On Thursday at Guyana’s Providence Stadium in a Caribbean Premier League round-robin encounter, the Trinidadian mystery spinner Sunil Narine completed an almost superhuman feat. He bowled a maiden Super Over — a feat akin to a goalie saving all five penalties in a shootout in football.
While the achievement is scarcely believable, it is also fitting that Narine, a T20 specialist like no other, is the first one to do it. Not only did the Guyana Amazon Warriors marquee player bowl six dot deliveries, the Trinidad Red Steel batsmen couldn’t even get their bat to five off them. The one that they did connect cost young Nicholas Pooran his wicket, as he lobbed the ball straight into long-off’s hands.
Twelve was what Red Steel needed in the SO. In fact, 11 would have been enough, because the Trinidad outfit had hit more boundaries during regulation time. Pooran incidentally had hit Narine for a four and six, and 11 overall off four deliveries that he faced from the spinner during his team’s full innings.
But the decider was a different affair altogether. The first three deliveries were big-spinning off-breaks that pitched on a length and whizzed away from the left-hander Pooran, who tried in vain to swat each one of them across the line over mid-wicket. The fourth was a Narine special, a skidder that beat Pooran’s slashing blade. The fifth he succumbed to. That brought Ross Taylor on strike with the match already decided. He did no better, swiping at a Narine skidder and getting beaten. Six balls, six dots, a run-less Super Over. No wonder even Narine broke out of his character briefly, and showed some emotion.