I believe in my skills, says Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s star vs Kolkata Knight Riders
After putting in match winning performance vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to take Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to the final of Indian Premier League (IPL 2018), plaudits have been pouring in from teammates and opposition for Rashid Khan.cricket Updated: May 26, 2018 08:57 IST
Whether Rashid Khan can be the new Sunil Narine of the IPL will unravel over time but the story of this season certainly can’t be told without the leg-spinner from Afghanistan. Not after the way he ruled Eden Gardens on Friday night. (SCORECARD)
With the bat, Khan did at the end what Narine does at the start. He may not have been named after a batting legend like Narine but Khan said he started as a batsman. Maybe that is why after the 14-run win that took Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to Sunday’s final, Khan said he had wanted to play straight. (HIGHLIGHTS)
“I believe in my skills and wanted to finish off well,” he said, after a 10-ball 34 in the second qualifier. It took SRH to 174/7, a lot more than they seemed like getting till after the 17th over against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here.
Then, Khan bowled Robin Uthappa with the first ball of his second over making the most of the batsman’s poor shot selection. In his next two overs, Khan, 19, dismissed Chris Lynn and Andre Russell turning things turgid for KKR. “He has bowled well all season,” said teammate Yusuf Pathan.
Before his wickets, Khan helped run-out Nitish Rana. And then in the last over, he took two well-judged catches to ensure KKR didn’t escape to victory.
“He had a brilliant day, didn’t he. He batted really well, fielded well and had a run out. It was a day when everything went right for Rashid Khan and credit to him. In these kind of games, you want one individual to come and stand up and put the pressure on the opponent and I think he did really well today,” KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik said after the match.
“Rashid was brilliant but he’s got another game the day after. We’ll keep him wrapped up,” said SRH skipper Kane Willamson.
Pathan didn’t give a direct reply to whether he saw Khan batting like did at training but said he was promoted on Friday only because he has done well. “Against CSK too he (Khan) hit two sixes. We have never doubted his ability, said Pathan.
Khan is now second on the list of most successful bowlers in IPL11 with 21 wickets and it fit that Sachin Tendulkar tweeted that in T20 he is indeed the best.
If after Friday night, it is discovered that Khan gave Afghanistan a reason to be happy, however fleeting, IPL11 would be worth it. Sometimes, sport does that. It did for Afghanistan when they beat India to win the 2013 SAFF Championship football tournament. Just as it did for Iraq after they became Asia’s best football nation in 2007.
In his moment of glory, Khan didn’t forget to dedicate the Player of the Match award to the people killed in the recent blast back home.
First Published: May 26, 2018 08:32 IST