New Delhi: Kings XI Punjab opener Manan Vohra’s knock of 95 against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday once again showed why teams rely so heavily on domestic Indian batsmen despite the presence of international stars in the Indian Premier League. Even though Vohra failed to take KXIP over the line, the knock shall be etched in the minds of cricket fans in years to come.
CricketNext takes a look at 5 knocks by uncapped Indian batsmen that have carved a place in the heart of cricket fanatics:
Manan Vohra: 95 vs SRH in Uppal, April 17, 2017
Chasing 160 can always be dicey under lights and when you lose your opening partner Hashim Amla off the first ball of the innings, things get all the more difficult. But Vohra did not give up. Even as wickets kept falling around him, Vohra didn’t hold back. He went on attacking the SRH bowlers and took special liking for Barinder Sran and Rashid Khan as he sent them for special treatment. But luck finally ran out as Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapped him LBW in the 19th over with KXIP still needing 15 runs to win. The dismissal gave Bhuvi his fifth wicket and SRH went on to win the game by 5 runs.
Paul Valthaty: 120 vs CSK in Mohali, April 13, 2011
KXIP needed 189 to win the game against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings. And while everyone expected KXIP skipper Adam Gilchrist to take the attack to the CSK bowlers, Albie Morkel dismissed Gilchrist for 19 off 15 balls. But Valthaty took the attack to the cleaners as he hit 19 boundaries and two sixes as he stunned Dhoni and his boys. Even though the others batsmen did not score big runs, the 11-ball 20 from Sunny Singh and the unbeaten 21 off 11 balls from Dinesh Karthik provided Valthaty the much-needed support. KXIP won the game with 5 balls remaining.
Mandeep Singh: 54 vs RR in Pune, May 20, 2015
In a team boasting of talent like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who would have thought that an uncapped Punjab batsman would win RCB the Eliminator against Rajasthan Royals and find RCB a place in the second Qualifier. But Mandeep Singh showed on the fateful night that along with talent, he also had the presence of mind to sustain the pressure in a crunch match. Coming in to bat with the score reading 46/2, he combined with de Villiers to add 113 for the 3rd wicket as he hit 54 off just 34 balls, including two sixes and seven boundaries. RCB ended with 180 in their 20 overs and RR could manage just 109 as Bangalore won by 71 runs.
Sanju Samson: 76 vs MI in Mumbai, May 1, 2015
He might be a proven performer now and has even played a T20I game for India in Zimbabwe, but back in 2015, Samson was still trying to make a name for himself in the circuit as a budding talent. And this game against Mumbai provided the perfect platform for the Kerala player. Coming in with his team stranded on 71/2, chasing 188 for a win, Samson joined hands with Steve Smith and put on 56 for the third wicket as they kept Rajasthan in the hunt. But Smith’s dismissal and the mounting required run-rate saw Samson finally dismissed in the 18th over for a 46-ball 76 with three sixes and seven boundaries. RR might have fallen short by 8 runs, but Samson showed that he has the talent to shine on the big-stage.
Sarfaraz Khan: 35 vs SRH in Bengaluru, April 12, 2016
When a seasoned international cricketer like David Warner praises a youngster, it means the kid knows his game. But Warner went a step further after the game between RCB and SRH when he said that it was Sarfaraz Khan who took the game away from SRH with his blitzkrieg in the death overs. After the Virat Kohli- AB de Villiers show where the duo put on 157 for the second wicket, Sarfaraz hit 35* off 10 balls, 22 off it coming off 5 balls from Bhuvneshwar Kumar as RCB finished with 227 in their 20-overs. An injury might have kept him away from this season of the IPL, but he is a talent to watch-out for.