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IPL 2018: Washington Sundar hails ‘amazing’ Afghan teen spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman

Kings XI Punjab’s 17-year-old Kings XI mystery spinner foxed Virat Kohli though Royal Challengers Bangalore won in the end, in the high-profile IPL 2018 match.

cricket Updated: Apr 14, 2018 11:42 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
Washington Sundar,IPL 2018,Mujeeb ur Rahman
Washington Sundar and Mujeeb ur Rahman were both among the wickets as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kings XI Punjab in Indian Premier League.(PTI)

Royal Challengers Bangalore bought young off-spinner Washington Sundar after his steady performances for Tamil Nadu as well as Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017.

On Friday, the 18-year-old showed he was a quick learner, claiming 2/22 in the four-wicket victory against Kings XI Punjab, which gave RCB victory in their first home game.

He had struggled on being thrust into the power play overs in the first match against Kolkata Knight Riders. This despite Sundar proving his skill during that field-restriction phase at the Nidahas Trophy tri-series in Sri Lanka, claiming the player-of-the-tournament award.

On Friday, RCB skipper Virat Kohli held his spinners back until the power play phase was over and both Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal thrived bowling with more protection in the deep.

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“As a spinner, you need to be open to bowling in different scenarios,” said after the match. “I think our fast bowlers bowled a lot in the first six overs especially, and yeah, I had to bowl after 10 overs. It was a different challenge, and the way I bowled, I was pretty happy about it.”

However, he was all praise for KXIP’s 17-year-old Afghanistan mystery spinner, Mujeeb ur Rahman. Bought by the franchise for Rs 4 crore, he has made a splash early in the season, after claiming two scalps on becoming the youngest player in IPL history, in the first game against Delhi Daredevils.

“It’s pretty amazing, to be honest. To be able to bowl with a lot of variations at this age, you need to give a lot of credit to him. He bowls the googly, he bowls the off-spinner, he bowls carrom ball as well.

“It is not that easy to read him or pick him from his finger, but as we play a lot of games against him, everyone will be ok against him.”

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Mujeeb grabbed the best moment of the match when he bowled Virat Kohli with a sharply turning googly. KXIP’s assistant coach, Mithun Manhas was delighted with the spinner’s early success.

“He’s been bowling pretty well considering that he’s just 16-17, and he’s bowling in the powerplay against one of the best batsman in the world.

AB de Villiers, who hit a match-winning 53, went after the young spinner in the 17th over, hitting two sixes to take 19 runs. Manhas felt that late punishment can’t take anything away from Mujeeb, who is following in the footsteps of leg-spinner Rashid Khan, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

“He got hit in just one over but I think he had good figures. So, I think he’s been excellent for us.”

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 08:55 IST