Umran Malik silenced his naysayers on Saturday as he stormed back to form, picking up a 3-wicket haul for SunRisers Hyderabad against Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 61 of IPL 2022 at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
The young pacer from Srinagar had made heads turn with his improved control and fear-inducing pace in the first half of the IPL 2022 season, proving the decision by SRH to retain him ahead of the mega auction, right. Umran picked up 15 wickets in his 8 matches as he was among the top 5 in the list for leading wicket-takers in IPL 2022.
However, the young pacer’s form tapered off as he went wicketless in SRH’s last 3 games even as the former champions went through a slump after stitching a 5-match winning run earlier in the season.
Right after picking up his maiden 5-wicket haul against Gujarat Titans on April 27, Umran gave away 48 runs in his 4-over spell against Chennai Super Kings on May 1. He was taken to the cleaners by Delhi Capitals as he leaked 52 runs in his 4-over quota.
Umran then bowled only 2 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 8, conceding 25 runs.
Coming back after a 6-day break, Umran looked pumped up against KKR, hitting a good pace and bowling good lengths and lines.
Umran was rewarded as he removed well-set KKR batters Nitish Rana (26) and Ajinkya Rahane (28) in his first over. Umran then returned to remove KKR captain Shreyas Iyer, who hit him straight to the deep mid-wicket fielder.
Umran has gotten the KKR captain out twice in the season. In their reverse fixture, the young pacer got Iyer with an unplayable yorker that delighted SRH bowling mentor Dale Steyn.
Umran finished with figures of 3/33.
Umran’s mentor and former India cricketer, Irfan Pathan was delighted with the pacer’s comeback.
Push him when does well, Back him when he doesn’t. He is still young but with tons of potential. well done my boy #UmranMalik
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) May 14, 2022
“Push him when does well, Back him when he doesn’t. He is still young but with tons of potential. well done my boy,” Irfan said in a tweet.
Despite Umran’s impressive figures, KKR scored 177 in 20 overs on a two-paced pitch as Andre Russell smashed 49 not out in just 28 balls, which included 3 sixes in the final over from off-spinner Washington Sundar.