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October 20, 2009
On his return to the official fold, former ICL player Mihir Diwakar returned remarkable figures of 3.1-2-6-5 as Jharkhand entered the Twenty20 record books. It's a feat that will take some beating: a hapless Tripura were shot down for 30, the lowest Twenty20 score ever recorded, comfortably beating the Titans' 47 against the Eagles in South Africa in 2003-04. Not one Tripura batsman managed to reach double figures. Led by their captain Saurabh Tiwary's 14-ball 22, Jharkhand then went on to knock off the target with 100 balls to spare, another record.
Diwakar, who was part of the Royal Bengal Tigers in the ICL, was impeccable on his return. Having sent back the top three in swift time, he returned to pick up two more middle-order scalps. Had Tripura not imploded so spectacularly, Diwakar had every chance of beating Sohail Tanvir's record for best figures in a Twenty20, 6 for 14 for Rajasthan Royals against Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural IPL.
Both Tiwary and Diwakar were not aware that they were setting records as they went about decimating Tripura. There was nothing wrong in the pitch either, they said. "It was a normal wicket. We played a tournament on the same wicket before this and the average score then was 170-180," Diwakar told Cricinfo. "Had we batted first, we would have scored as much. I think they tried attacking too much, they didn't seem to have a proper idea of how to play T20s. They didn't apply themselves."
He also gave the ICL some of the credit for the performance. "I had no idea about the records. But because we played only Twenty20 in the ICL, it definitely helped. The experience has given me a general idea of how to operate in the shortest format."
Tiwary, though, was generous in praising his fast bowler. "He bowled superbly. He was determined in his comeback match. There was nothing wrong in the wicket. At any rate, to bowl 3.1 overs for 6 runs and bag five wickets, takes some doing on any wicket."
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