IPL 2019 | Miserly Ashwins Choke Mighty Mumbai

Nikhil Narain | Updated: March 30, 2019, 9:50 PM IST
IPL 2019 | Miserly Ashwins Choke Mighty Mumbai

Murugan Ashwin celebrates with teammates. (IPL)

They say bowlers hunt in pairs. That old cricketing adage came true on Saturday (March 30) with an added twist. The two Ashwins – Ravichandran and Murugan – took charge and restricted a rampaging Mumbai Indians batting line-up, proving to be the difference between the two sides.

R Ashwin, the off-spinner, took the new ball and conceded just 15 runs off his initial two overs. He bowled just two boundary balls and three dot balls - a commendable effort in the powerplay.

But Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock launched into the other Kings XI bowlers and at the end of the Power Play, MI had moved to 62 for 1. Suryakumar Yadav looked threatening when M Ashwin was introduced into the attack. He struck with his second delivery trapping Yadav plumb leg before wicket conceding just two runs in his first over.

The Ashwins combined to bowl 6 overs between the 7th and 15th overs. They conceded just 37 runs in this phase which was an outstanding effort especially given the start Mumbai had. They bowled as many as 15 dot balls and only five boundary balls in this period. M Ashwin also picked his second wicket during this phase – of Yuvraj Singh – getting him caught at deep backward square-leg off a wrong-un.

Overall, R Ashwin conceded just 26 runs off his 4 overs. These included 8 dot balls and 4 boundary balls.

M Ashwin, the leg-break bowler, was even more impressive, giving away just 25 runs in his quota of four overs and picking up two crucial top order wickets. He bowled as many as 11 dot deliveries and only 4 boundary balls.

From 62 for 1 after the powerplay (looking set for 200 plus), Mumbai were reduced to 131 for 4 after 15 overs. They had scored just 69 runs in these crucial 9 middle overs at a run-rate of just 7.67. This was largely due to the brilliant restrictive bowling of the Ashwin-duo.

The average economy rate of the other bowlers in the Kings XI Punjab innings was 10.17. The average economy rate of all the other bowlers in the match was 9.71.

The average economy rate of the Ashwins was 6.375.

R Ashwin had an economy rate of 3.43 against Rohit, 7.80 against de Kock and 3.60 against Yuvraj. M Ashwin conceded just 3 runs in 9 balls to Yuvraj.

That is how good these two spinners were.

This proved to be the difference at the end between the two teams. Kings XI cantered to a comfortable eight-wicket win at the end with plenty of balls to spare.

R Ashwin is one of the most economical bowlers in IPL history with an economy rate of 6.75. M Ashwin has only played 13 IPL matches but has an impressive overall T20 record. He has picked 41 wickets in 36 innings at 22.56 a piece at a strike rate of 18.27. He has also been fairly restrictive (being a leg-spinner) and has given away just 7.41 runs per over.
First Published: March 30, 2019, 9:05 PM IST

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