For IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Tuesday’s game between England and Afghanistan at Old Trafford in the ICC World Cup produced mixed emotions. Two of their frontline players featured in the game, albeit in contrasting jerseys and while one came out with flying colours, the other saw his deliveries flying out of the stadium frequently. The first is Jonny Bairstow, one of England’s big-hitting ‘J’s who made 90 off 99 balls before getting caught sharply by Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib.
The other was Rashid Khan, the young leg-spinner who is playing his first World Cup but hasn’t been as successful as one would have hoped. Rashid went for 110 runs in nine overs and remained without a reward. He was tonked for 11 sixes during the spell which was also registered as the most expensive in the history of the World Cup, topping New Zealander Martin Snedden’s 105 off 12 overs against the same opponent in 1983.
England captain Eoin Morgan, who belted 148 in the match, hit Rashid for seven sixes. The hosts posted a total of 397 for 6 in 50 overs, which is now the highest team total in this World Cup, bettering the Three Lions’ 386 for 6 scored against Bangladesh in Cardiff on June 8.
In India, the first half of the England-Afghanistan game triggered an online banter between SRH and Chennai Super Kings. The Sunrisers in a Twitter post wrote: “With a 99-ball 90, Bairstow was so close to his maiden World Cup century! A brilliant knock nevertheless.”
Rashid Khan’s 54-ball ‘century’
CSK came up with a response with a dig at Rashid saying: “That 54-ball-110 would have been painful though!” The two franchises then had some exchanges in Tamil, making the conversation more humorous though the fans of Rashid were not impressed and they felt the talented bowler will be back soon.
Incidentally, Afghanistan next play India in Southampton on June 22 where CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be playing the ace spinner. Rashid has picked only three wickets in five matches in his first World Cup. He didn’t bowl in the game against New Zealand after getting hit on the head by speedster Lockie Ferguson.