Ravi Ashwin is no stranger to making headlines when it comes to Mankading and the India spinner was at it again during the Indian Premier League.
Ashwin's Delhi Capitals surged to the top of the league with a 59-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore, thanks to a Marcus Stoinis half century and a three-wicket haul from Kagiso Rabada.
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However, it was Ashwin stealing some of the headlines with another moment where Mankading - where the bowler runs out the batsman at the non-striker's end before bowling the ball - reared its ugly head again.
Ashwin sparked controversy in 2019 when he used the polarising tactic against Rajasthan Royals’ batsman Jos Buttler, when he was playing for Kings XI Punjab.
The spinner is now at Delhi where Ricky Ponting is coach and the Aussie has told his players in no uncertain terms that he is not a fan of the Mankad.
So when Ashwin had a chance to run out Bangalore's opening batsman Aaron Finch, the Capitals bowler instead decided to give the Aussie a warning instead.
Ashwin caught Finch stranded well outside the crease as he stopped mid-bowl and waited for the batsman to turn and realise that he could easily have been run out.
The spinner then addressed the incident after the match, putting all his rivals on notice by insisting that he won't be as generous next time.
“Let’s make it clear!! First and final warning for 2020. I am making it official and don’t blame me later on," Ashwin said in a tweet in which he tagged Ponting.
“@AaronFinch5 and I are good buddies btw.”
Ponting had made a point of wanting to stamp out the Mankad when he took over as Delhi coach, making a specific mention of Ashwin.
“I’ll be having a chat with him (Ashwin) about (Mankading), that’s the first thing I’ll do,” Ponting said on The Grade Cricketer podcast in August.
“Obviously, he wasn’t in our squad last year, he’s one of our players that we tried to afford to bring in this year.
“Look, he’s a terrific bowler, and he’s done a great job in the IPL for a long period of time now, but I must admit watching that last season, as soon as it happened and he did that, I actually sat our boys down and said, ‘Look, I know he’s done it, there’ll be others around the tournament who’ll think about doing this as well but that’s not going to be the way that we play our cricket. We won’t be doing that’.
Ricky Ponting was smiling after Ravi Ashwin gave a warning to Aaron Finch for Mankading. pic.twitter.com/aCiG3pjPKH— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) October 5, 2020
Delhi surge to top of the league
Ponting had plenty to smile about during the match as the table-topping Delhi extended their great run of form.
Stoinis hit 53 runs off 26 balls to propel Delhi to 196-4 after Bangalore captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field.
Rabada then took 4-24 to restrict Bangalore's reply at 137-9.
“Delhi Capitals are playing some really good cricket,” Kohli said.
“Their batting is fearless, they have got pace, they have got good spinners. I won’t say they are unbeatable, but they will be hard to beat. Against this side, you have to bring your A game. We didn’t tonight.”
Stoinis made Bangalore pay for a dropped catch on 30, and together with Rishabh Pant (37 off 25 balls) they put up 89 runs off 41 balls for the fourth wicket.
Bangalore came back with three quick wickets after Prithvi Shaw blazed 42 off 23 balls at the top of the order and provided a quickfire start of 63-0 in the first six overs.
But Stoinis’ arrival in the 12th over at 90-3 revived Delhi. He hit six fours and two sixes as fast bowler Navdeep Saini finished with expensive figures of 48-0 off his three overs.
Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer’s bold decision to introduce spinners Axar Patel (2-18) and Ashwin (1-26) inside the first six overs paid off.
Devdutt Padikkal holed out in the deep in Ashwin’s first over and Aaron Finch, who was twice dropped in the first two overs, was brilliantly snapped up by Pant behind the wickets in Patel’s first over.
Top-scorer Kohli (43) became the first Indian batsman to score 9,000 runs in Twenty20s when he reached 10, but the skipper couldn’t push the scoring rate against the spinners and was one of Rabada's wickets.
Rabada found the inside edge of Kohli’s bat and then claimed Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube and Isuru Udana in the space of four balls to earn Delhi's fourth win in five games.
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