Brian Vitori of Zimbabwe set a unique record in 2011. In his very first two one-day internationals, the left-armer took two five-wicket hauls. That feat was against Bangladesh, with both matches played in Harare. Now thanks to Mustafizur Rahman, that record has been bettered. The 19-year-old left-armer from Satkhira followed up his brilliant five-for on debut with a six-for against India in Mirpur yesterday.
The Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium at Mirpur turned into a fever pitch on Saturday as the whole nation focused its attention to one lithe boy, who was bowling in a playful mirth. He was clapping after the fall of an Indian wicket, smiling profusely after outfoxing yet another batsman. And whenever he claimed each of his six scalps -- his teammates converged to congratulate him. And those moments gave an impression that the proud parents of a child, who has just started walking and was playing in front of them, were enjoying every bit of it with awe.
That little kid is Bangladesh's boy wonder Mustafizur Rahman, a gift to the cricketing world. And what the 19-year-old left-arm paceman did in the second one-day international was something too good to believe. It was not just his second five-for against a vaunted Indian batting line-up but a Viking effort that laid a solid platform for the Tigers to create a small piece of history -- a first-ever series win against the two-time world champions.
The biggest question before the second match was how Mustafizur would react after his magnificent 5-50 in the first ODI that the Tigers won by a massive 79 runs. He quickly buried all speculation the moment he came out to bowl the first over on Sunday. He hurled one outside the off-stump and gave enough weights for Rohit Sharma to drive. The batsman fell in the trap and played straight to the point where Sabbir Rahman took a spectacular diving catch. He conceded 30 runs in his first spell of five overs. When he returned, his deadly cutters end a resolute innings of Suresh Raina, who could only manage to guide it to wicketkeeper Litton Das.
Mustafizur's third and the most important scalp was India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Deceived by the slow off-cutter, Dhoni, who literally lied on the wicket playing hardly attacking shot during his 75-ball 47, went with his shot early and ballooned a simple catch at short cover.
Mustafizur had Axar Patel caught in front of the wicket for a first ball duck to create an opportunity for a hattrick, a chance he also created in the first game. Ravichandran Ashwin survived the hattrick ball but soon became the fifth victim of someone who has appeared in the horizon with a golden left arm. An unfriendly rain appeared to have stopped the bowler with only delivery of his quota of 10 overs left. But after the rain had stopped and play resumed he came out to bowl Ravindra Jadeja to complete a performance the world cricket has hardly witnessed.
Mustafizur became only the second, after Zimbabwe's Brian Vitori to take two five-wicket hauls in his first two matches.
Mustafizur's figures of 6 for 43 is the third best bowling performance by a Bangladeshi.