Fizz demonstrates his dependability at the death
Bangladesh star Mustafizur Rahman slow-yorked his doubters with a magnificent display of death-over bowling for Delhi Capitals in their Indian Premier League fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders last night.
Fizz had been under the scanner of late after the wily left-arm quick uncharacteristically took a heavy beating in two of his three previous IPL outings, having conceded 48 and 43 runs in four overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals, respectively.
Kolkata were 144 for six as the Cutter Master came to bowl the final over of the innings, having conceded 10 runs in his previous over, the innings' 18th, and overall 17 runs off his first three overs.
What made Fizz's final over even more impressive was the fact that Rinku Singh and Nitin Rana were ripping apart Delhi bowling at the last quarter and had quick-fired their way to score 56 runs from overs 15-19. Kolkata certainly had stared at a 160-run total.
Mustafizur, not unnerved by the pressure-cooker situation, arrived at the death and conquered. He first removed Rinku and went on to scalp three in that over to completely numb the Kolkata dugout at the Wankhede Stadium.
[Related read: Mystique around Mustafizur continues to grow]
Kolkata, with ample wickets in hand, had no answer to Fizz as they managed to pick only two runs in the final over, one of which was a leg bye, and ended up on 146 for nine. Thus, Delhi had got the crucial momentum heading into the chase.
The Rishabh Pant-led side eventually reached their target quite comfortably in 19 overs, however, they still needed some crisp hitting from opener David Warner (26-ball 42) and Rovman Powell (16-ball 33) later on as Delhi found themselves in a spot of bother, following the fall of Pant's wicket, on 84 for five after 11.1 overs.
And although India's Kuldeep Yadav bagged the Player of the Match for his four-wicket haul, it can be argued that- Fizz's last-over magic was pivotal in locking down the game's fate, which Kolkata's Rinku and Nitesh may choose to agree.