Veteran spinner Amit Mishra picked his fourth four-wicket haul in the Indian T20 League on Tuesday as Delhi pipped defending champions Mumbai by six wickets.
Restricting a batting-heavy side like Mumbai was always going to be an uphill task but Mishra, playing in only his fifth Indian T20 League game since last year, restricted their batting to confine Mumbai to just 137/9.
At 70/2 inside eight overs, Delhi needed a wicket given that Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma was in full swing. In came Mishra, who had conceded 10 runs in his opening over, and changed the face of the match by dismissing Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya in the last three deliveries of his second over.
Knowing that Rohit goes for big shots, the spinner worked smartly. In the fourth ball of his second over, Mishra bowled wider outside the off stump knowing that the Mumbai batsman will step out of the crease. With the ball being delivered at just 79kms per hour, Rohit had to reach out for the ball. He connected poorly and holed out to Steve Smith at long-on.
This was the seventh time in his Indian T20 League career that Mishra dismissed Rohit Sharma, the joint-most dismissals by a bowler against a batsman. Sunil Narine and Vinay Kumar have each dismissed Rohit on six occasions.
The veteran spinner has bowled 91 deliveries to the Mumbai opener and has conceded just 87 runs in the process.
|Rohit Sharma vs Amit Mishra in Indian T20 League|
|Runs||Balls faced||Wickets||Average||Strike rate|
Rohit averages a mere 12.42 and has a strike rate of just 95.6 against Amit Mishra, against a career average of 31 and strike rate of 130.
There are only two bowlers apart from Mishra who have dismissed a batsman on seven occasions in the India T20 League. Retired bowler Zaheer Khan holds this record against MS Dhoni and Sandeep Sharma carries this figure against Bangalore captain Virat Kohli.
Meanwhile, there was more to come from Mishra in the game. After getting better of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya, the spinner got the wickets of Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard to bridge the gap between him and the all-time leading wicket-taker of the league, Lasith Malinga.
Amit Mishra was named player of the match as he ended the innings with 4/24, the best bowling figures by a Delhi bowler vs Mumbai.
The 38-year-old is now just six wickets away from equalling Malinga’s tally of 170 wickets. But he says that he is not focused on any record at the moment.
“I have never focused on breaking Lasith Malinga’s record of being the highest wicket-taker in the Indian T20 League. It would feel really nice to break that record soon and the main focus is that Delhi should win. So that’s the goal for me,” Mishra told Prithvi Shaw in a video posted by Indian T20 League.
Featured photo: AFP / Punit Paranjpe