Shardul Thakur picked up three wickets in a span of 10 deliveries to bring Team India back into the contest in the third ODI against New Zealand at the Holkar Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday, January 24.
Kiwi batters Devon Conway and Daryl Mitchell were threatening to take the game away from the hosts while chasing 386. Conway, in particular, looked in complete control of the proceedings, finding boundaries at will.
Just when it looked like the Blackcaps would walk away with the game, Shardul provided a much-needed breakthrough. He dismissed Mitchell with a well-timed bouncer before getting the better of New Zealand skipper Tim Latham with a knuckleball off the very next delivery.
In the next over, he dismissed Glenn Phillips to reduce the visitors to 200/5 and put India back in the game.
Fans were ecstatic with Shardul for putting in such incredible performances in clutch situations and bringing his team out of danger. While he has been a tad bit expensive, the Mumbai-born all-rounder's ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals sets him apart from the rest.
Here are some of the reactions:
Incidentally, Shardul picked up the crucial wicket of centurion Michael Bracewell in the final over to take India home in the first ODI in Hyderabad.
Devon Conway departs after a well-made century
Chasing a mammoth target, the Kiwis lost opener Finn Allen in the first over to Hardik Pandya. However, Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway added 106 runs for the second wicket to bail the visiting side out of danger.
Although Kuldeep Yadav got Nicholls out, Conway belted the Indian bowlers to keep the scoreboard ticking. He and Daryl Mitchell slowly and steadily built a partnership but Shardul Thakur turned out to be the hero for India, picking up three wickets in quick succession.
Despite that, Conway went strong from the other end and reached the three-figure mark. But Umran Malik provided India with the much-needed wicket of Conway (138 off 100) as the Kiwis reeled at 230/6.
At the time of writing, the Blackcaps needed 148 runs from 100 deliveries with Mitchell Santner and Michael Bracewell in the middle.
Also Read: [WATCH] Virat Kohli gets out cheaply after getting a start in 3rd ODI vs New Zealand
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