Was there something wrong with the recent IPL auction? Those who watched Devon Conway beat on Monday or, the days before, might think so.
Just four days after being unsold at the auction which took place thousands of miles away, the New Zealander of South African descent made his way to an undefeated 99 bullets that propelled the Black Caps to a resounding victory in the first of five T20s. International against Australia.
India’s Ravichandran Ashwin summed up what the lucrative league, its eight franchises and millions of fans may have missed.
“Devon Conway is only 4 days late, but what a blow,” Ashwin tweeted after New Zealand claimed a 53-point victory at the Hagley Oval.
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Teams were skeptical of his ability to tackle spinners on slower pitches in India.
Conway entered the T20’s opener after four straight half-centuries – 93 didn’t come out, 91 didn’t come out, 69 and 50 (his previous Super Smash scores) – and with another unbeaten set, he became the first Kiwi to record five successive fifties in the game’s shortest format.
Even as others raked megabucks after franchises loosened their purse strings in Chennai, Conway handled his affairs with the most professionalism and made New Zealand look like a precarious 19 for three. to a competitive 184 for five in the stipulated 20 overs.
The total was enough for the Kiwis who beat Australia to 131 in 17.3 overs.
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Despite New Zealand’s sad start, Conway grabbed attention with his poise, range of shots, shot selection and focus.
Conway was a part of South African national cricket for the first eight years of his first-class career before moving to New Zealand in 2017.
In May 2020, he was awarded a central contract from New Zealand. Conway made his T20I debut for New Zealand against the West Indies in November 2020 and scored a 41 points of 29 in a winning case.
In his T20I career so far, Conway has amassed 273 points with a strike rate of almost 157 and an incredible 91 average.
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With his last stroke, Conway joined Indian Virender Sehwag, Zimbabwe Hamilton Masakadza, Pakistani Kamran Akmal, Englishman Jos Buttler and Australian David Warner as the only players to score five consecutive half centuries in competitive cricket. T20.
Australian Glenn Maxwell, who was bought by Royal Chalengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 14.25 crore, was fired for one.
At the auction, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders also expressed interest in Maxwell, which led to a bidding war before RCB prevailed over the player’s purchase, which has always attracted a lot of money in the league despite not matching that with his performance. .
It was New Zealand’s biggest margin of victory over rivals Trans-Tasman in the shortest format of the international match.