can repeat his Friday's performance and help the Warriors top the table.