Mohali: Little known Paul Valthaty followed up his incredible century against the Chennai Super Kings at Mohali with a four wicket haul versus the Deccan Chargers at Hyderabad on Saturday.
That his explosive batting earlier and now a torrid spell with the ball came against two teams that have won the 2009 and 2010 edition of the Indian Premier League respectively, made it stand out further. (Also Read: When Paul Valthaty's sixer smashed a car in the parking lot)
All eyes were on Valthaty at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium and he did not disappoint after his skipper Adam Gilchrist won the toss and opted to field.
Valthaty, who had featured in just 12 Twenty20 matches, came to bowl at a time when the Chargers were looking to accelerate the scoring with Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Kumar Sangakkara going great guns. He got Dhawan to lob one to Sunny Singh and returned to remove Bharat Chipli and a dangerous Daniel Christian.
Amit Mishra became his fourth and final victim when he tried to scoop Valthaty over the wicket keeper only to have his stumps left shattered. The ability to come to the fore when required defined Valthaty as it did against the Chennai Super Kings earlier.
Valthaty had raced to 120 not out in 63 balls against Chennai as the Kings XI Punjab chased down the 189-run target with six wickets and five balls to spare. It was the first hundred of this IPL season and 13th overall.
It was also the 3rd highest IPL score ever, after only Brendon McCullum's 158* and Murali Vijay's 127.
The 27-year old smashed 19 fours and two sixes against Chennai, completely overshadowing the breezy innings of none other than Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (43 off 20 balls) and Murali Vijay (74 off 44 balls). A staggering 88 of Valthaty's run came off just 21 balls.
For those who are not familiar with Valthaty, he had a nondescript career till this knock, since making his way up the levels of age group cricket in Mumbai during the late 1990s.
He made it to India's Under-19 World Cup in 2002 with the likes of Irfan Pathan and Parthiv Patel. But after that an eye injury while playing in New Zealand almost jeopardised Valthaty's career, keeping him out of cricket two-three years before he was picked up by Rajasthan.
Kings XI coach Michael Bevan had heaped praise on the youngster for his sterling display after the match at Mohali.
"He (Valthaty) played a high quality knock, an amazing knock. We really needed such a knock. His placement, power was terrific. He is a talented batsman, who strikes the ball beautifully," Bevan said.
He had added that Valthaty was a quiet character and reserved person, who likes to keep to himself, but was a good human being.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)