‘Best knuckleball wicket ever’: Dale Steyn on Ishant Sharma’s cracker | Cricket
Delhi Capitals (DC) defeated table toppers Gujarat Titans (GT) by defending a paltry total of 130 runs in their IPL 2023 encounter at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. At 23/5 after Mohammed Shami’s brilliant opening spell, it looked like the game was over and dusted, but Akshar Patel, Aman Khan, who hit his maiden T20I half-century, and Ripple Patel took the visitors by storm. Helped me get a good score. Number. But it was the all-rounder’s bowling performance that helped the Capitals get the much-needed two points.
With only 130 to play against defending champions Gujarat Titans, Delhi Capitals needed early wickets to swing the game in their favour. And the wickets they got as Ishant Sharma, Anrich Nortje and Khaleel Ahmed reduced the hosts to 26/3 after five overs in the powerplay.
The last of the three dismissals was due to a peach of a knuckleball from Ishant Sharma. On the experienced wicket came right-hander Vijay Shankar, who was completely barren. Looking for the flick, Shankar misses the ball completely as the ball lands on middle and off stump.
While many agreed that it was the ball of the season, former South African pacer and current Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling coach Dale Steyn could not stop praising it. Steyn wrote on his Twitter handle, “Well Ishant the best knuckleball wicket I have ever seen!”
Ishant saved the best for the last as he defended 11 runs in the final over against Rahul Tewatia, who hit Anrich Nortje for three consecutive sixes in the last over to set up Hardik Pandya. Ishant conceded just three runs from the first two balls before dismissing Tewatia with a slower ball. The Capitals eventually won by 5 runs and are still alive in the competition as far as their playoff chances are concerned.
Ishant has taken six wickets in four matches so far this season with an economy of six.