Joseph's amazing technicolour IPL intro
Prodigious West Indian's dream start to Indian Premier League career followed by radical key change
14 April 2019, 10:19 AM AEST
He's only played three Indian Premier League games, but Alzarri Joseph understands the wildly fluctuating existence of a T20 bowler better than just about anyone.
Jos Buttler's fine form continued Saturday, smashing 89 off 43 balls to outshine teammate Steve Smith as their Rajasthan Royals downed the Mumbai Indians by four wickets at the Wankhede Stadium.
But Buttler's rampage came at the expense of Joseph, whose figures of 0-53 marked the most expensive three-over spell in IPL history.
With Joseph having already conceded 25 from his first two overs, Buttler exploded to take 28 off his third (6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6) to put the Royals on track for victory.
Only last week, the 22-year-old Joseph claimed 6-12 on IPL debut – the best figures ever recorded in the tournament – including the prized wicket of Australian David Warner.
Joseph labelled his debut "a dream start" and that it "can't get better than this", but he might not have envisaged just how quickly he would go from chocolates to boiled lollies.
Having returned 0-22 from Mumbai's next match, Joseph has now leaked 75 runs and gone wicketless from five overs since his breakout six-wicket haul.
To add injury to the insult, Joseph hurt his right shoulder in the penultimate over of the match while fielding.
Mumbai's Ishan Kishan defended the right-armer, insisting, "it’s part of game. The other day he took six wickets and helped defend a small total."
Joseph certainly isn't the first to feel the wrath of Buttler, whose strong IPL form bodes well for England ahead of the 50-over World Cup on their home soil.
But after taking 28 off the Joseph over, Buttler's attempt at a seventh successive boundary - when the Royals needed 41 off 41 balls to win - was sliced to Suryakumar Yadav off Rahul Chahar.
It meant he squandered his opportunity for a maidan IPL century that has proved elusive, with his top haul standing at an unbeaten 95 last season.
Buttler's dismissal preceded a torrid spell that saw the Royals, who were chasing 188 for their second win of the campaign, collapse from 2-170 to 6-174.
Smith could only manage a single boundary, contributing 12 off 15 before being caught behind off Jasprit Bumrah.
But Shreyas Gopal steered the Royals home with the decisive boundary three balls into the final over.
England World Cup hopeful Jofra Archer had earlier taken 3-39 from four overs as the Indians posted 5-187.
- with AAP