Shoaib Akhtar played for KKR in the inaugural season of IPL © Getty Images
Shoaib Akhtar played for KKR in the inaugural season of IPL © Getty Images

With the 2015 edition of the Indian Premier League running in full swing, it has already created a huge excitement and has turned the table upside down for a few teams. Some of the moments from this edition remind us of a few of the interesting moments from previous editions as well. Ayush Gupta recalls a memorable moment from the inaugural edition of the IPL, when Shoaib Akhtar became a nightmare for Delhi Daredevils in his first ever IPL game.

It was May 13, 2008 (Tuesday) and the Indian Premier League (IPL) was in its inaugural season. It had already created a huge hype allround the nation in just a few of its opening games. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were the biggest attraction, as it was owned by Bollywood King, Shahrukh Khan with the local hero Sourav Ganguly as their captain. READ: 30 things you need to know about Shoaib Akhtar

KKR were off to a steady start in the tournament, however, a few losses after the opening two game wins were a matter of concern for them. Their fast-bowler, Shoaib Akhtar from Pakistan, was not allowed to participate owing to a ban imposed by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). However, just before the game against Delhi Daredevils (DD), he was cleared by the PCB, and was allowed to participate in the league. Not to mention, he was picked for the game without any hesitation. Catch the glimpse of his devastating bowling attack here

The crowd was charged up, as they were eager to see Shoaib Akhtar terrorise the batsmen with his fierce pace. With Ganguly winning the toss and electing to bat first, the game started on a good note. KKR were off to a steady start, bringing up the 35-run opening stand between the openers, Salman Butt and Aakash Chopra. Butt and David Hussey put on a 40-run stand later for the following wicket. However, no solid partnership could follow and the KKR ended up posting an average total of 133, which seemed pretty gettable on this track and in this format of the game.

However, the DD batsmen had hardly any idea of what they were about to face next. It was Shoaib with the opening over, and struck with the second delivery of his spell to dismiss the explosive batsman, Virender Sehwag, who went after a full length delivery outside off was slashed hard by him, it took a thick outside edge, only to be taken comfortably by Wriddhiman Saha behind the wicket. DD were one down for none on the board.

The second over from Shoaib was another clinical over, as the fourth ball saw their other opener, in the form of Gautam Gambhir departing, who fell for a 10, after going for a wild slash outside off, which was short and wide, but as he went to clear the ball over the in-field, David Hussey at backward point leaped in the air to take an easy catch. DD were now two down for 17.

Shoaib was back for his third over, and this time, it was a double breakthrough. The second ball of the over was to the hard-hitting, AB de Villiers, who fell for just seven, after a short one again from Shoaib with extra bounce, surprising the batsman, who went for a pull. But de Villiers was not able to control the shot and as a result the ball popped up in the air, only to be taken by Tatenda Taibu at square leg.

The very next ball gets Manoj Tiwary return for just nine, as an inswinger hits him on the pads and it was clearly  crashing into middle and leg stump. Asad Raug raised the finger and Tiwary had to head back to the pavilion. DD were four down for just 28, as Shoaib was on a roll here, and so was the historic Eden Gardens, as they were on their  feet and so was the owner, Shah Rukh Khan. The hat-trick ball was, however, defended well by Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The opening four breakthroughs by Shoaib was enough as DD were already on the back foot. Just three overs were bowled by him, and he had the best figure of four for 11. Although Amit Mishra, Dilshan and Farveez Mahroof gave a fight-back, adding 66-runs to the total, it just was not enough to save them, as the other bowlers also played their part and DD were bundled for just 110 and KKR won the game by 23 runs, with Shoaib being adjudged the Man of the Match for his excellent figure of four for 11.

It was indeed one of the best matches in the history of KKR so far, and also for Shoaib. Although, he did not play any further editions of the IPL, for DD, it was a nightmare and the memories would continue to haunt them for the way the man had destroyed their top-order batting single-handedly. It is indeed a memorable performance for any bowler for being able to deliver such a devastating bowling spell.

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer and is also a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) maniac. He can be followed on Twitter @Ayush24x7)