Rashid Khan continues to win hearts after starring in Afghanistan’s win vs Bangladesh
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Rashid Khan continues to win hearts after starring in Afghanistan’s win vs Bangladesh

Rashid Khan stepped up and gave clinical performance to star in Afghanistan’s 45-run victory over Bangladesh in Dehradun on Sunday.

cricket Updated: Jun 04, 2018 08:38 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Rashid Khan,Afghanistan vs Bangladesh,Bangaldesh vs Afghanistan
Rashid Khan finished the game with figures of 3-0-13-3. (Twitter)

Rashid Khan is on a roll. After shining for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, the 19-year-old joined the Afghanistan cricket team for national duty in Dehradun to take on Bangladesh in a three-match T20 series and came out with flying colours. (MATCH REPORT) (FULL SCORECARD)

The in-form spinner, who bagged 21 wickets in 17 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad, stepped up and gave clinical performance to star in Afghanistan’s 45-run victory over Bangladesh. He finished with figures of 3-0-13-3.

The win ensured the hosts 1-0 lead in the series and provided impressive brand of cricket to the spectators who came out in large numbers to witness first international game in their vicinity. Ahead of the match, Rashid was the cynosure of all eyes as fans cheered him from the stands.

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Speaking after the match, Rashid said, “There was no secret, I just kept everything simple, did everything I’ve been doing in the last 2-3 months. I had no specific plans when I came on after 10 overs. Just bowl a little back of a length, not too full for the batsman to hit.

“It was a good surface, ball was gripping. Little bit of dew in the end, but with that dew it was gripping better. We just played IPL and it’s the biggest stage and the biggest platform, so the confidence will help you in these games. It was a team effort.”

Rashid was introduced by captain Asghar Stanikzai in the 11th over and on the very first ball, he removed Mushfiqur Rahim, followed by another dismissal in Sabbir Rahman for a duck in the very same over.

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Throwing light on the experience he has gained over the last two years, Rashid, said, “Since I started playing for Afghanistan, I have learnt a lot and remained positive. Also, I have made it sure that I enjoy the game at the same time. IPL 2018 was very good for me. It definitely made me more accomplished.”

Rashid, who comes Nangarhar, also became the second fastest bowler to claim 50 wickets in T20 cricket after claiming three wickets on Sunday. When Afghanistan take on heavy-weight India in their first Test match Bengaluru, Rashid will again be spotlight.

Simplicity is key

However, the leggie wants to take it easy and keep the basics right. “I won’t be working on something specific. It doesn’t matter if its Test cricket, T20 or ODIs. One has to apply and deliver the goods in all formats. I have been playing lot of cricket for the last two years and aim to execute the plans.”

When asked how he handles the demands of the modern-day scheduling of the game and keep himself fresh and gunning for further competitions, he said, “It is a bit tough. But as a professional one has to undergo this drill and adjust.

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“I am enjoying this phase and looking forward to perform my duties to the best of my abilities in future. Fitness is the key.”

Rashid joined the squad on the first match’s eve and hasn’t had much time to talk to his fellow team mates. “I have not had much time to catch up with the guys and I am fasting too. It would be nice to be with them and chalk out further plans,” shared Rashid, who has played 44 ODIs and 31 T20s.

Captain Asghar was pleased after the win. “Every series, every tournament, the first game is important. Shafiq and Samiullah gave us the momentum after we lost a few wickets in the middle overs. I know my bowlers, which time to use them. The conditions are good for us, we know the wickets, we know the conditions.

“I want to congratulate the Afghanistan people and thank the crowd, it felt like we were in Afghanistan.”

First Published: Jun 04, 2018 08:34 IST