The youngest to notch up an IPL hat-trick, England and Kings XI Punjab all-rounder Sam Curran said he had “absolutely no idea” that he had taken one during the game against Delhi Capitals here. The left-arm medium pacer’s hat-trick, which was the first of this edition of the IPL, helped Kings XI Punjab script an exciting 14-run win over Delhi Capitals on Monday night.
The 20-year-old from Northampton, KXIP’s costliest buy this year with a price tag of Rs 7.20 crore, surpassed Rohit Sharma in becoming the youngest to take an IPL hat-trick. Sharma had achieved the feat as a 22-year-old for Deccan Chargers against Mumbai Indians in 2009.
Curran was adjudged the player of the match for snapping four for 11 as Delhi Capitals collapsed from 144/3 to 152 all-out while chasing a target of 167.
“I didn’t really know (about the hat-trick),” said Curran.
“When we won the game, one of the players came up to me and said ‘you’ve got a hat-trick’. I had absolutely no idea I had taken one,” he elaborated.
Son of former Zimbabwe all-rounder the late Kevin Curran and younger brother of another England international player Tom Curran, cricket is indeed a family affair for young sensation. On Tuesday, he was drafted into the match when the in-form Chris Gayle was ruled out due to a back injury.
Curran filled in the slot quite well, making a quick-fire 10-ball 20 in the opening position. He struck three fours and a six in his short but exciting stay at the crease.
Curran’s hat-trick started in the 18th over when he got rid of Harshal Patel off the last ball of the over. He then dismissed Kagiso Rabada and Sandeep Lamichhane off successive deliveries at the start of the 20th over.
“My main focus was obviously that last ball when Rabada came and I knew his strengths and where I could bowl, so I was always aiming for his stumps and his toes,” Curran said.
The visitors needed just 23 runs from 21 balls with seven wickets in hand, but Curran turned the match on its head.
“Ash (R Ashwin) told me what to do. Ryan Harris was standing at the third man region. Against the local batters, I had to ask our players, ‘Where does he hit?’. Shami got two amazing overs in the end which helped,” he said.
Curran said he needs to work hard on his batting.
“I have worked a lot on my batting over the last few months. I like to work hard on my batting, bowling and fielding. I have opened in school cricket, but think this was the first time in professional cricket. Hopefully, we keep winning games,” he said.
Considered a prodigal talent, Curran has played nine Tests for England, averaging a decent 32 with the bat and with 15 wickets in his kitty.
He made his first-class debut at 17 for Surrey, making him the second youngest in history after Tony Lock.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) declared him as one of the eight players to watch out for in its 2018 annual awards.
(With PTI Inputs)