IPL 2024
Kwena Maphaka Receives Heartwarming Support From Pollard and Bravo
By CricShots - Mar 28, 2024 3:51 pm
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In his IPL debut match for Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kwena Maphaka faced a tough initiation, conceding 66 runs in his four overs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on March 27. Despite the challenging start, Maphaka, who was the Player of the Tournament in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, garnered support from cricket icons. Maphaka, renowned for his pace and accuracy, replaced the injured Dilshan Madushanka in the Mumbai Indians squad for IPL 2024.

Kwena Maphaka
Kwena Maphaka

However, the 17-year-old South African found himself under pressure against SRH’s formidable batting lineup on a flat pitch. His figures marked the joint-worst for an overseas bowler in IPL history, drawing sympathy and encouragement from cricket personalities. Brian Lara, during his commentary stint, expressed empathy for the young cricketer, acknowledging the daunting challenge he faced.

Dwayne Bravo, the seasoned T20 cricketer and current Chennai Super Kings bowling coach, extended support to Maphaka, urging him to maintain confidence and assuring him of improvement as the tournament progresses. Bravo’s Instagram post featured Maphaka’s photo with words of encouragement, reflecting the camaraderie among cricketers.

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“Keep your head up Champ! Kwena Maphaka I’m sure you will definitely bounce back and don’t let this one-off game make you start to doubt yourself,it’s a great challenge for you and you will only get better as the tournament goes on!” wrote Dwayne Bravo in the caption of an Instagram post where he uploaded Maphaka’s photo.

 

Similarly, Kieron Pollard, MI’s batting coach and former West Indies captain, lauded Maphaka’s resilience despite the tough outing. Pollard emphasized Mumbai Indians’ commitment to nurturing young talent and expressed confidence in Maphaka’s future prospects.

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“Head up young man … greater things to achieve. I’m sure your family, friends loved ones are very proud of you .. tough first day at the office but loved how you kept coming . #greaterthingsinstore # future looks bright . #17yearsyoung we believe in giving youngsters a platform @mumbaiindians,” Kieron Pollard wrote on his Instagram handle.

 

Despite Maphaka’s challenging debut, Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya found positives in the team’s performance. SRH’s monumental total of 277/3 set a new IPL record, posing a formidable challenge for MI’s chase. Although MI attempted to mount a challenge, Sunrisers’ imposing total proved insurmountable, resulting in a 31-run victory for the Hyderabad-based franchise.