Afghanistan’s googly master who is playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after loss of his team to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by six wickets on Sunday said, “it’s just the start of the tournament.”
“Russell played a great knock. He took the game away from us. He played all the shots, the bowlers did not bowl bad deliveries, but he just smashed them,” Rashid said at the post-match news conference.
Winning the toss, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik opted to field first.
However, the decision seemed to backfire on the home team initially as comeback man David Warner got off to a flying start, dispatching fours and sixes to all parts of the ground.
KKR's spinners were expensive, and the tidier overs were bowled by their faster bowlers Lockie Ferguson, Andre Russell and Prasidh Krishna. Warner's dismissal, brought about by a stunning catch from Robin Uthappa, slowed down the scoring rate a little.
Vijay Shankar, who is on a personal quest to earn a World Cup squad berth, came up with some fireworks at the end of the innings to take the score to 181/3 after 20 overs. It looked as if Sunrisers bowlers would win the day, till Andre Russell took centrestage.
"It's just the start of the tournament. We did really well in our department. We just couldn't finish well in the last three overs and that happens in T20 cricket. Hopefully we will try and not repeat the same mistakes and go back stronger and play well at home next," he said.
"180-plus was a good total. Usually at Eden, 170 plus is a good total and can be defended. The bowling line up that we have, it was not like we scored less or batted badly. We just could not finish well and that happens," he added.
Rashid’s other national team teammate Mohammadi Nabi is also playing for Sunrisers but he did not enter the ground on Sunday match.
On Monday, Rashid and Nabi’s other national team teammate, Mujeeb Zadran who is playing for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL will enter the ground for his team in the match against Rajasthan Royals.
The match will kick off at 7pm Kabul time.