Fast bowler Ankit Rajpoot went from strength to strength during the SRH-KXIP encounter and achieved the best bowling figures (5/14) of IPL 2018 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday. Mumbai spinner Mayank Markande had the previous best figures (4/23).
The 24-year-old KXIP bowler, who had taken a match-winning 2/23 against Delhi in Punjab's last match, picked up where he had left off at the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium. He picked up at least one wicket in every over he bowled.
After Punjab decided to bowl, Rajpoot got the prized wicket of Kane Williamson (0) off the fourth ball of the match as the Hyderabad captain's miscued pull - largely due to the unexpected bounce Rajpoot got - found R Ashwin at mid-off.
In his next over Rajpoot struck again, this time getting the better of Shikhar Dhawan (11) with an away-going delivery as the left-handed batsman found Karun Nair in the slips.
Wriddhiman Saha was Rajpoot's next victim. In an attempt to hit a good-length ball out of the park on the legside, he gave a simple skier to Andrew Tye at midwicket. Rajpoot could have taken his fourth wicket in the same over if not for a dropped catch from Tye. The ball was indeed travelling off the bat of Manish Pandey but Tye should have taken it at midwicket in light of the modern-day fielding standards. Saha made 6.
Rajpoot then took two wickets in his last over in what was also the last over of the innings. Pandey (54) and Mohammed Nabi (4) fell to his brilliance as Hyderabad could only go as far as 132/6 in 20 overs.
Rajpoot's figures were second-best by an Indian pacer in the history of the IPL, behind Ishant Sharma's 5/12 in 2011. Rajpoot also became the first uncapped Indian to take five wickets in an IPL game.
It was a shame that his efforts couldn't take KXIP to victory as Ashwin's men fell short by 13 runs in the end.