A day after Ishan Porel’s match-winning four-wicket haul in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, his Kings XI Punjab teammate Darshan Nalkande also joined him, claiming four wickets in his premier game of the competition. Playing against a star-studded Rajasthan side at the Emerald High School Ground in Indore, Nalkande emerged as the hero for Vidarbha with spellbinding figures of 4/20. 

Defending a meagre target of 105, Darshan Nalkande was given the new ball by captain Ganesh Satish, in the hopes that the youngster could spark some early breakthroughs. And the 22-year-old pacer duly obliged, dismissing opener Manender Singh and veteran batsman Mahipal Lomror in his very first over, trapping the southpaw plumb in front of the wicket. 

Nalkande picked up two more wickets later on in the innings, dismissing Rajesh and Ravi Bishnoi just as they threatened to take the game away for Rajasthan. Both players scored a brisk 15, before the pace and guile of Nalkande proved to be too good for their defences. 

This was Darshan Nalkande’s first competitive game of cricket since February, but he needed no time to find his line and lengths, making a strong comeback post the enforced shutdown due to the pandemic. The young bowling all-rounder from Akola ended the game with figures of 4/20, making his mark almost instantly in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Bishnoi cameo guides Rajasthan home 

Despite his best efforts, Darshan Nalkande ended on the losing side as Rajasthan pulled off a dramatic three-wicket heist over Vidarbha. Arjit Gupta was the leading run getter for the chasing team, but he was ably supported by a Ravi Bishnoi cameo. 

The KXIP leg spinner scored a quick 15 off just nine balls, releasing the pressure after a turbulent start to the game. Bishnoi hit two fours and a six in that game, and was also effective with the ball in hand. The leg spinner registered figures of 1/17 in his four overs, keeping things tight on one end to ensure Rajasthan were only chasing a small target.