AB de Villiers walked away with the Player of the Match award for his breath-taking innings of 72 not out off 33 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, but England all-rounder Ben Stokes believes someone else was more worthy to take home the award.
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At the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, a venue known to produce run-fests, Royal Challengers Bangalore leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal produced miserly figures of 1/12 in four overs, stifling the KKR chase, and for that effort, Stokes felt Chahal was the right man to take the award.
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Chahal has been in fine form with the ball for RCB, picking up 10 wickets from seven matches this season. Twice he’s taken a three-for – 3/18 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in RCB’s season opener in Dubai and 3/24 against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi. Barring his figures of 1/48 against Mumbai Indians, Chahal has maintained a decent economy rate.
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Chahal is fifth in the list of leading IPL 2020 wicket-takers, behind Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Rashid Khan. Chahal has been a constant for RCB even though his spin partners have changed. Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa partnered Chahal in two matches, but mostly his spin partner has been off-spinner Washington Sundar. On Monday, Sundar and Chahal bowled tremendously in the middle overs to put a leash on KKR’s scoring.
“Chahal and I did well in the middle overs,” Sundar, who took 2/20 said after the match. “Really happy to be part of a big win. We spoke about this before the tournament. We did expect the pitches to slow down midway through the tournament, so we both wanted to do the job. It wasn’t easy for me to hit the deck every ball but that’s where the challenge lies.”
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