Pakistan pacer Salman Irshad produced a dream opening over by picking up three wickets in five balls in the CPL 2023 clash against the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots (SNP) on Wednesday, August 23.
Playing for the defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs, the 27-year-old bagged the vital scalps of Andre Fletcher, Corbin Bosch, and Ambati Rayudu to break the back of the SNP batting.
The right-arm pacer started off his spell by removing dangerman Andre Fletcher with a delivery that bounced and took the edge onto the wicketkeeper. Irshad followed that with another delivery that had a steep bounce and found the edge of Bosch straight into the hands of the point fielder.
His final wicket of the over was that of IPL veteran Ambati Rayudu, who charged down the track to attack the bowler but only managed to find the third man fielder. The triple-wicket over left SNP rattled at 38/4 in five overs.
Here is the video of Irshad's dream three-wicket opening over:
The 27-year-old returned to pick up the wicket of Joshua Da Silva in his penultimate over to finish with figures of 4/27 in his four overs.
Salman Irshad also picked up two wickets in the opening match that the Tallawahs won by 11 runs.
"My confidence is high because of guys like Imad and Amir" - Salman Irshad
Salma Irshad credited fellow Pakistan cricketers Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim after winning the Player of the Match award for his four-wicket spell in the Tallawahs' second win of the season.
The pacer had a tremendous outing in PSL 2022 for the Peshawar Zalmi, leading them with 15 wickets, only five short of tournament leader Shaheen Afridi.
"I just bowled in the good areas. Last 3 years I've played a lot of T20 cricket in Pakistan, I am a T20 specialist. My confidence is high because of guys like Imad and Amir, they keep supporting me," Irshad said at the post-match presentation.
The 27-year-old boasts an impressive T20 record with 54 wickets in 44 games at an average of 25.05, including two 4-wicket hauls.
Salman Irshad's spell helped restrict SNP to 156/9 in their 20 overs, a target the Tallawahs chased down comfortably by eight wickets and 21 balls to spare. Skipper Brandon King led the way with a second consecutive half-century (67 off 33 deliveries) to provide the defending champions the perfect start to the season.
The Jamaica Tallwahs will take on the Guyana Amazon Warriors in their next outing on Sunday, August 27.