Having played only two matches in the Indian Premier League, Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan is hitherto a sensation in India. Being the first cricketer from Afghanistan to feature in the IPL, the 18-year old leg break bowler registered figures of 4-0-19-3 vs Gujarat Lions in Hyderabad. After picking up two wickets vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in his first match, he continued to deceive the batsmen via his guile.
Just when Lions’ openers were looking to press the accelerator, Rashid Khan found Brendon McCullum plumb in front of the stumps in his first over. Bowling in the powerplay does not comes natural to the spinners, having done the same successfully, he has added more to his own value.
Had his captain in David Warner not missed his counterpart, Suresh Raina’s catch, on the following delivery, Rashid would have got his second wicket in his first itself. Aaron Finch became his second victim as he too, was dismissed in a similar fashion, i.e., lbw. Lions’ batsmen inability to read his wrong-uns led to their demise.
It was in his third over when he finally dismissed Raina. The southpaw was also found wanting in front of the stumps, reeling Gujarat to 57-4 in nine overs. Three LBW dismissals made him the first bowler to seal three wickets in such a fashion in one inning of the IPL. Rashid might not be a like-to-like replacement for Mustafizur Rahman, but he is duly filling the void created by the left-arm medium-fast bowler.
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