Bhuvneshwar Kumar led the bowling attack for Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday. He bowled the first and the last over, picking up the first of his four wickets off his fourth ball.
In the final over of the innings, he picked up three more. But, by the time he came to bowl again, a lot of damage had been done by his fellow pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who choked the Gujarat Lions.
While Bhuvneshwar walked away with the highest tally of wickets, Mustafizur was the one with the best economy. His three overs ensured that a set Suresh Raina could not give the Gujarat Lions a finish to the innings.
Mustafizur made the most of the two-paced wicket, finishing with figures of 1 for 19 in four overs. In the context of the game, the effort proved vital. The 20-year-old has been making a mark since last year. His performance against India during their tour last year, had taken the visitors out of contention.
He stayed true to his reputation in the World T20. In the IPL, all eyes were on the youngster to replicate his performance. On Thursday, he brought out his A-game.
While the effort did not quite translate into wickets, the shrewd bowling did play a part in restricting the opposition to 135. This is Mustafizur’s first stint in the IPL. He was picked up by the Sunrisers for Rs 1.4 crore this year.
“For someone who has not even completed one year in international cricket, to have the kind of expertise in doing the kind of things he is doing is fantastic,” Sunrisers’ team mentor VVS Laxman had said ahead of Thursday’s game.
“He is a street-smart bowler. He has three-four variations at the start… he has three-four variations in the death. He has got total control over it,” Laxman had added.
On Thursday, Mustafizur produced his entire gamut of variations. He peppered his spell with slower deliveries, leg-cutters and yorkers that had batsmen struggling. He extracted 10 dot balls and gave away one boundary, which was due to a misfield.