Gujarat Lions v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Rajkot April 14, 2017

Tye's knuckle ball punches wind out of Pune

Andrew Tye flummoxed Rising Pune Supergiant's batsmen with his knuckle ball en route to a hat-trick on his IPL debut

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Hogg: Tye doesn't let himself down after a bad day

Star turn

Andrew Tye's most potent weapon is his slower ball. He possesses several subsets of the variation - an offcutter, a knuckle ball and a floaty little outswinger to a right hander. But the difference between having a weapon and being a threat with it is in the execution.

In his IPL debut, Tye didn't strut his slower balls out. Instead, he used the best one he had at all the right times. His knuckle ball accounted for Rahul Tripathi in his first over, and then went through Ben Stokes' defense in his second over. Then, bowling the toughest overs of a T20 - the 18th and 20th - he gave away only nine runs and took a hat-trick. Ankit Sharma mistimed a seam-up delivery to long-on. Manoj Tiwary found the fielder deep square leg. And finally a knuckle ball crashed into Shardul Thakur's stumps to seal Tye's second hat-trick of the year.

The wow moment

Hat-tricks are a rare commodity, but the IPL saw two on Friday. First Samuel Badree, then Tye, both playing their first games of the season. Tye's hat-trick ball was perfect: a wobbly delivery that swerved in at Thakur, went past his flick and ricocheted into the stumps, lighting them up. It was all very reminiscent of the way Lasith Malinga troubles batsmen with his dipping yorkers.

The numbers

  • Tye has bowled the last over of a T20 innings 29 times in 52 innings with an economy rate of 11.20. Against Rising Pune Supergiant, he conceded four runs and picked up three wickets.

  • Tye's 5 for 17 were the best figures by an IPL debutant, going past Shoaib Akhtar's 4 for 11 in 2008.

What they said

"It's a good format of cricket, but traditionally, I would still love to play Test cricket. The slower ball worked very well for me. Every wicket is different around the world, so you have to assess conditions to find out which ball works where."
Andrew Tye on his match-winning performance

Well bowled @aj191 amazing return legend
Niall O'Brien on Twitter

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo