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Nicholas Pooran and a destruction worth a ton

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Last updated on 18 Jun 2024 | 02:07 AM
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Nicholas Pooran and a destruction worth a ton

Run all you can but you can’t escape the might of Nicholas Pooran

Before June 18 (Tuesday), only on six occasions had Nicholas Pooran come out to bat in the powerplay for the West Indies in the powerplay stage at the T20 World Cup. 

He isn’t supposed to enter that soon. His role in the national setup isn’t made for him to enter when there’s field restriction. His role is to cause chaos in the middle overs, a phase where bowling teams usually manage to hold the batters. 

When he walked out, Afghanistan definitely sensed an opportunity to inflict deeper damage on the hosts. But that was far from the reality. 

Pooran was on 1 off 2, harmlessly rotating strike till he met Azmatullah Omarzai. He didn’t just chance upon Omarzai’s pace but feasted on it in such a way that the entire world stopped and took notice. 

First ball, bham. Fuller length delivery, a thick outside edge and the wind carried it over the ropes for a six. Omarzai would have walked back thinking, okay, not a bad delivery whatsoever, just unfortunate stuff. 

But by then, Pooran had already gauged the wicket. He knew that it was a propa’ wicket. Azmatullah’s pace wasn’t going to trouble the southpaw, who now stood up and hit the ball like a rocket over the mid-wicket boundary for a four. 

You know that cliched phrase in cricket, “Stand and deliver,” it was that. 

To Omarzai’s nightmare, he had OVERSTEPPED. His night further plummeted when the next ball flew over Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s diving hands for five wides. 16 runs in just one ball. While the all-rounder made a stellar comeback, bowling Pooran with a crushing yorker, it was a free hit, further entering the books of cliches when it is not your day…. 

Luckily for the Afghani all-rounder, he quickly understood the wicket, or it felt so. He bowled a tailing delivery, but yet again, fortune favoured Pooran with a four off his pads. 

20 runs in just three balls and the record for most runs in an over was under threat. 

Pooran continued his assault with a four in the point region. 24. But Omarzai never learned his lesson, and the last two deliveries were a real testament to that. He bowled that line and length that video analysts ask you not to bowl against Pooran - full and on the pads. 

And the result. Yet again, a monstrosity. When Pooran flicks, you just watch it in awe. You know the ball will easily clear with the winds here in the Caribbean. Omarzai stood there watching the ball breeze past as if they were out there playing on the beach. It flew. 

30 runs in just five balls. Historical already, all that Pooran had to do was convert the last ball into a six as well. 

Omarzai bowled that dreaded line and length yet again. Pooran stood there, holding the pose with the best shape for a batter as deadly as him, with a HUGE SIX. 36 runs off the over, West Indies were flying at 73/1 after just four overs. 

This is only the second time in the history of the T20 World Cup that a team has managed to score 36 runs in a single over, after, of course, Yuvraj Singh's smacking of Stuart Broad in the inaugural edition. 

This was against a bowling unit who had bowled out their opponents for under 100 in their previous three clashes, a World Cup record. It was a bowling unit that was breathing fire. But you know what happens when fire meets fire; it destroys. 

Pooran’s highest score in the first six overs was an unbeaten 32 off 16 against Sri Lanka in his previous six instances of walking out to bat in the powerplay. 

This over alone was 36 runs. Pooran only faced 13 balls in the powerplay, but that was enough to create chaos, with the southpaw scoring 36 at a strike rate of 276.92. 

There’s damage, there’s great damage, and then there’s Pooran’s brutal assault. Unluckily for Afghanistan, they not only woke up on the wrong side of the bed but also had nightmares of Pooran destroying them in the future. 

Ultimately, Pooran went on to score a sizzling 98 en route to scoring his first T20 World Cup half-century, plugging the only hole that was there in the Windies' setup. His innings was laced with eight sixes in a knock that had the entire crowd up on their feet.  

Before the T20 World Cup: West Indies are in danger

T20 World Cup: West Indies are danger.

Beware of the mighty Windies, they are coming for ya.

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