Delhi Daredevils v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2018, Delhi May 18, 2018

Mishra proves he's far from finished

He started the tournament poorly, but has proved to be a vital cog in the bowling arsenal as Delhi Daredevils look to build for 2019

All-star of the match

He may have conceded 79 runs for no wickets in his first two games of IPL 2018, but Amit Mishra has left a mark for Delhi Daredevils in a flagging campaign. Mishra showed glimpses of his class against Kolkata Knight Riders (2 for 23) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2 for 19) this season, but reserved his best for the penultimate game against Chennai Super Kings.

Young captain Shreyas Iyer introduced Mishra just after the Powerplay, following Ambati Rayudu's 22-run assault off Avesh Khan's bowling, and he struck almost instantaneously. Off his fifth ball, Mishra's tempting flight induced a false shot as Watson holed out to long-off. Mishra would've had two in two if Rishabh Pant wouldn't have fluffed a healthy nick off Suresh Raina.

That first over, however, set the tone for his spell. Despite getting hit for 10 runs off two balls in his second over, Mishra returned to not concede any other boundary in his four-over spell. By the time he delivered his final ball of the night, Mishra had also dismissed Sam Billings to a top-edged sweep at short-fine leg, and forced CSK's required rate to bloat up to almost 14 per over.

The wow moment

The way Mishra set up Watson's dismissal. He bowled four flat deliveries and conceded just two as the CSK openers opted to push him around for singles. But Mishra, knowing that the over had not had a boundary yet, took the risk to give the ball some extra air and invited Watson to look to clear the long-off boundary. This was brave on two counts: Watson can muscle the ball and Kotla has short straight boundaries. The ball, also, was a well-disguised delivery; Watson misjudged the length and therefore toe-ended a big heave down Trent Boult's throat.

The numbers

  • Twelve of Mishra's 24 deliveries of the night were dot balls.
  • His smart economy-rate was 3.94, the best among all bowlers from either team.

What they said

"I told Sandeep Lamichhane that it's more important to earn dot balls and not think about the wickets. The wickets will then come automatically."
Amit Mishra on discussing tactics with the 17-year-old legspinner from Nepal

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo