Rajasthan Royals spinner Yuzvendra Chahal said his googly was coming well but he decided to go for a safer option on the delivery that bagged him his first hat-trick in the IPL and helped his team to a 7-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders here on Monday.
Chahal, who was declared the Player of the Match, overshadowed some brilliant batting by Shreyas Iyer (85) and Aaron Finch (58) to claim his first hat-trick in IPL. Having dismissed Nitish Rana and Venkatesh Iyer earlier, the 31-year-old from Haryana claimed a brilliant 5/40 for his best figures of this season.
It looked like KKR were cruising to victory after opener Aaron Finch struck a quick-fire 58 of 28 balls and skipper Shreyas Iyer, who hammered 85 off 51 deliveries. Both Finch and Shreyas shared a partnership of 106 runs for the second wicket in quick time.
“I had to take wickets in this match to change the result. I worked on my bowling. I spoke to the coaches and the skipper,” said Chahal at the post-match ceremony on Monday.
Asked what was going in his mind as he shaped up to bowl the hat-trick delivery, Chahal said he thought of bowling a googly but changed his mind at the last moment.
“I was thinking of a googly but then I didn’t want to take a chance. Would have been a happy with a dot ball as well on my hat-trick ball,” said Chahal.
The leggie said he changed his decision on the spur of the moment even though his googly was coming off well and had claimed him a wicket a few overs earlier. “My googly was coming out well and sent it down to Venkatesh Iyer,” he said.
Chahal turned the match on its head by claiming the 21st hat-trick of Indian Premier League (IPL) as he dismissed Shreyas Iyer, trapped lbw trying to whip a delivery pitching on the middle. On the next delivery of the 17th over, Chahal had Shivam Mavi caught by Riyan Parag and completed his hat-trick when Pat Cummins edged back to Sanju Samson — going off for a lengthy celebration with a leap and a slide.
Chahal claimed the 21st hat-trick in IPL history and though Umesh Yadav and Sheldon Jackson took it close, Rajasthan Royals eventually pulled off a memorable win.