Shakib Al Hasan had been a vital part of Kolkata Knight Riders' title wins in 2012 and 2014. With the Eden Gardens pitch becoming spicier though, Knight Riders began to lean towards pace and gave Shakib a solitary match in IPL 2017. They later let go of the allrounder but Shakib showed what his former franchise was missing with his all-round brilliance for Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday.
Around the time Chris Lynn was dismissed for a punchy 34-ball 49, Knight Riders' middle order unravelled. Then in the chase, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla tied Sunrisers into knots but, in the small chase, they could definitely have done with the experience of a fourth spinner in Shakib.
When Shakib came on to bowl, Knight Riders were 49 for 1 in six overs. He alternated between a full length and a good length without offering much width. His first two overs went for only seven runs. He could have removed Narine in his second over had Manish Pandey pulled off a hokey-pokey catch on the long-on boundary. In his next over, Shakib had his man when Kane Williamson tore back from midwicket to pocket a smart catch. The pressure was now piling on Lynn, who eventually chipped a return catch to Shakib. In all, Lynn had scored only five off 10 balls from Shakib.
He wasn't done yet. When Shakib walked out to bat in a chase of 139, Sunrisers were sinking against spin with the asking rate climbing. They revived when Shakib hit three successive boundaries off Andre Russell, though two were streaky hits - fortune favours the brave, and all that jazz. With that, the equation had been narrowed down to 51 off 48 balls. Piyush Chawla snuck through Shakib's gate four overs later, with 25 needed off 26, and another former Knight Rider Yusuf Pathan saw Sunrisers home.
The wow moment
That return catch. Shakib put it back of a length and had Lynn looping the ball to the left of him. Shakib dived to his left swiftly and plucked a one-handed catch, inches from the ground. He closed his fingers around the ball, ensuring it did not pop out even as he tumbled onto the ground.
Shakib's smart economy rate was 4.33 as opposed to a regular economy rate of 5.25. His smart batting strike rate was 143.4 as opposed to a regular strike rate of 128.57.
Shakib became the second Bangladesh player to pass 4000 T20 runs after Tamim Iqbal.
This was Sunrisers' first win at Eden Gardens in six attempts.