The dynamic pair of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi not only lend a distinct Afghan flavour to the Sunrisers’ bowling attack but also choke and torment opponents in the middle overs. While the leg-spinner has been a potent and known weapon, Nabi has proven to be the surprise factor this year so far.
In the game against Delhi Capitals at Feroz Shah Kotla on a slow wicket, Nabi first, and Rashid later, put Sunrisers in a dominating position in the match. The off-break bowler removed the dangerous Indian left-handers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant, to carry forward his exceptional start to the season from the last match. Nabi gave just 21 runs in his spell at Delhi and is now the third highest wicket-taker in the season. His economy of 4 is the best for any bowler.
Rashid, on the other hand, lived up to his reputation of the best limited-overs spinner in the world and conceded just 18 runs in his four-over spell. He removed the Delhi Capitals’ skipper, Shreyas Iyer, with whom he has had an attritional battle in the IPL. Till 2018, Iyer had scored 32 off the 22 balls he had faced from Rashid. The Delhi batsman had hit three sixes and boasted of a strike rate of 145.45 without ever being dismissed by the Afghanistan spinner.
On Thursday, however, he could only muster 12 runs from 12 balls from Rashid despite starting off with a boundary of the first delivery. He was eventually dismissed by the leggie too and played out seven dots in the innings.
Rashid has been a revelation for Sunrisers the last three seasons with his wicket-taking abilities in the middle and death overs. He has 41 wickets for Sunrisers in 35 matches in the IPL at an economy of 6.59. This, though, is higher than his overall T20 economy which sits at a sensational 6.09. He also has five of his 32 three or more wickets hauls in the IPL.
Nabi, on the other hand, has pretty impressive numbers but has never quite been recognized for his efforts. His 223 career wickets have come in 209 matches and like Rashid, he has been phenomenally restrictive. He has 23 three-plus wicket hauls in the format.
With the roaring start Nabi has had in the IPL this season and Rashid Khan continuing his good work from previous years’, we are likely to see more havoc created by the Afghan duo this season.
Live Score, News & WC 2019 Updates