Rashid Khan has again impressed the cricket world after helping to drive his team, Sunrisers Hyderabad into the Indian Premier League (IPL) finals on Friday night.
Beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 14 runs, Rashid was lauded for his performance on the cricket field and was hailed by batting legend Sachin Tendulkar as the best spinner in the world in Twenty20s.
Afghan teenager Rashid Khan plundered quickfire runs and took three crucial wickets on Friday to take Sunrisers Hyderabad into the Indian Premier League (IPL) final at the expense of Kolkata Knight Riders.
“Always felt @rashidkhan_19 was a good spinner but now I wouldn’t hesitate in saying he is the best spinner in the world in this format. Mind you, he’s got some batting skills as well. Great guy,” tweeted Tendulkar.
Rashid’s variation with the bowling is the one of the main reasons why Sunrisers Hyderabad topped the points table at the close of the league phase of IPL 2018.
The leg-spinner is the second highest wicket-taker of the T20 tournament with 21 scalps, only behind Kings XI Punjab’s Andrew Tye.
Tendulkar was also full of praise for Rashid’s batting after the 19-year-old’s cameo with the bat took Sunrisers Hyderabad to 174/7 in Qualifier 2. The Afghan smashed 34 off 10 balls which included two boundaries and four sixes at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the Hindustan Times reported.
Rashid’s 3/19 from four overs helped Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 14 runs at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and enter the final.
“It was much-needed for me, wanted to give my 100 percent in all departments. Focus was to just believe in my skills. I was happy with the batting, it was needed in the end. I started my career as a batsman, I believe in my skills and wanted to finish off well. I just tried to pick the lengths, the focus was to play straight. That was the plan from the senior players,” said the tweaker, who was named Man-of-the-Match for his all-round performance.
“Fielding is one department where you can’t make excuses, compared to last year, I’ve worked really hard on my fielding. If I can’t contribute with bat or ball, I’m always looking forward to contribute on the field. Modern cricket demands that. I’m working hard on that.”
Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on Chennai Super Kings in the final on Sunday.
Afghan leaders have also praised Rashid for his performance.
President Ashraf Ghani tweeted after the match: “Afghans take absolute pride in our hero, Rashid Khan. I am also thankful to our Indian friends for giving our players a platform to show their skills. Rashid reminds us whats best about Afg. He remains an asset to the cricketing world. No we are not giving him away.”
The CEO Abdullah Abdullah also took to twitter and said: “What @rashidkhan_19 brings to @SunRisers & the cricket world is phenomenal. His exceptional cricketing talent is bringing prides to his teams and to our nation. We all take so much pride in him and wish him all the best for the final & many more games to come.”
The Afghan Cricket Board congratulated Rashid and said: “Congrats to our googly master @rashidkhan_19 for the man of match award and brilliant performance in all three departments in today's game against @KKRiders. Best of luck for the final!”