Ageless Tambe breaks the back of Knights

Source | Khaleej Times Nov 22, 2018

Sharjah: Tambe’s brilliance helped the Sindhis bounce back in style with an emphatic nine-wicket win in the T10 League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

It seems Mohammad Shahzad’s extraordinary assault on their bowlers failed to break the Sindhis’ spirit.

Rajputs, inspired by Shahzad’s unforgettable 16-ball 74, put Sindhis to the sword in the opening game of the T10 League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

But on Thursday, the Sindhis found their own hero in the 47-year-old Indian leg-spinner Pravin Tambe (5/15) whose hat trick in the first over broke the back of star-studded Kerala Knights.

And Tambe’s brilliance helped the Sindhis bounce back in style with an emphatic nine-wicket win in the T10 League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Tambe, who hit headlines at the age of 41 when he was picked by Rajasthan Royals for the 2013 IPL without having a single first-class match under his belt, stunned the Knights in Sharjah with four wickets in his first over.

After electing to field, captain Shane Watson gave the ball to Tambe despite Chris Gayle coming out to open for the Knights.

But Tambe rose to the challenge in style, dismissing Gayle with his second ball, before removing Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard and Fabien Allen in the fourth, fifth and sixth ball to complete the hat trick.

At 6/21 in the fourth over, the Knights, who won their opening match against Pakhtoons on Wednesday night, were in danger of getting dismissed for less than 50.

But South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell (59 not out, 24 balls, 7 fours, 4 sixes) and his 49-run partnership with Sohail Tanvir (23, 14 balls, 1 fours, 2 sixes) helped the Knights finish their 10 overs at 103/7.

Then captain Watson (50 not out, 24 balls, 4 fours, 4 sixes) and his opening partner Anton Devcich (49, 20 balls, 4 fours, 4 sixes) made sure Tambe’s heroic efforts with the ball didn’t go in vain.

“I enjoy bowling in any format. I won’t rate any performance of mine because as a bowler you have to keep improving in each and every game,” Tambe said when asked if it was among the best performances of his career.

“In this format, you don’t get a chance to set up a batsman. It’s like every ball is going to go for a six. That’s what a bowler thinks about this format. So if you try to bowl in the channels you can survive in this format.”

At 47, Tambe’s passion for the game remains unmatched. “I never think about my age. I enjoy this game and I keep enjoy playing this game,” he said.

Tambe said it was important for his team to make a strong comeback after losing their first match to the Shahzad-inspired Rajputs.

“Every win is satisfying. In this league, a team on a day can get demolished and then on the next day can get success also. We showed that today,” he said.

“But we were not thinking about yesterday’s game going into today’s match. Every game is new for us. We have to think positive all the time.”

Brief scores: Kerala Knights 103/7 in 10 overs (Wayne Parnell 59 not out, Sohail Tanvir 23; Pravin Tambe 5/15) lost to Sindhis 104/1 in 7.4 overs (Shane Watson 50 not out, Anton Devcich 49) by nine wickets.