Australian leg spinner, Adam Zampa, playing in only his second game in the Indian Premier League (IPL), scalped the second best figures in the history of the tournament with figures of six for 19 in a crucial game for the Rising Pune Supergiants against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Visakhapatnam’s ACA-VDCA stadium on Tuesday.
The six-for though amounted to little in the end as the batsmen failed to provide support. Pune, going into the final over needing 14 runs for victory, slumped to a three-run loss, which has in all likelihood ended their hopes of making it to the playoffs. Skipper MS Dhoni was run out going for a second run and Zampa was caught behind next ball, going in to face the last delivery of the innings needing four to win.
Zampa’s bowling efforts though saw Sunrisers being restricted to 137 for eight after they won the toss and elected to bat first. Chasing the modest total though proved a major task for Pune’s batsmen. Faced with some tight bowling by Hyderabad’s in-form pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/20) and Ashish Nehra (3/29), Pune struggled to form partnerships as wickets tumbled. A captain’s knock by Dhoni (30) did stretch the game into the last over, although the task proved to be beyond them.
Earlier, it was all a Zampa show. He came into his own only after the 15th over. His straighter one that is produced at the right moment has been his wicket-taking ball. He used it to great effect on Tuesday. It was his first instance of bowling in the death and the youngster kept his cool and delivered. Despite the risks involved with bowling leg-breaks in the final overs, the Australian managed to make it work. With Sunrisers looking for big hits, Zampa capitalised. His six for 19 included scalps of the entire middle and lower batting order of the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
He was aided well by R Ashwin, whose economical spell choked the opposition for runs, giving Zampa the license to entice the batsmen for risky shots that brought about their downfall.
The 24-year-old came into the limelight after his surprise selection into the Australia side for the World Twenty20. Having never played a T20 international before, it was a decision that had raised eyebrows. Zampa though emerged as one of the surprise packages of the tournament, delivering some key spells.
However, Zampa had to wait in the wings during the early part of the IPL. With Dhoni backing domestic leg-spinner M Ashwin, the Australian had to stick to the bench. A side strain forced M Ashwin out of Pune’s previous game, which gave Zampa his first chance to shine. He had a point to prove and he did just that.
With Pune needing to win nearly every game, a win on Tuesday was crucial for them to staying relevant in the tournament. It needed a big effort from its players. While Pune got one half of it from Zampa, the batsmen failed to deliver the other half.