It was the over number 11th of the Bangladesh run-chase when Afghanistan decided to unveil their trump card. Defending a very decent 168, on a fine surface, the home team had done a very good job to have restricted a good looking visitor's batting line-up at only 80 in their first 10 overs and had sent back their two best batsmen as well but they needed a final blow. This is where the Rashid Khan happened.
Mushfiqur Rahman is Mushfiqur Rahman. He can win a game on his own for by playing the most Mushiqur Rahman knock that one can remember. Basically, no game is over for Bangladesh till they have him batting.
Rashid Khan readied himself to bowl that first ball and Mushiqur Rahman, like most batsmen do against Khan, presumed a googly. He played a reverse sweep, knowing the chances he has of executing it with the third man inside the circle. He missed the ball and it crashed on to the stumps. Gone. Bangladesh's best and their hope was sent back by Rashid.
Technology is a wonderful thing. What made this ball really special was the replay, which showed how early the bowler picked that shot and changed his grip on the ball midway through his stride and then bowled a legspinner which was bowled from the back of the hand like a googly is bowled. This ball is what stood out in the IPL from him.
This is what makes Rashid Khan so special. He went on to pick another wicket next ball and three in total, didn't even bowl his fourth over and won the man of the match award as Bangladesh were bowled out for just 122.
Rashid was talked about his genius after the game, in a very modest manner. He 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, the ball was gripping. A 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 knows it is the hardwork he has done growing up in perfecting and adding to his simplistic brilliance, that is paying off now.
“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. 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.”