Pawan Negi smashes maiden List A century, hits six to take DPL team to victory
Pawan Negi sprung into life in the Dhaka Premier League on Wednesday, smashing a century for Legends of Rupganj, leading his team to a thrilling 2-wicket win. He scored an unbeaten 124 runs off 89 balls, even hitting a six off the last ball of the 49th over to close out the result in emphatic fashion.
It was a one-man show of epic proportions at Fatullah, with the rest of the Rupganj team managing a total of 140 in the rest of the innings against Victoria Sporting Club. Negi’s team had once been at a precarious position of 83/6 chasing 259, and it looked like a lost cause.
Negi reached his century in 77 balls, while wickets fell continuously at the other end. Not being done at just that, he carried his team over the finish line as well, chasing down the target of 259 with 7 balls remaining and 2 wickets in hand for Rupganj. The way he finished the match is sure to draw analogies to how his idol is known to – MS Dhoni. Negi had recently said that he missed the backing he had received in his Chennai Super Kings days, and he has probably absorbed some of Dhoni’s philosophies in his time there as well.
Rupganj had lost main batsmen Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Mithun cheaply, plunging to 78/4 in 20 overs, when Negi came out to bat. Negi unleashed his shots straightaway. His knock consisted of 13 fours and 4 sixes. Among bowlers he was facing were Sri Lanka international Chaturanga de Silva, Bangladesh international Suhrawadi Shuvo and U-19 spinner Al-Amin.
With his bowling figures of 2/54 to boot, Negi has also been named the Man of the Match. He showed promise in his debut match this week, with 28* and 2/30, but it today’s performance which must prove to a lot of his detractors that there does exist the fire in him the smoke of which was spotted in him.
The reprise of Negi?
After a disappointing IPL campaign, many had feared that Negi would suffer a fate of not being able to live up to gargantuan expectations heaped upon him and consequently would fade away. However, as seen from his feat in the DPL, there is a lot of Negi the world is yet to see.
His previous best in the One Day format had been 57. He has never scored a century in either T20s or the Ranji Trophy either. Also given the circumstance from which stage he rescued the team’s batting from a perilous stage, this can be called Negi’s best show of batting in his fledgling career yet.
The 23-year-old all-rounder was thrust onto the scene with a call to the Indian team for the World T20 earlier this year, and was the costliest Indian purchase at the IPL 9 auctions. The stage had been set for the erstwhile Chennai Super Kings utility player, but the big performance to justify the big build-up was yet to come. In his only international outing, he conceded 16 runs off 3 overs and took one wicket, against UAE in the Asia Cup.
Might Wednesday prove to be another turning point in his career?