Ngidi's impressive IPL initiation
All-star of the match
Lungi Ngidi had warmed the bench for the first week of the IPL and then returned home following the demise of his father. He rejoined the Chennai Super Kings squad in Pune ahead of their clash against Delhi Daredevils and was given the new ball immediately. The opportunity came because of Deepak Chahar's injury, that sidelined him for two weeks, and he gave CSK what they had missed in their previous loss against Mumbai Indians: pace and bounce.
The raw data may read 4-0-26-1, but that shouldn't fool you. He bowled the tough overs: two in the Powerplay and two in the death. He hit a hard length - neither driveable nor pullable - with the new ball and rushed Colin Munro for pace. Now, Munro favours the leg side and likes the pull. In Pune, the square boundaries are short, but Ngidi was up for the challenge.
When he returned with the old ball, Daredevils needed 55 off 18 balls with a rampaging Rishabh Pant threatening a jailbreak. Ngidi's first ball to Pant was short and outside off, and it was swatted away to the wide long-on boundary. The next one was fuller and it skidded past Pan't swish. Then came the short ball again, but this one was slower and Pant could not manufacture enough pace. He only sliced a catch to Ravindra Jadeja at sweeper cover. Daredevils' last hope gone. Game, set, and match to CSK.
The wow moment
The first over to Munro, who not so long ago was the No.1 T20 batsman. The New Zealand batsman is an instinctive puller but Ngidi beat him for pace and bounce thrice. Five straight dots to Munro wasn't such a bad initiation into the IPL for Ngidi.
- Ngidi bowled 12 dots in his four overs - the most by anyone in this match
- He had a smart economy rate of 2.74 - ESPNcricinfo's new metric to make sense of numbers in the shortest format - as opposed to his traditional economy rate of 6.50.
What they said
"Right from the South Africa tour [I was impressed by Ngidi]. If he keeps coming good, it will be good for us."
'Nuff said MS Dhoni
"Very exciting moment. Very lovely to be out there. In pressure situations, you find out how good you are."
Lungi Ngidi is overjoyed after his IPL debut
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo