Sunil Gavaskar lauded Harshal Patel, the Royal Challengers Bangalore seamer, whose hat-trick against the Mumbai Indians in Dubai on Sunday, secured a 54-run win for his side. Patel took the wickets of Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Rahul Chahar successively in the 17th over to kill the contest.
Royal Challengers Bangalore lost the toss and batted first against Mumbai Indians in Dubai on Sunday. They managed to score a competitive 165/6 at the end of their innings, thanks to Virat Kohli (51), Srikar Bharat (32) and Glenn Maxwell (56).
In reply, Mumbai Indians were struggling at 105/5, having lost skipper Rohit Sharma, Quinton De Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya. They were still in the game though, with Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya were at the crease. Harshal Patel however, dented the chase with a hattrick, with wickets of Hardik, Pollard and Rahul Chahar on the first three balls of the 17th over, and returned in his next over to take the final wicket and finish with 4/17.
Sunil Gavaskar was impressed with the 30-year-old, especially with his cunning slower ball which outfoxed Pollard. The right-hander shuffled across to play a glance, but missed the full off-cutter altogether to see his leg-stump shattered.
“A hat-trick is always very special. Getting a wicket is always very special, but getting three in three balls is even more so," Gavaskar told Star Sports. "The wicket of Pollard was so clever, because he had anticipated Pollard will go outside his crease and then of course, Rahul Chahar, he is not a batsman, we all know that. Getting his wicket was not a big deal. But getting those two big wickets of those two big hitters - Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya was so important and that's what turned the game. Because even at that stage, we knew that these two big hitters can turn the game around."
After losing three games on the trot, MI have slipped to the seventh position on the points table. They will square off against Punjab Kings in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, September 28, while RCB will next play Rajasthan Royals in Dubai on Wednesday, September 29.