Tambe's hat-trick follows Aamer Yamin's four in four on bowlers' night

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Having been on the wrong end of two brutal batting displays on night one, bowlers were in desperate need of a hero on the T10 League's second day. There were some encouraging performances from the first two matches, but the assault handed out by Mohammad Shahzad stuck in the memory more, as did the one-two punch of Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan.

Short boundaries and batsmen fearlessly launching into attacks are the hallmarks of T10's marketability. It's tailored to batsmen, the odds forever in their favour. Boundaries are the most valuable currency, and bowlers are sometimes but mere fodder; bowling machines with a pulse here for the derision of the batsmen charged with providing the entertainment.

But cricket is at its best when bowlers have their tails up and the game is being squeezed into an almost unbearable tension. It brings out moments of brilliance from both parties, and if the game is swinging too far in favour of one or the other, the spectacle tends to suffer.

So, a sensei of sorts was needed to balance yin with yang. And he arrived in the shape of - on first glance - an unlikely figure: 47-year old Pravin Tambe.

Having just seen Aamer Yamin take four wickets in as many balls in an albeit already dying match, the Indian legspinner crossed the picket line as the elder statesmen of the group.

Yamin's spell had hammered home, with devastating effect, his side's advantage, to deliver the Bengal Tigers a 36-run victory over Northern Warriors. It was a stunning effort, but one that Tambe was about to reduce to a mere supporting evidence, as he made his own case, demonstrating the value of bowlers in the weird and wonderful world of T10.

With new ball in hand, Tambe began inauspiciously, conceding five wides first up. A second wide followed. It didn't look good for the man brought in to replace UAE spinner Ahmed Raza after Wednesday night's defeat. When he had his first wicket, it was with a low full toss that Chris Gayle swatted straight down the throat of long-on.

A dot ball followed, before Kerala Knights captain Eoin Morgan repeated Gayle's dismissal almost step for step, letting out a wry smile as he fell. It was a telling look of 'not our night'. Indeed, this was Tambe's and the bowlers'. Batsmen have enjoyed too much of the spoils in recent times.

Kieron Pollard was then undone first ball, bowled by a skidding delivery that just didn't get up, putting Tambe on a hat-trick.

Fabian Allen granted it, playing all around a dipping yorker and seeing the bails thrown out of their grooves. At this stage, Tambe had bowled just one over and had 4 for 6 with one of the most daunting top-orders in the tournament reduced to rubble.

By the time he was done, Upul Tharanga had become his fifth victim, and Tambe was the first man to record a five-for in T10 cricket, with figures of 2-0-15-5.

Beaming, and crowded with emphatic pats on the back, Tambe's delight was shared among the union boss and his cohorts.

Kerala were left reeling at 21 for 6, just three overs into their innings. It was a long way back from there, and the reigning champions couldn't produce similar magic with the ball as the Sindhis romped to a nine-wicket victory.

'I've never thought about my age. I enjoy this game and I keep enjoying this game,' Tambe said, quickly coming to terms with how challenging T10 is for his profession. 'Being a bowler in this format, it's a very short format and I think it's for public entertainment. As a bowler, you have to think that you can't give any sixes or fours. With that in mind, you will get wickets, and that's what I got today.'

Tambe had some words of advice for his peers on how they 'can survive' in T10, a frank understanding of the challenge they face in cricket's shortest iteration. 'In this format, you don't get a chance to set a batsman up. Every ball is going to go for a six. That's what you have to think as a bowler in this format, so you try to bowl in the channels, and if you succeed in that, then you can survive in this format.'

In this pick-it-up-and-drop-it form of cricket, individual performances such as Tambe's stand out like exclamation marks. Huge scores off barely any balls jump out of scorecards accented far more heavily with low contributions. Ridiculous looking strike rates and astronomical bowling figures will obviously draw the eye.

Equally, spells such as those from Yamin and Tambe explode off the page and there is no reason why this shouldn't be the norm rather than an anomaly, despite the advantages afforded to batsmen.

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