Washington Sundar, Rising Pune Supergiant super kid, has a bright cricket future

Washington Sundar put in a brilliant, economical spell of off-spin bowling to dent Mumbai Indians and boost Rising Pune Supergiant in the final of IPL 2017. MI, of course, pulled off a sensational last-ball win to win IPL for the third time

ipl 2017 Updated: May 22, 2017 13:12 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Washington sundar,ipl 2017,Rising Pune Supergiant
Washington Sundar (L) celebrates with Rising Pune Supergiant skipper Steven Smith after the dismissal of Mumbai Indians batsman Ambati Rayudu during IPL 2017 first Qualifier in Mumbai on May 16. Washington Sundar, on Sunday, became the youngest player to appear in an IPL final.(AFP)

Before the start of the IPL 2017 final at Uppal against Mumbai Indians, Washington Sundar, the 17-year-old off-spinner from Tamil Nadu playing for Rising Pune Supergiant, had set a record. (HIGHLIGHTS OF IPL FINAL | PUNE VS MUMBAI SCORECARD)

Washington Sundar became the youngest player to feature in an IPL final, beating Ravindra Jadeja’s record of 19 years when he played for eventual winners Rajasthan Royals in the final of IPL 2008 against Chennai Super Kings.

In the pre-match press conference on Saturday, captain Steve Smith had lavished praise on the Tamil Nadu youngster.

“For a 17-year-old to come out and perform against some quality players is outstanding. The young guys have been a real big part of our success throughout this tournament,” Smith had said.

Rising Pune Supergiant’s Washington Sundar celebrates after the dismissal of Mumbai Indians batsman Kieron Pollard during the IPL 2017 qualifier in Mumbai on May 16. (AFP)

In the final, Washington Sundar lived up to his skipper’s words.

Opening the bowling alongside Jaydev Unadkat, Washington Sundar once again relied on the two factors that have helped him immensely in IPL 2017, accuracy and the right pace. He got off to a great start by giving away just five runs.

Thanks to his economical first over, pressure mounted on Mumbai Indians and Unadkat capitalised by taking two wickets in his second over. Following the double strike, Sundar bowled tight lines to Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu as he conceded just one run.

The teenager returned in the 10th over of the innings, but conceded a boundary to Krunal Pandya, who lofted him inside out over extra cover. He finished in style by giving away one run in his final over to return magnificent figures of 4-0-13-0.

Washington Sundar (L) and MS Dhoni celebrate during IPL 2017 qualifier vs Mumbai Indians on May 16, 2017. (AFP)

An outstanding 17-year-old’

With his spell in the final, Washington Sundar finished with eight wickets in 11 games. He ended up with an economy rate of 6.16, the best among the bowlers in this tournament. His performances have echoed Smith’s words that young players who have not played the final can go out and play with freedom.

Sundar’s performance, combined with support from the other bowlers, put Rising Pune Supergiant on the cusp of something special, but only just. Mumbai Indians won a last-ball thriller to win the IPL title for an unprecedented third time.

First Published: May 22, 2017 12:40 IST