Fizz keeps on rolling
Mustafizur Rahman picking up wickets in every Indian Premier League match he has so far played is now a routine occurrence, but yesterday's performance was a little special. Bangladesh's pace sensation and now Sunrisers Hyderabad's prized possession Mustafizur recorded his most stingy IPL figures to date, conceding just 19 runs in his four overs while picking up the wicket of Gujarat Lions all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
While his reputation as arguably the most promising youngster in the international circuit blossoms, his ability to read the batsman and execute last-second changes to his delivery has moved from the uncanny to the downright brilliant. He kept no less a swashbuckler than former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum to just one run off five balls in the first over he bowled, the fourth of the innings.
McCullum, who is uncompromising in his intent to punish every bowler who dares to run in while he has bat in hand, could not decipher the Fizz mystery. He was beaten twice by the cutter and by the end of the over, even McCullum would have been happy to have just survived.
In his third over -- the 17th of the innings, in line with skipper David Warner's plans to bowl him in the slog overs -- Mustafizur had his customary reward, bowling Jadeja with none other than the off-cutter. Jadeja, looking to slog on the leg side, was through his shot early and the rest was predictable.
In his last over he seemed to have found the answer every bowler must have been searching for when confronted with a batsman going down on one knee to scoop the ball. Mustafizur bowled a fast full toss at Akshdeep Nath's head and self-preservation took over, resulting in a dot ball.
HAVE A LOOK AT: Debut wickets of Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had figures of four for 29, will rightly get a lot of credit for keeping Gujarat to 135 for eight, but after the 10-wicket win Warner was equally grateful to the one he affectionately calls 'Fizzy' for being the ever-dependable death bowler.