Watch: K Gowtham comes in as Impact Player for last ball, hits it for six in LSG vs DC IPL match, Gambhir lauded
With just one ball left in their innings, Krishnappa Gowtham walked in as an Impact Player and hit it for a six in the LSG vs DC IPL 2023 match.
IPL saw its first innovative use of the Impact Player rule in the third match of the 16th season. Lucknow Super Giants pulled a rabbit out of the hat when Ayush Badoni was dismissed by Delhi Capitals' pacer Chetan Sakariya in the last over of their innings. With just one ball left in their innings, Krishnappa Gowtham charged into the middle as an Impact Player. The Karnataka right-hander took guard, picked up the slower one from Sakariya and launched it deep into the stands. Gowtham was brought in as an Impact Player in place of Badoni, the man who was just dismissed off the previous ball.
This spoke volumes about the quick thinking of the LSG management led by captain KL Rahul, coach Andy Flower and mentor Gautam Gambhir. According to the IPL Playing Conditions, an Impact Player can come in at the fall of a wicket and straightaway walk into bat. LSG used that rule and sent Gowtham in.
This is not to suggest that the move was made only keeping the last ball in mind. Gowtham, who is a handy batter lower down the order, is primarily an off-spinner. He replaced Badoni, a pure batter mainly to give an extra bowling option to LSG. But what made the move a great one was the punt taken on the last ball.
Watch Video: Impact Player K Gowtham hits last ball for six in LSG vs DC IPL match
Interestingly, DC also used their Impact Player intelligently. After left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed completed his quota of four overs in the 19th over, he was replaced by Impact Player Aman Khan. The latter did now bowl the last over but he brought in fresh legs in the field for the last six balls of the LSG innings. Khaleel had just finished his spell (2/30) and was tired. Khan, on the other hand, is an all-rounder, who can contribute in the field and also hit lusty blows if needed.
This was the first match in IPL 2023 where both the teams used their Impact Players before the completion of the first innings. In the previous two matches, CSK, GT, KKR and PBKS used their Impact Player in the second innings.
The Impact Player rule is being used for the first time in this season of IPL.
As far as the match is concerned, West Indies all-rounder Kyle Mayers made a grand entry into IPL by smashing 38-ball-73 to lead Lucknow Super Giants to an imposing 193/6. The left-hander from Barbados, who was included in absence of South African opener Quinton De Kock, made Capitals pay a heavy price for dropping him on 14, by blazing his way to a 28-ball fifty as his knock had as many as seven sixes.