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LSG vs PBKS, IPL 2024: Yadav’s pace too hot to handle for Punjab

He is quick. He is lightning quick, actually.

Say hello to Mayank Yadav. He is that rare Indian cricketer: the genuine fast bowler. And he announced his arrival in stunning fashion.

Not merely the 21-year-old bowled the fastest ball of the season, he also took the first three wickets of Punjab Kings to help Lucknow Super Giants register a 21–run win — its first in the 17th edition of the IPL — at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium on Saturday night.

Chasing 200 — that would have beaten the record for the highest IPL total at this venue, bettering the one made in the first innings of this match — the visitors were off to a spectacular start. Captain Shikhar Dhawan (70, 50b, 7×4, 3×6) and Jonny Bairstow (42, 29b, 3×4, 3×6) put on 102 inside 12 overs.

The debutant Mayank had come on in the 10th over and his first ball clocked 147.1 kmph. The third ball was 150 kmph. And he became faster.

The first ball of his second over recorded 155.8 kmph — the fastest of the season. Off the fourth, he had Bairstow caught at deep mid-wicket.

In his next two overs, he had the Impact Player Prabhsimran Singh and then Jitesh Sharma also caught. He finished with three for 27. No fast bowler since Umran Malik has excited Indian cricket as much.

When Mohsin Khan removed Dhawan and Sam Curran off successive balls, the Kings slumped to 141 for five in 16.3 overs. It was going to be a tough ask from then on.

Earlier, the opening scene of the match proved a bit of a surprise. Out came Nicholas Pooran for the toss and announced that the regular captain K.L. Rahul would play as an Impact Player.

Rahul, whose straight six off Arshdeep Singh was one of the shots of this IPL so far, put on 35 for the first wicket with Quinton de Kock 54 (38b, 5×4, 2×6) inside four overs. Pooran’s 42 (21b, 3×4 3×6) and Krunal Pandya’s 43 not out (22b, 4×4, 2×6) ensured the LSG innings retained its momentum.

The stage was then set for a new star.

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