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Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Rashid Khan dedicates performance to blast victims in Afghanistan

Eight people lost their lives in a blast during a cricket match in Afghanistan and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Rashid Khan has dedicated his match winning all round performance to the victims of the tragedy.

cricket Updated: May 26, 2018 14:19 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Sunrisers Hyderabad,Rashid Khan,Chris Lynn
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Rashid Khan reacts after delivery during the VIVO IPL cricket T20 match against Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata, India, Friday, May 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)(AP)

Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan on Friday dedicated his man of the match award to those who lost their lives in a blast during a cricket game in his hometown earlier this month.

Rashid Khan’s virtuoso display with bat (10-ball 34) and ball (3/19) helped Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 14 runs to book their place in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where they will meet Chennai Super Kings on Sunday in Mumbai.

“I want to dedicate this award to those who lost their lives in a blast during a cricket game in my hometown back home,” Rashid, 19, said at the post match presentation ceremony.

At least eight people were killed and dozens wounded in a series of blasts during a cricket match in eastern Afghanistan earlier this month.

Coming to the match, Rashid helped struggling Hyderabad post 174/7 by scoring bulk of the 50 runs in the last three overs which proved to be the difference at the end as he took three wickets which included the wickets of Chris Lynn (48), Robin Uthappa (2) and Andre Russell (3) to help his team cross the line.

READ | Rashid Khan world’s best spinner in T20s: Sachin Tendulkar

“It was much-needed for me, wanted to give my 100 per cent in all departments,” Rashid said on his performance.

So far, Rashid has taken 21 wickets in 16 matches.

Rashid revealed he started his career as a batsman.

“Focus was to just believe in my skills. I was happy with the batting, it was needed in the end. I started my career as a batsman, I believe in my skills and wanted to finish off well.

“I just tried to pick the lengths, the focus was to play straight. That was the plan from the senior players. Fielding is one department where you can’t make excuses, compared to last year, I’ve worked really hard in my fielding.

“If I can’t contribute with bat or ball, I’m always looking forward to contribute on the field. Modern cricket demands that. I’m working hard on that,” he signed off.

An elated Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson said that Rashid will now be well rested so that he is in fine fettle for the all-important summit clash.

READ | IPL 2018: Kane Williamson hails Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s fighting spirit

“Rashid was brilliant, but he’s got another game day after. We’ll keep him wrapped up,” Williamson said.

“Exciting, must-win game, great to go through to the final, important to move on. As a team we fight till the last ball, showed that today. Someone like Rashid is the perfect example of that. Outstanding talent, but a team effort. Lot of the guys chipped in, great team fighting effort which is the attitude we want to see.

“One thing we didn’t change was our balance, Saha was injured but he came back... was nice to have his experience. Every one of the guys have played a huge part, whether on or off the field,” he added.

First Published: May 26, 2018 14:19 IST