The IPL has had its share of exciting and unpredictable moments. The phenomenon of wickets falling on the opening ball of an inning is one such captivating aspect. Spectators of cricket, glued to their screens, have seen the sudden highs and lows as bowlers deliver the first ball, producing an unexpected setback or an instant breakthrough. The importance of wickets in a T20 game is unparallel, and getting one off the first ball is the dream for every bowler. This piece explores IPL's history to uncover ten stories when the opening ball proved to be a game-changing moment, highlighting the excellence of the bowlers.
1. Virat Kohli Vs RR
In his second stint as captain in 2021, Kohli found himself at the crease, facing the challenge of Trent Boult's bowling prowess. The seasoned left-arm seamer, known for his knack of taking early wickets, unleashed his signature inswinger. The delivery, pitching fuller in the middle, prompted Kohli to attempt a flick, only to be trapped leg-before-wicket, departing the field without scoring, a victim of the golden duck.
2. Unmukt Chand Vs KKR
Chand and David Warner were entrusted with opening the batting for Kolkata. As Chand faced the very first delivery, he encountered a challenging delivery from Lee that proved too much to handle. Struggling against the sheer pace, Chand found himself in a helpless situation as his off-stump was dislodged. Without scoring a single run, Chand had to make the disappointing walk back to the pavilion, becoming a victim of Lee's formidable bowling.
3. Manoj Tiwary Vs DC
Choosing to field after winning the toss, DC took on the opening pair for KKR, Manoj Tiwary, and Brad Hodge, with Vaas bowling. He initiated the proceedings by delivering the first ball towards Tiwary's pads. Tiwary attempted a flick, but the ball ended up straight in the hands of Rohit Sharma at mid-wicket. The dismissal was gentle, leading to Tiwary's departure without a single run on the board. Unfortunately, Tiwary earned the distinction of being the first player to fall to the first ball in the inaugural match of an IPL season.
4. Phil Salt Vs GT
Delhi's innings was off to a nightmarish start as they were reduced to 23/5. It started with the first ball of the game with Shami bowling to Phil Salt. Salt hit the first ball powerfully, but it went straight into the hands of David Miller at short extra cover, forcing Salt to depart without scoring.
5. Prabhsimran Singh Vs SRH
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar produced another bit of magic to dismiss Prabhsimran Singh off the first ball, giving SRH the perfect start. The veteran seamer caught Singh before the stumps, but the ball hit above the knee roll. Singh did not to review the decision, leaving Punjab a wicket down with no runs on the board.
6. Prithvi Shaw Vs RR
Delhi won the toss and elected to bat first, but things did not go as planned, with Shaw falling on the first ball against Archer. The ball took an inside edge off Shaw's bat as he tried to play it outside the line of the ball which went on crashing into the middle stump.
7. Marcus Stoinis Vs MI
Trent Boult became the first bowler to take a wicket on the first ball in the IPL final when he dismissed Marcus Stoinis. With the ball already moving, Boult bounced it, leaving Stoinis unable to judge it. The result was that he knicked the ball, which ended up comfortably in the hands of De Kock.
8. KL Rahul Vs RR
With 166 needed for the win, LSG faced an early setback as Rahul was in sheer disbelief when he faced an exceptional delivery from Rajasthan pacer Trent Boult. Boult, coming in from around the wicket, bowled an inswinger that left Rahul utterly surprised. The delivery left Rahul with no time to react, witnessing his stumps being disturbed in an instant.
9. Ajinkya Rahane Vs KKR
Batting first, Delhi looked to put a good target on the board but got a jolt when Rahane got out on the first ball by Cummins trapped in front of the wicket. It was a fullish ball, and Rahane missed it entirely as it stayed a little low. He went back without reviewing it.
10. Joe Denly Vs DC
Leading the bowling attack for the Capitals, Ishant Sharma, the right-arm medium pacer, skillfully angled the ball back after delivering it with a full length to break through the defenses of debutant Joe Denly. The right-handed Englishman, making his IPL debut, unfortunately, found himself dismissed for a duck on the very first ball he faced.