Indian quicks Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti on Wednesday led Kolkata Knight Riders to a big IPL win after the franchise had persisted with the bowling duo through injury layoffs since 2018.
Both Mavi and Nagarkoti, who were brought by Kolkata two years ago after an eye catching performance in India’s Under-19 World Cup win, claimed two wickets each in the 37-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Dubai.
Mavi, 21, who played nine games for the two-time IPL winners in the 2018 season before being sidelined with injuries, returned figures of 2-20 including the prized scalp of Jos Buttler.
The 20-year-old Nagarkoti made his debut for Kolkata in their previous win against Sunrisers Hyderabad after staying out of the cricket field for more than a year due to a back injury.
“It’s a very special thing – these boys, the journey they’ve gone through when not playing,” Kolkata skipper Dinesh Karthik said after his team’s second successive win.
“And for them to just come out and express themselves with the ball and bat was incredible.”
Kolkata, co-owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, kept faith in their young pacemen and facilitated their rehabilitation process.
The young pace pair bowled alongside Australian paceman Pat Cummins — the most expensive foreign player for the 2020 season with a $2.17 million fee. Cummins returned figures of 1-13 in his three overs.
“A player like Cummins around is a confidence booster. He is so good with the young kids,” said Karthik.
“The boys are learning a lot (from him). For all fast bowlers around the world, Cummins is an extraordinary role model.”
Opener Shubman Gill top-scored with 47 and England’s Eoin Morgan hit an unbeaten 34 to guide Kolkata to 174 for six while batting first.
The bowlers then combined to keep down Royals to 137 for nine with spinner Varun Chakravarthy also taking two wickets.