Axar Patel bludgeoned a 22-ball fifty, his first in the IPL (Indian Premier League), against Mumbai Indians at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday.
Coming in with Delhi Capitals struggling at 98 for five in the 13th over, Axar helped the home side up the ante. He reached the fifty-run mark with a six off Riley Meredith in the 18th over before holing out to deep square-leg off Jason Behrendorff for a 25-ball 54. Axar’s previous best in the IPL was 44 in the 2017 season.
Skipper David Warner and Axar stitched a brisk 35-ball 67 partnership for the sixth wicket which powered Capitals to a respectable 172. Warner’s half-century, his third of IPL 2023, stood in stark contrast to that of Axar as he took 43 balls to reach the mark and never hit top gear.
Axar has struck at 168.75 this season for his 108 runs in four innings. The left-hander’s best season with the bat was in 2017 when he amassed 227 runs in 14 innings at an average of 28.37 and a strike rate of 140.12.
Interestingly, Axar’s prowess with the bat has outshone his guile with the ball of late. The left-arm spinner has only picked one wicket in three matches while conceding 9.50 runs an over in IPL 2023.