When Kolkata knight riders were cruising along their way chasing a target of 171, and the openers putting up an amazing partnership of 121 runs, little would have thought that the Kolkata would be the team who will eventually end up on the losing side.Although Shane Watson was the man who initiated the now legendary collapse of the knight riders in which they lost 6 wickets in a gap of 2 runs and 8 legal deliveries, one man, who by all chances should have retired by now from all forms of cricket like many of his contemporaries do, achieved a feat that only one other man has done in the entire history of cricket.
Pravin Tambe picked up a hat trick of only 2 legal deliveries when he took the wickets of Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Ryan Ten Doeschate off the first two delivery of his last over of the match (the wicket of Manish Pandey was off a wide delivery) making sure that the knight riders had no chance what so ever to make any comeback In the game. Isuru Udana of Sri Lanka is the only other bowler who has achieved this feat in recognized cricket, claiming the hat trick in two deliveries in the 2010 edition of the Champions league T20 for Wayamba.
Pravin Tambe’s story has been a very impressive one for individuals who aspire to become top level cricketers but fail to recognize their dream due the increased amount of competition in the sport. Tambe, whose greatest achievement in the game was to be named in the Ranji trophy probables for Mumbai in the year 2000 was since neglected from the view of the selectors and toiled hard throughout his career in the Kanga League matches in the vast System of Mumbai Cricket.
Tambe, who has been a regular feature in the Rajasthan Royals playing XI this year, is the oldest player to make an IPL debut. He received a lot of praise and recognition with his wily leg spinners and flippers but very few amounts of people would know that he was a fast bowler when he started playing cricket and started bowling leg spin only after Ajay kadam, his captain at Orient Shipping asked him to try and bowl spin. When Tambe was a member of the Shivaji Park Gymkhana, he played under former Indian cricketer Sandeep Patil and was rated very highly by him.
Tambe was picked up for the the Rajasthan royals when he impressed none other Rahul Dravid when he was giving the try outs for the Jaipur Franchise. Dravid was very impressed by the energy and efforts which Tambe put up in his bowling and also impressed one and all in the practice matches leading up to the selection process with some fine performances. Ultimately Rajasthan Royals, who have traditionally followed a plan that focuses more on grooming youngsters for the future, selected Pravin Tambe in their squad for the 2013 IPL edition.
Now 42, Tambe says that the hunger for the game has always been the same inside him and that the age factor has never slowed him down. It’s ironic that the year Sachin Tendulkar, the youngest Indian to make a test debut hung up his boots, Pravin Tambe at the age of 41 was making his way into first class cricket for the first time.