LIUZHOU, China: A general view shows the swollen Liujiang River in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region yesterday. — AFP
LIUZHOU, China: A general view shows the swollen Liujiang River in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region yesterday. — AFP

China floods kill 130, wipe out crops

NEW DELHI: Mayank Yadav was hailed as India’s new pace bowling sensation Wednesday after the tearaway youngster became the first player to win man-of-the-match awards in each of his first two IPL games.

Yadav bowled the fastest ball of the Indian Premier League season at 156.7kph (97.4mph) in a match-winning spell of 3-14 for Lucknow Super Giants against Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Tuesday. It followed a blistering debut at the weekend when he sent down a 155.8kph thunderbolt on his way to figures of 3-27 in the victory over Punjab Kings.

Former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop called him a “kid bowling like a child of the wind” on social media platform X. The 21-year-old from Delhi’s explosive performances have ignited calls for him to be selected for this year’s T20 World Cup beginning on June 1, five days after the IPL final.

“My aim is to play for India as much as possible. So I feel this is just the start and my main goal is what I am focused on,” said Yadav. Former India quick bowler Irfan Pathan called him a “bloody exciting talent”, while former Australia speed demon Brett Lee said Yadav was the “talk of the town”.

On Tuesday, Yadav’s express deliveries accounted for Bengaluru’s Australian dangermen Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green in the space of seven balls. “Stop what you are doing and watch Mayank Yadav bowl,” veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote on X, telling Lucknow they had “unearthed a gem.”

Yadav dug in a length ball at 151kph which Maxwell could only top edge to mid-on before a length delivery crashed into Green’s off stump. “He has been an X factor in both the matches,” former India opener Virender Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.

“He gets the top batsmen out — it is Mayank’s accurate line and length that impressed me,” Sehwag added. “And because of that you can get him to play international cricket after the IPL.” Lucknow picked up Yadav for his base price of $24,000 at the 2022 IPL auction but he only warmed the bench that season and missed the 2023 edition because of injury.

With just one first-class appearance, for Delhi in December 2022, Yadav’s elevation from frail 15-year-old to a lightning quick match-winner is like a fairytale — but his club coach said he had expected it. “I was not surprised at all,” Davendra Sharma told Indian outlet Sportstar.

“He belonged to the big league because of his speed and the gift of bringing the ball in. “It was only a matter of time for Mayank to make an impression nationally.” — AFP

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