Mohammad Shami 'believed' in nailing yorkers, Mayank Agarwal thought of Delhi Capitals result

"I'm going to hit a sixer first ball," thought Chris Gayle before the second Super Over

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Mohammed Shami made key breakthroughs, Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2020, Dubai, October 18, 2020

Mohammed Shami made key breakthroughs  •  BCCI

Five runs to defend in the Super Over for the Kings XI Punjab against the Mumbai Indians. Mohammed Shami has seen his India team-mate Jasprit Bumrah deliver a masterclass to deny big runs to Nicholas Pooran and KL Rahul. Now, he has to do it himself. The Kings XI are on the edge, a loss could well mean curtains to their season.
At the top of his mark, Shami knew he just had to bowl yorkers - and he nailed them perfectly - as pitching it just an inch away would mean Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock probably sending the ball to the fence.
"It's very difficult," Shami told after T20 cricket's first-ever twin Super Over bash. "Generally we get to defend 15-17 runs, so back of the mind the thought is, 'I believe in myself, I can do this'. But when the margin of error is very minimal [while defending five], then you start thinking what's the best you can do.
"I always believe in my yorkers, I'm not sure what people think. Every ball as I was walking back to my run-up, the thought was that the previous yorker has landed well. This one will also go well. I just repeated the same."
Then, having forced the game into another one-over shootout, the Kings XI decided to designate Chris Jordan with the ball. The England fast bowler, signed mainly for his death bowling, ensured that the his side required just 12 runs to get the two points they needed to stay alive, despite facing up against Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya.
And that was also down to Mayank Agarwal leaping high at the boundary to save four runs off a Pollard hit by throwing the ball back onto the field of play before himself landing outside the ropes. But his night wasn't over just yet.
With both Rahul and Pooran being dismissed in the previous Super Over, they needed two new batsmen to come in. Out came Chris Gayle and Agarwal. The Indian opener has been in-form - second on the list of highest run-getters after Rahul - while striking at close to 160. Gayle, meanwhile, was only in his second game of the season. Surely, you'd think Agarwal would take strike? He thought the same too, until Gayle decided to take matter in his own hands.
"I wasn't nervous, I was a bit more angry and upset that we got ourselves into this position," Gayle later said with a laugh. "It's a game of cricket; these things happen. Even with us going to bat, I was upset with you (Agarwal) when you asked, 'Who is going to face the first ball?' (laughs) . I'm like, 'Mayank, you really asked that question?' I was like 'Come on, don't ask me that, I'm going to hit a sixer first ball.'"
Gayle walked the talk, depositing a juicy full toss from Trent Boult over long-on, before taking a single next ball. This left the Kings XI needing five off four. Agarwal's rapid knock of 89, in his side's first game this season, wasn't enough to win the Kings XI the game in regulation time. On that day, against the Delhi Capitals, he had holed out with the Kings XI needing one off two balls and then saw them lose the Super Over. The result flashed in front of him again, and he was determined to do it differently this time.
"One-hundred percent, that Capitals game came to mind," Agarwal said. "Chris told me, 'Watch the ball, the rest of it will be fine'. That was on my mind. I just knew I had to hit. It wasn't like I thought we'll calculate, take a couple here and there. I just had to it, and it's amazing to be part of history."
Eventually, Agarwal sent a full toss over midwicket for four over to ensure no more drama was required for the day.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo