Mustafizur fit to play in IPL final
To the joy of his fans, Bangladesh and Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Mustafizur Rahman will play in the Indian Premier League final tonight. Hyderabad skipper David Warner won the toss and elected to bat, and also said that Mustafizur will play the final, back in place of Trent Boult.
Warner's against the grain choice of batting first was probably influenced by the return of Mustafizur, who will give the captain added confidence to defend a total. With 16 wickets under his belt, Mustafizur is easily the best bowler at the death in the competition with an economy rate of 7.28 (16-20 overs).
"We felt our strength is bowling," Warner explained of his decision. "We know they are a fantastic chasing side. They [Bangalore] have set the benchmark, they didn't start well but we know what they are capable of. For us, it's about coming here and playing with a smile on our face to try and negate the crowd."
Mustafizur missed the qualifier against Gujarat Lions on Friday because of a 'slight hamstring injury', in the words of Hyderabad skipper David Warner. Hyderabad waited till the last moment to take a call on Mustafizur, and it seems that he has recovered sufficiently from the injury to take part in the season showdown of the lucrative IPL.
He becomes the second Bangladeshi to feature in an IPL final -- Shakib Al Hasan did it twice for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012 and 2014, winning the title both times. Mustafizur and his rapidly growing fan base will be hoping that he can but play a winning hand and become the second Bangladeshi to lay claim to the silverware of the most lucrative domestic T20 competition in the world.
Bangalore and Hyderabad have a 4-4 head-to-head record, but Bangalore have won three of their matches against Hyderabad in their own den of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: CH Gayle, V Kohli*, AB de Villiers, KL Rahul†, SR Watson, Sachin Baby, STR Binny, Iqbal Abdulla, CJ Jordan, S Aravind, YS Chahal
Sunrisers Hyderabad: DA Warner*, S Dhawan, MC Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, DJ Hooda, BCJ Cutting, NV Ojha†, Bipul Sharma, B Kumar, BB Sran, Mustafizur Rahman