Gujarat Lions v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Rajkot April 14, 2017

Tye's knuckle ball punches wind out of Pune

Andrew Tye flummoxed Rising Pune Supergiant's batsmen with his knuckle ball en route to a hat-trick on his IPL debut

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Hogg: Tye doesn't let himself down after a bad day

Star turn

Andrew Tye's most potent weapon is his slower ball. He possesses several subsets of the variation - an offcutter, a knuckle ball and a floaty little outswinger to a right hander. But the difference between having a weapon and being a threat with it is in the execution.

In his IPL debut, Tye didn't strut his slower balls out. Instead, he used the best one he had at all the right times. His knuckle ball accounted for Rahul Tripathi in his first over, and then went through Ben Stokes' defense in his second over. Then, bowling the toughest overs of a T20 - the 18th and 20th - he gave away only nine runs and took a hat-trick. Ankit Sharma mistimed a seam-up delivery to long-on. Manoj Tiwary found the fielder deep square leg. And finally a knuckle ball crashed into Shardul Thakur's stumps to seal Tye's second hat-trick of the year.

The wow moment

Hat-tricks are a rare commodity, but the IPL saw two on Friday. First Samuel Badree, then Tye, both playing their first games of the season. Tye's hat-trick ball was perfect: a wobbly delivery that swerved in at Thakur, went past his flick and ricocheted into the stumps, lighting them up. It was all very reminiscent of the way Lasith Malinga troubles batsmen with his dipping yorkers.

The numbers

  • Tye has bowled the last over of a T20 innings 29 times in 52 innings with an economy rate of 11.20. Against Rising Pune Supergiant, he conceded four runs and picked up three wickets.

  • Tye's 5 for 17 were the best figures by an IPL debutant, going past Shoaib Akhtar's 4 for 11 in 2008.

What they said

"It's a good format of cricket, but traditionally, I would still love to play Test cricket. The slower ball worked very well for me. Every wicket is different around the world, so you have to assess conditions to find out which ball works where."
Andrew Tye on his match-winning performance

Well bowled @aj191 amazing return legend
Niall O'Brien on Twitter

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jose on April 15, 2017, 10:19 GMT

    The headline, "Tye punches wind out of Pune"

    Sounds like. Tyre punctures. Wind goes out of Pune('s tyres)!

  • Jose on April 15, 2017, 6:10 GMT

    This morning:

    Beyond this site, in many forums, including print media; I read, columnists dubbing Tye as a "knuckle ball specialist". Just because he got wickets for that ball, it will be rather naive to dub him as one. In that process, we may be downplaying two facts.

    One: He has many other variations, for a man who may not be a super-speedster! From a country, which churns out super-speedsters, so often.

    TWO: It is, often, the other varieties which setup a batsmen as a potential targets before such bowlers get their wickets.

    We had seen Ashwin getting wickets with his carom ball, once in a while (or even more often in a match or two) Yet, no one will call him a "carrom-ball" specialist.

  • Jose on April 15, 2017, 4:59 GMT

    This is the second time, Tye is scoring a hat-trick in just 4 months in 2017.


    The last one was for Perth Scorchers against Brisbane Heat, this January. Whee he was used not only after the veterans Mitch Johnson & England's Bresnan, Even after trying out a promising young (20 yr old) rookie. Jhye Avon Richardson.

    Any decent bowler can get a hat-trick, once in a while, by sheer chance or luck. Two in 4 moths against entirely different oppositions; that too, in two different countries, with vastly different conditions, should mean something more fundamentally right.

    I know, OZ fans themselves hadn't rated Tye too high. So, I am sticking my neck out to point out his special talents.

    I think, I should admit, sheer pace is not his true weapon, but the variety at his command is. In fact, yesterday, he didn't use too much of his skills in bowling accurate yorkers.

    Yes, I do agree, that I should wait for some more time to see, whether global level batsmen may sort him out or not.

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