'Enjoyed Raina's wicket the most' - Awana
Parvinder Awana, the Kings XI Punjab medium-pacer who took the first hat-trick of this year's Champions League T20, said he had enjoyed Suresh Raina's dismissal the most during the semi-final against Chennai Super Kings. Awana's hat-trick helped him finish with 4 for 30 but Kings XI ended the tournament with a 65-run defeat in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The bowler had dismissed Raina off the last ball of his first spell, as the batsman attempted a pull shot. He then picked up the wickets of Pawan Negi and MS Dhoni on his return to the attack. With a gap of more than 10 overs between Raina and Negi's dismissal, Awana admitted he had been unaware of the hat-trick until Dhoni was dismissed.
"I did exactly what I have been doing in the previous matches. My rhythm was good today and following my plan got me those wickets," he told clt20.com. "The plan was to not give them any room and bowl a full length. Since the wicket was slow, I was also putting in more effort by hitting the deck hard.
"When I got Dhoni bhai out, I didn't know it was the hat-trick ball. But I really enjoyed Raina bhai's wicket. He tends to hit that ball really well. I bowled length and hit it hard. It worked in my favour."
Awana's four-wicket haul helped him finish as the leading wicket-taker for Kings XI in the tournament with nine wickets in five matches at an average of 18. The bowler said he had come into the Champions League prepared to take on the role of the lead bowler, following Mitchell Johnson's unavailability due to injury.
"At the beginning of the tournament itself Sanjay [Bangar] sir and Joe [Dawes] had told me that I would be playing the role of the spearhead," he said. "They asked me to take this opportunity and grow from it as a bowler. I had picked wickets for Kings XI previously as well, so it was the right step ahead for me with youngsters like Anureet [Singh] coming in."