Jaipur: Unheralded off-spinner Ajit Chandila recorded the first hat-trick of the Indian Premier League season as Rajasthan Royals defeated Pune Warriors India by 45 runs on Sunday. Half centuries by Ajinkya Rahane (61) and Shane Watson (58) propelled the Royals to 170 for 4 before Chandila's hat-trick polished off the Pune top order in the space of his first seven deliveries, limiting the opposition to 125 for 9.
Bowling with the new ball, Chandila took the wickets of Jesse Ryder (1), Sourav Ganguly (1) and Robin Uthappa (0) before finishing with figures of 4 for 13. The victory kept Rajasthan in the hunt for a playoffs place with 14 points from seven victories while it was the eighth straight loss for Pune, who are second from the bottom with eight points.
"Rahul (Dravid) bhai told me in the morning that I was in. I was waiting for a chance from a long time and luckily I got it today. I immediately called up Narendra Hirwani. Hirwani sir suggested me to stick to the basics and try and bowl in the right areas and not to allow the batsmen to get to the pitch of the ball. He also added that don't take any pressure. His words gave me a lot of confidence. The support of Rahul bhai has also been great," Chandila, who has played only two first-class matches and 13 T20s for Haryana, said.
"I had been watching the likes of Sourav Ganguly and have also seen Robin Uthappa bat, so I knew where to bowl. I just tried to bowl in those areas and got the dividends. Credit should also be given to Goswami who was brilliant behind the stumps. It's a team game and you need the help of your team-mates," he added.
When asked whether his performance will make way for bigger things in his career, the 28-year-old said: "I am pleased with my performance. I am who I am. Abhi to sirf shuruat hai [it's only the beginning]."