Harpreet Brar’s aim was to contain AB de Villiers but a perfect execution of strategy led to the South African’s dismissal as the young left-arm spinner’s dream spell sealed Punjab Kings’ easy 34-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The 25-year-old spinner from Punjab’s Moga district has barely played in the Indian Premier League but when he got the chance, he dismissed Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and de Villiers in one go. Brar finished with bowling figures of 4-1-19-3 and in addition to his 17-ball 25 (which included a six off the final ball of the innings), he also took a catch.

The Harpreet Brar story: From almost giving up cricket to becoming player of the match against RCB

Brar clean-bowled Kohli and Maxwell and then set up an off-side trap to force de Villiers into trying a lofted shot without any success.

“My plan against de Villiers was to bowl a touch wider outside off-stump and out of his slot since the ball was gripping a bit. That’s why I brought in a slip and had covers to come up slightly. I wanted to bowl a dot but also managed to get a wicket. I am blessed,” Brar said after his match-winning spell of 3/19 in 4 overs.

In case of Kohli, he actually shortened the length after realising that the frustrated RCB skipper was trying to give him the charge.

“My strategy was to hit the right length and not worry even if he hits me for a boundary. If the batsman charges down the track then you alter the length,” Brar said.

What worked for the former India U-23 spinner is playing with a free mind and not thinking too much about the result.

“I just wanted to play bindaas (carefree) cricket come what may. I didn’t want to take too much stress and play my natural game,” he said.


With PTI Inputs