Kings XI Punjab have to thank debutant Juan Theron to a large extent for ending their losing streak after a thrilling victory via the Super Over against Chennai Super Kings [ Images ] on Sunday.
Newcomer Theron's IPL stint didn't get off to the perfect start; he was run out for a duck off the first ball he faced.
But Theron, more popularly known as 'Rusty', showed why he had finished as the top wicket-taker in the South African domestic one-day series. He displayed great discipline and bowled according to his field in the middle overs as Punjab slowly soaked the pressure on the Chennai middle and lower order by choking up the runs, which eventually caused their downfall.
Theron started the rot for Chennai by running out captain Suresh Raina [ Images ]; he sprinted on his follow through and kicked the ball on to the stumps.
In that same over he took the wicket of Murali Vijay [ Images ], having him adjudged leg before wicket.
He bowled an excellent spell, taking three for 27 in four overs, including conceding just three runs in the 19th over, that played a major role in helping Punjab tie the match after the first 20 overs.
And it was no surprise when captain Kumar Sangakkara [ Images ] trusted him for the all-important Super Over.
Kings XI Punjab [ Images ] eased to victory, reaching 10 for one, after Yuvraj Singh [ Images ] reverse swept Muttiah Muralitharan [ Images ] for a boundary after Mahela Jayawrdene had hit the first ball for a six.
Quite deservedly, he was named of the match after helping Punjab register their first victory in the tournament after starting with three straight defeats.
Now they will be hoping that Theron can shake off more rust from his team-mates and help the team register a more victories in the upcoming matches.
Photograph: IPL/Getty Images