The ongoing season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) has provided an opportunity for so many youngsters to showcase their potential ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auctions. The franchise scouts often follow the domestic tournaments very closely and performances by the young players can literally help them get a mega-contract in the Indian Premier League, setting up a path for them to play for the national side.
Many players have gone through the ranks in a similar way in past and it looks like the young guns are leaving no stone unturned this year as well. There have been some spectacular performances from some unknown faces which has certainly helped them make a name for themselves. And there was another player to weave his magic on Saturday - Vidarbha's Darshan Nalkande.
The bowling all-rounder has been part of Punjab Kings for the last three seasons after the franchise bought him for INR 30 lakhs in IPL 2019 auction. Although he did not get a chance to play any game, he would have certainly got a lot of experience while sharing the dressing room with the likes of Anil Kumble, Mohammed Shami etc.
4 wickets in 4 balls for Nalkande
As Vidarbha locked horns with Karnataka in the semi-finals of SMAT 2021, it was time for the bowling all-rounder to showcase his skills and learnings in front of everyone. It was the final over of the first innings and Karnataka had already amassed 175/3 in 19 overs. They were on their way to score a total of around 190 but Nalkande had other plans. The final over read as follows:
19.1 - No run
19.2 - Out (Aniruddha Joshi)
19.3 - Out (Sharath BR)
19.4 - Out (J Suchith)
19.5 - Out (Abhinav Manohar)
19.6 - 1 run
The Karnataka batsmen had no answers to Nalkande's accurate line and length as they found it extremely tough to hit it for a boundary. While Joshi and Sharath succumbed while trying to play down the fine-leg, Suchith and Manohar were dismissed while attempting a slog.
Watch the video here:
Nalkande ended the innings with bowling figures of 4-0-28-4 and his last over heroics meant that Karnataka were restricted to 176/7 in 20 overs. The 23-year-old notably became only the second Indian to achieve the remarkable feat of taking 4 wickets in 4 deliveries in T20 cricket, after Karnataka's Abhimanyu Mithun did it against Haryana in SMAT 2019.