Mitchell Starc, 24.75 crore IPL buy, gets real collage from Rinku Singh, Manish Pandey in KKR practice; stimulator reacts | Cricket


Mitchell Starc, the most expensive player in the history of the championship initial loading played his first intra-squad practice match for Horsemen Knights of Calcutta on Tuesday evening and returned figures of 1/40 in four overs against his own teammates. Starc, who is set to play his first Indian Premier League in eight years, had his moments but was mainly faced by Rinku Singh and Manish Pandey in the death matches.

Rinku Singh hit a six off Mitchell Starc. (Screenshot)

Representing Team Purple against Team Gold, Starc began with a very important event, as he conceded just one run and took one wicket – dismissing Rahmanullah Gurbaz LBW. But from the second on, although Starc did his best to trouble the batters with pace, he came up a little short. Angkrish Raghuvanshi, the opener was troubled at first, getting beaten up several times before finding his rhythm.

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The 22-year-old brought down the wicket and hit a pull shot that earned him a boundary and followed it with a marvelous drive down the ground to make it four in a row. In between, Starc also took a catch in the deep to help Andrew Russell dismiss Venkatesh Iyer. The Australian left-arm quick bowled most of the remaining 14 overs, during which he saved a few boundaries.

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With three overs remaining, Starc was back with ball in hand, but this time the task was even trickier with Rinku Singh And Manish Pandey at the fold. With Team Gold at 148/8, Rinku greeted Starc with a cheeky late cut for four, followed by a couple of runs. On the next ball, Rinku tried to cross the boundary again by playing a ramp shot, but the ball fell short of the fielder at third man. Pandey hit a single on the penultimate ball of the match to put Rinku back on strike. A wide follow-up before Rinku passes the ball wide, making it a 10-point overrun.

Death is over

Starc’s fourth over was also the finale of the innings, and it started with Rinku landing a low full toss and sending it over deep square leg for a six. Rinku tried to throw the next ball offside, but all he managed was a single. With Pandey on strike, Starc bowled a wide full toss, the batter putting the bat to the ball at the last moment and earning a boundary. Starc then rounded the wicket but there was no respite as Pandey hit the ball over the keeper’s head to make it two from two. As the beating became real, Starc put on a brave smile as he returned to his mark, hoping to make amends.

He did so to an extent by giving away a single off the next ball, but Rinku corrected the final delivery of Starc’s over and the innings with a full-fledged drive to the offside for four. 20 runs resulted, including sixes and three boundaries to cap Starc’s first bowling outing in the IPL since 2015.

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