Little genius. Magical. Absolutely unplayable. These were some of the words that were used to describe Mustafizur Rahman's bowling yesterday during the Indian Premier League game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab at the Rajiv Gandhi Internaitonal Stadium in Hyderabad yesterday.
The pacer's brilliant figures of 2 for 9 in four overs helped restrict Punjab to 143 in the first innings which the Surisers chased down comfortably with 13 balls left.
Fizz began with a maiden. He came to bowl the last over of the first powerplay and confused the batsmen with a mix of his cutters and his yorkers. Manan Vohra, who was going great guns until that moment, was run-out as a result of the frustration that Mustafizur had built.
He came back in the 14th over, bowled five more dot balls and then got rid off Shaun Marsh who had smashed his way to 40 off 34 balls by then. Nikhil Naik tried his best to get rid off Mustafizur an over later, but he failed to connect his bat to the ball.
At the end of three overs, Musatfizur had given away just three runs and had scalped a wicket. This was the lowest ever economy rate in an innings after three overs in the IPL.
He was brought in the last over and compelled Naik to sky one high in the air with his slower and got him out. Eventually, he finished with figures of 2 for 9.
So magnificent was his performance that it even led to Navjot Sidhu, generally a harsh critic of Bangladesh's cricket, go gaga over the left-armer during the post-match analysis.
Earlier, an assured bowling performance extended Delhi Daredevils' upswing to three successive matches with a 10-run victory over Mumbai Indians.
SCORES IN BRIEF
KINGS XI PUNJAB: 143 for 6 in 20 overs (Marsh 40, Patel 36 not out; Mustafizur 2-9, Henriques 2-33)
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD: 146 for 5 in 17.5 overs (Warner 59, Dhawan 45; Sharma 1-20)
Result: Hyderabad won by 5 wickets
Man-of the-match: Mustafizur Rahman