Lucknow Super Giants paid 25 times more than his base price of Rs 20 lakh to get Avesh Khan's services in IPL-15. The move was worth it as his excellent bowling acted as the catalyst for his team's 12-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Monday.
Heading into the lucrative T20 league as the most expensive uncapped Indian player, Avesh picked up four big wickets for only 24 runs and bowled a brilliant 18th over to turn the match decisively in LSG's favour.
Asked to bat first, skipper KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda struck useful half-centuries to lift Lucknow Super Giants to 169 for seven after a disastrous start.
Chasing 170, Kane Williamson's (16) innovation brought him two fours and a six but he paid the price for going overboard, his ramp shot off Avesh finding a sliding Andrew Tye at short fine leg in the fourth over with SRH score reading 25 for one.
Avesh brought about Abhishek Sharma's downfall with a change in pace as the batter failed to read it while trying to loft him. As Sharma made his way back to the dugout, last-game's half centurion Aiden Markram walked out to join Rahul Tripathi in the middle, and the two began rebuilding the SRH innings.
Placed at 51 for two at the end of the seventh over, Tripathi used Tye's pace to hit the Australian bowler for three fours and then, using his wrists, smashed Krunal Pandya (2/27) for a six over fine leg. A quite 10th over was, however, followed by the dismissal of Markram, the bowler being Krunal.
Going strong at 44 off 30 balls, Tripathi tried to slog sweep Krunal and hit straight to deep mid-wicket, where Ravi Bishnoi was stationed. Nicholas Pooran smashed Krunal over long-on for six and then carted Jason Holder (3/34) for 15 runs to bring the equation down to 50 form the last 30 balls.
Andrew Tye kept it fairly tight in the 17th over, giving not more than eight runs, before Pooran hoicked Avesh Khan over deep square leg for a maximum. However, Avesh had the last laugh as Pooran mistimed his knee-high full toss.
Earlier, after his team lost three wickets for just 27 runs in the powerplay, Rahul (68 off 50 balls) found an able ally in Hooda (51 off 33 balls) and added 87 runs for the fourth wicket to revive the innings.
Rahul hit six fours and a six, while Hooda found the fence three times and also cleared it thrice. Coming back from a long break after playing their opener last Tuesday, SRH made a dream start and left the Super Giants in all sorts of trouble early on.
Making a strong comeback after the pounding in his team's heavy defeat against Rajasthan Royals, Washington Sundar (2/28) was handed the new ball and he delivered in his very first over, and SRH's second, dismissing the dangerous Quinton de Kock with his off-break bowling on a grassy pitch that prompted Kane Williamson to put two slips when Bhuvneshwar Kumar started the proceedings.
Backed to bowl in the powerplay despite going for plenty in the previous game, Washington got de Kock (1) to chip one to Williamson at cover.
Few moments later, Washington had Evin Lewis (1) trapped in front of the wicket after the swashbuckling West Indian batter failed to execute his slog sweep. It was another huge wicket for SRH given Lewis' blazing, match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings last Thursday.
Manish Pandey struck Romario Shepherd for a four and a six but then, going for one too many, ended up lobbing a catch to mid-on in the same over to leave LSG in a spot of bother.
Spurred by the early success, Williamson effected bowling changes frequently but he may have delayed by at least an over in introducing the attacking T Natarajan while opting for Abdul Samad's innocuous, part-time seam up stuff at the DY Patil Stadium.
The pacy Umran Malik consistently hit 145 kmps but also leaked plenty of runs, allowing KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda to settle down and revive LSG's innings. Having withstood the early reverses, the duo of Rahul and Hooda went about their task in a professional manner, finding the boundaries as well as running the singles and twos as the 100 came up in the 14th over with Malik going for 16 runs.
Shepherd broke the partnership when he had Hooda caught in the deep to signal the arrival of the in-form Ayush Badoni (19 off 12), who got into the groove with a boundary.