Maiden strikes of Mustafizur
A lanky 20 year old from Satkhira standing 5 feet 11 inches tall, bowling left-arm fast medium and playfully bamboozling opposing batters with lethal cutters captured the imagination of millions when he made his debut for Bangladesh on April 24, 2015 against Pakistan in a T20I match at Dhaka.
Mustafizur Rahman, the name that has carved out a special place in the hearts of Tigers’ fans became the first Bangladeshi cricketer to make the ICC Team of the Year in 2015 on the back of some superb performances with the ball, especially in one-day matches. The left-armer has the distinction of picking up big wickets, and if you take a look at his maiden scalps across all formats, you’ll realize why he is considered the best find for Bangladesh cricket so far!
Mustafizur’s maiden international wicket came in the T20I match against Pakistan at Mirpur Stadium when he got the big wicket of Shahid Afridi. The back of a length ball from Mustafiz generated some lift and curled away outside off. Boom Boom had a waft at it, was squared up and was caught behind by Mushfiqur Rahim.
The Cutter Master made his ODI debut on June 18, 2015 against India at Dhaka and immediately grabbed the headlines with an inspired spell of bowling. His maiden one-day international wicket was of Rohit Sharma, and what a big first wicket at that! The home crowd at Mirpur, some twenty-five thousand strong screamed their lungs out, as Rohit failed to pick the cutter and was caught by Mashrafe at mid-off. The 20 year old left-armer from Satkhira followed up his brilliant five-for on ODI debut with a six-for in the second match of the series.
Read more: Magnificent MUSTAFIZUR
On July 21 2015, Mustafiz got his cap for the Test match against South Africa at the port city of Chittagong. His first Test wicket was that of Hashim Amla, one of the greats of contemporary cricket. The full ball from Mustafiz slid away with the angle outside off, Amla pushed away from the body with firm hands and edged behind to the keeper. Huge scalp for Fizz!
During the Bangladesh Premier League 2015/16, Mustafizur played for the Dhaka Dynamites franchise. In his first match, the left-arm pacer picked up the West Indian blaster Marlon Samuels for only eight runs. Having set up the batter, Mustafizur delivered the perfect length, Marlon was stuck on the crease and the ball came off his pad to take the leg-stump.
Mustafizur Rahman was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for 1.40 crore rupees (approximately Tk 1.64 crore), almost thrice his base price of 50 lakh rupees. In a two-way battle for the pacer’s signature, Hyderabad emerged victorious after Royal Challengers Bengaluru backed out at 1.40 crore.
Read more: Don’t miss Mustafizur at IPL 2016
In his first IPL match, when his teammates were thrashed around the Chinnaswamy stadium, the Fizz was his frugal best. He conceded 6.5 runs per over and picked up two crucial wickets. His maiden IPL wicket was that of the most destructive and innovative batsman in modern cricket, none other than AB de Villiers. AB aimed for a slog over leg, and skewed his shot in the air as Mustafizur’s cutter was too good for him!
Mustafizur could not play more than three matches in the recently concluded ICC WT20 2016 in India due to a side-strain. In his first WT20 match, he sent back Aussie captain Steve Smith for 14 runs with a peach of a delivery! Smith moved across the stumps, Mustafiz did him in with a really full ball on middle and leg. The panic-stricken flick from Smith only resulted in an inside edge that deflected onto the pads and disturbed his furniture.
Read more: Mustafizur makes his mark in T20Is