MUMBAI Andrew Tye was a frustrated bystander for his first two seasons in the Indian Premier League but the Australia paceman grabbed his chance when it came on Friday, taking five wickets including a hat-trick to set up a first win for the Gujarat Lions.
The 30-year-old Twenty20 specialist was part of the Chennai Super Kings squad in 2015 and was then picked up by Gujarat in 2016 but spent both editions sitting in the dugout waiting for his maiden opportunity in the cash-rich tournament.
It finally arrived in the winless Lions' home game at Rajkot against the Rising Pune Supergiant, who are led by Australia captain Steve Smith.
Tye finished with match-winning figures of 5-17 as his side registered their first points of the 2017 season with a comprehensive seven-wicket win in their third match.
"I think it was 34 matches now to get my first IPL game. The way it came out today, it couldn't have been any better," Tye told the tournament website (www.iplt20.com).
"We went out there with a certain attitude. We had to be energetic. We had to get things done."
Tye struck in his first over, the sixth of the innings, to dismiss Rahul Tripathi and break a flourishing 64-run stand for the second wicket between the opener and Smith.
He then picked up the big wicket of England all-rounder Ben Stokes with the first ball of his second over.
Ankit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary and Shardul Thakur were out on the first three deliveries in the final over of the innings from Tye as Pune were restricted to 171-8. Gujarat chased down the target with two overs to spare.
Tye said he never ran out of patience while waiting to make his mark.
"Finally, this morning our coach Hodgy (Brad Hodge) told me 'Get set to play. You're definitely playing,'" Tye added. "To get a wicket in the first over settled me down.
"I came here with nothing to lose. When you've waited that long for a chance, you got to take it. I was happy the way I came out and performed tonight.
"Even if you are not playing, India is a great place to develop your game and learn from the best players in the world. Playing with the international players and the Indian players, my cricket has really come on."
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Peter Rutherford)