MUMBAI (Reuters) - Yuzvendra Chahal had promised to recreate his signature pose from the 2019 World Cup if he did something special in the Indian Premier League so when the Rajasthan Royals spinner captured his first career hat-trick he knew exactly what to do.
Dropping to ground as his team mates rushed around to celebrate their victory over Kolkata Knight Riders, Chahal casually crossed his legs, propped himself up on one elbow and cracked a huge smile.
Jos Buttler's second century of the season had powered Rajasthan to a formidable 217-5 at the Brabourne Stadium but Kolkata looked on course to catch them at 178-4 in 16 overs.
Chahal then turned the match on its head with a four-wicket over, dismissing rival captain Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Mavi and Pat Cummins in successive deliveries to register his maiden hat-trick.
The 31-year-old leapt for joy before striking the same pose that went viral during the 2019 World Cup, when he was pictured lying by the boundary on drinks duty while his team mates toiled on the pitch.
"It was a great feeling, I never had a hat-trick in my career," Chahal, whose 5-40 earned him the man-of-the-match award, said on the tournament's website.
When asked about the celebration, Chahal said, "It's my favourite meme from the 2019 World Cup.
"It's very special for me. I had decided whenever I do something special, like taking five wickets, I will do that."
As the season's leading wicket-taker, Chahal has the 'purple cap' for his 17 wickets from six matches.
Released by Royal Challengers Bangalore before the start of the season, Chahal has made instant impact for Rajasthan, who sit second, behind Gujarat Titans.
Chahal had bled 38 runs in his first three overs but derailed Kolkata's chase in the closing stage, especially with his dismissal of Iyer (85), who looked determined to get Kolkata over the line.
"I knew I had to take wickets in that over to change the game," Chahal said.
"So I decided to bowl wider, mix up my deliveries and go fuller on this wicket."
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)