Plenty of eyebrows were raised and several whispers and murmurs started doing the rounds at the ITC Chola in Chennai when Rajasthan Royals purchased Chris Morris for a whopping INR 16.25 Crore. From fans to experts, everyone thought RR's acquisition of the South African all-rounder was massively overpriced.
However, keeping all the noise regarding his price tag outside, Chris Morris has delivered once again. He delivered with the bat, smashing sixes for fun when RR needed someone to step up against Delhi Capitals, securing their first win of the competition. This time, he has delivered with the ball, helping the inaugural IPL champions win their second match of the campaign.
The Kolkata Knight Riders top order, fresh from their humiliation against CSK, took on a more conservative approach but the likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, and Eoin Morgan failed to make a significant mark once again.
Rahul Tripathi did get himself set on the wicket but with the onus on the batsmen to look for the big shots, he got out while trying to clear the boundary ropes. When Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik were at the crease, RR fans were fearing an onslaught once again. After all, in just the previous game, Russell, Karthik, and Cummins had taken the bowlers to the sword and finished on a high.
However, this time around, with Morris at the helm, there would be no hope of redemption for the KKR batsmen. Bowling the crucial 18th over of the match, Morris was hit for a six in just the second ball by Andre Russell who muscled it straight down the ground.
Refusing to let the pressure get to him, Chris Morris teased Dre Russ with a couple of wide yorkers to which he failed to connect his bat. On the very next delivery, Morris completely changed the line and bowled a slot ball angling into the off stump to which Russell connected his bat and trying to clear the long-on boundary, could only find the hands of David Miller in the deep. Chris Morris turned ecstatic, after dismissing the big man for the fourth time in T20 cricket.
On the last delivery of his over, Morris got Dinesh Karthik. The Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper batsman could only throw his bat at Morris' overpitched and outside off delivery. Sakariya took flight and plucked the ball from thin air with a fantastic jump.
Chris Morris returned in the final over of the innings to dismiss the sensational Pat Cummins who had single-handedly led the KKR batting resistance against CSK the other night after Russell and Karthik got dismissed. This time, a slower ball did the trick for Morris.
Pat Cummins pulled the flat and hip-high delivery but couldn't get enough bat on it. The ball sailed to Riyan Parag who took yet another sharp catch on the night. Chris Morris went on to complete his excellent spell with a straightforward dismissal of young Shivam Mavi on the very last ball of the innings.
For his game-changing performance with the ball and for ensuring that KKR wouldn't get enough runs on board to challenge RR, Chris Morris is our Player of the Day.