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RR vs KKR: 'Never thought that I will get here', says Chahal on becoming leading wicket-taker in IPL

Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Thursday became the highest wicket-taker in history of IPL, going past Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, during his team’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, a venue where he made his debut in the cash-rich league for Mumbai Indians in 2013.

Chahal achieved the feat in his very first over of the match, with the dismissal of Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Nitish Rana, who was caught at deep backward square leg in the 11th over.

The leg-spinner had earlier bagged a four-wicket haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Rajasthan’s last game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, to equal Bravo’s record.

“I never thought when I came into the IPL with MI (Mumbai Indians) that I’ll get here. Lots of ups and downs, I’ve learned a lot from the downs and the folks around me. I’m here because of all the support I’ve got along the way with family and friends. Definitely grateful to all,” Chahal said in a mid-innings chat with broadcasters.

With his mesmerising spell of 4/15, Chahal now has 187 wickets in 143 matches, overtaking Bravo’s tally of 183 wickets. The leg-spinner had won the Purple Cap in the 2022 IPL season, picking 27 wickets in 17 innings as Rajasthan finished as runners-up and is currently leading IPL 2023 wicket-taking charts with 21 wickets in 12 games.

“I just wanted to not give easy boundaries, hold a line and length and keep it away from the batters because the wicket was slow and helping the batters,” said Chahal about his plan.

“Getting the win will be the focus and, hopefully, the reason for celebrating,” he added.

The 32-year old Chahal is also the leading wicket-taker for India in T20Is with 91 wickets in 75 matches at an economy rate of 8.13.

In terms of other leading wicket-takers in the IPL, Mumbai Indians’ leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, Lucknow Super Giants veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra and Rajasthan’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin occupy the third, fourth and fifth places with 174, 172 and 171 wickets respectively.

–IANS

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