In the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League, for the first time in the history of the tournament, two Super Overs were required to declare a winner. Match No. 36 between Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians was so evenly matched that one Super Over contest wasn’t enough to determine a winner. After the two teams ended on identical scores of 176/6, the first Super Over saw both teams score just five off the over before the game moved into the second Super Over and KXIP triumphed, scoring the 12 runs needed to win.
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However, all that wouldn’t have been possible without Mohammed Shami, who bowled a dream over to MI. After Jasprit Bumrah bowled six terrific balls and picked up the wickets of KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran to allow KXIP to score just five off it, no one could have given KXIP a chance against a batting-heavy unit such as MI. But what followed was even more inspiring. Shami kept the MI openers quiet and defended five runs successfully, pushing the game into a second Super Over.
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Looking back at it, Shami revealed how bowling to two top class batsmen was one of those moments for the fast bowler.
“Being able to defend just 5 runs against two most explosive batsmen is thoroughly satisfying,” Shami told BCCI. “There is no margin for error when the target is so small. I don’t think anybody would have given us a chance against such top-class batters. I remained hopeful and backed my skills. When you are bowling yorkers there is a chance that you will end up bowling a low full toss, but I am happy I could execute my skills.”
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Shami’s heroics were reminiscent of his match-winning show for India against Afghanistan during the 2019 World Cup. With 16 needed to win off the last over, and with a set Mohammed Nabi taking strike, Afghanistan were closing in on a huge upset over India before Shami picked up three wickets in three balls – claiming his maiden international hat-trick – which sealed Virat Kohli’s team an 11-run win.
“The margin was very less in the World Cup clash against Afghanistan. I had to get my yorkers right. We were favourites to win and the game had gone right down to the wire. I am glad I could help India win that game and, in the course, also got my hat-trick. Such moments stay with you for a long time.”