Akshar Patel didn't do well with the ball against Barbados Tridents, but made up for it by firing with the bat © IANS (File photo)
Akshar Patel didn’t do well with the ball against Barbados Tridents, but made up for it by firing with the bat © IANS (File photo)

Akshar Patel is a unique talent. He has been a key member in the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) set-up, be it with the ball, the bat and even with his athletic show on the field. But in the match against Barbados Tridents, it was special as he won the match with his cameo for KXIP. Varun Arora looks at the highlights of his spectacular innings.

Akshar Patel is chirpy, flamboyant cricketer from Gujarat. You will always find him diving to catch the ball or bowling dot balls. How much you try to keep him away, he strikes back. It was one of those autumn days when Akshar Patel went back without a wicket. He usually gets wickets and is an efficient bowler. Patel is usually called for duty when runs are leaking fast but on Saturday the run-efficient bowler went for colossal 42 runs in his four overs. It was disbelief to eyes as Patel was thrashed for sixes and he held his head back to the pavilion.

But soon after, Patel stormed the headlines with his barrage against the perilous Ravi Rampaul. He ended up scoring 23 runs off just 9 balls which earned an emphatic victory for the home team.

Patel came out to bat when KXIP where drowning in the spin of Ashley Nurse and Jeevan Mendis. The hero of last match, Thisara Perera had already left, trying to slog Nurse. Akshar could bat, everyone knew.  Tridents captain called in the express Rampaul to deliver the penultimate over of the match. 25 runs from 12 Caribbean deliveries, it was a tough ask.  Patel was determined. He wanted to prove ‘he was a batting-all-rounder’.

If you are an ardent Indian Premier League (IPL) league you will remember his innings against Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla. He scored 42 runs, kept his cool and won the match for KXIP.

He is technically correct, stands tall to bouncy delivers and often plays with a straight bat. At first sight, he looks skinny but hits the cricket ball hard. Rampaul would know this fact after Saturday’s match.

Patel stood tall like a warrior and slapped the first ball from Rampaul towards the mid-wicket boundary. KXIP dug-out was ecstatic. Next ball Rampaul sprayed it full; Patel moved to the leg-side and lifted it over covers for another boundary. Rampaul was clueless, Trident captain tensed. It was a unique sight. A 20-year-old youngster was thrashing Rampaul. Next, Patel and Miller exchanged two singles, which brought back Patel to face the last two balls. He luckily edged the fifth ball for the third boundary of the over. It was Akshar Patel’s day. Nothing could work today. Rampaul ran in fast for the final delivery, thumping his spikes deep down in the ground. He wanted to stand-up to his reputation of an international fast-bowler. It was a lethal bouncer. Patel shut his eyes and revolved his bat. The ball was seen ten rows back in the square-leg region. Bailey, Vohra, Mandeep and everyone wearing the KXIP jersey were up on their feet recognizing the unique talent. The match was safe now. Patel won it.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Varun Arora is a reporter with CricketCountry.com. Started as a medium-fast bowler, converted to an opening batsman but finally settled with his passion of writing about the game. His Twitter handle is @varunjgd)