Yuzvendra Chahal’s stunning hat-trick and Jos Buttler’s 103 helped Rajasthan Royals edge out Kolkata Knight Riders by seven runs in a nail-biting IPL contest on Monday.

Chahal took the first hat-trick of this IPL season in the dramatic four-wicket over against Kolkata Knight Riders that saw him crucially sending back skipper Shreyas Iyer for 85 in Kolkata’s chase of 218 for victory. Then he took down Shivam Mavi and Pat Cummins to return figures of 5/40 in Mumbai.

It is the 21st hat-trick in the Indian Premier League and fifth by a Royals bowler after Ajit Chandila, Pravin Tambe, Shane Watson and Shreyas Gopal.

Chahal’s celebration after getting his first IPL hat-trick in a stunning over drew the cricket world’s attention. The RR spinner sat with one knee pointing upwards after he raced across the ground.

After being rewarded player of the match for his five-for in the post-match presentation, Chahal revealed that it was an attempt to recreate a popular meme from the 2019 World Cup, where he was photographed lounging calmly in the same position along the boundary rope with his sunglasses on.

Talking about the celebration, he said, “It’s an old meme. In the 2019 World Cup, I was on the boundary. I didn’t play that match, that meme became very popular.”

Explaining the thought-process when he bowled that memorable over, Chahal said, “I had to take wickets in this match to change the result. I worked on my bowling. I spoke to the coaches and the skipper. I was thinking of a googly but then I didn’t want to take a chance. Would have been a happy with a dot ball as well on my hat-trick ball. My googly was coming out well and sent it down to Venkatesh Iyer.”

RR bowling coach Lasith Malinga said in the post-match press conference that Chahal’s international experience helped him master the control needed for a leg-spinner. “That’s more important for him going forward to prove he is good enough to play any competitive cricket,” Malinga said.

“Leg-spinners have more wicket taking options and he showed today how he can get wickets and changed the game in a single over. I think he showed all the leg-spinners that they are the match-winning bowlers in this competition.”

Meanwhile, KKR coach Brendon McCullum said that it was, in fact, Chahal’s hat-trick that proved to be the turning point of their loss.

“You can’t allow good players like Chahal to enter the game when there’s pressure on. We played a good game but just made a couple of silly mistakes.”

“Forty off four (needed to win) and we had six wickets in hand and we were very much in charge of the game, but credit to Chahal, he is just a brilliant bowler,” McCullum told reporters.

Here is a look at the cricket world’s reactions to Chahal’s hat-trick against KKR:

(Inputs from AFP)