Alzarri Joseph, the West Indies pacer, made a historic debut at the 2019 Indian Premier League, breaking an eleven-year record to claim the league's best bowling figures – 6/12 – for Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday, 6 April.
The fast bowler had come into the tournament in good form, having picked up 23 wickets in his last five first-class games that included two Tests of the England series at home. Against Hyderabad, he continued his good work, as ripped through the batting line-up to dismantle them for just 96 in a 137-run chase.
"It's a dream start, can't get better than this," said Joseph, who bettered Sohail Tanvir's tally of 6/14, which the Pakistan pacer had claimed in the inaugural edition. "I just wanted to bowl to the plans. When they said I was playing, I decided to keep it simple and back myself."
Joseph's victims included David Warner, the season's leading run-scorer, along with Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul. He also bowled a maiden in his 3.1-over spell, and picked up wickets off his first and last balls.
"When I got my first wicket, I had a muted celebration, since I was focused on the game that we had to win," said Joseph, who is now Mumbai's highest wicket-taker for the season despite playing just one game. "The boys are really playing well, so all we need to do is go to the park and show them what we can do."
While the 22-year-old was off to a splendid start, he remained focused on the road ahead. "My aim is to do my best to win games for my team," he said. "I play for wins, not for the limelight. It's a good feeling, but I want to win this tournament, not just personal performances."
Another Windies boy made us proud!!! @AlzarriJoseph 💪— Brian Lara (@BrianLara) April 6, 2019
.#mivssrh #AlzarriJoseph #VIVOIPL2019 #IPL #windies #MumbaiIndians #VIVOIPL #Cricket #History #sunrisershyderabad
@ImRo45 @mipaltan @SunRisers https://t.co/XZL5TTHFR9
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, it was a match of contrasting halves. They dominated the proceedings in the first innings, where a disciplined bowling performance restricted Mumbai to 136/7. However, they were given a taste of their own medicine in the chase, as the visiting team outdid their bowling performance.
"After having a good start, we couldn't really capitalise. It was a damp and slow wicket, it wasn't easy for the batsmen," said Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the Hyderabad captain. "We didn't have any partnerships and couldn't apply ourselves after the first wicket."
Lead image credit – AFP
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