Advertisement
Advertisement

He gave away 24 runs in his four overs and remained wicket-less while with willow he made just 9 not out - a performance that should not be praiseworthy in normal sense but still its worthy because of its impact in the low-scoring high-profile game.

Shakib in fact stemmed the runs flow to set up game for Sunil Narine who ended with 4-21,which included the key wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell. Narine later blasted 15 ball-26 to keep the KKR’s nose as they were chasing a target of 139 to win the game.

After Narine’s dismissal, it needed someone to finish it off but no one looked capable to go after against RCB bowling attack, which looked pumped up towards the end.

Nevertheless, it was Shakib’s audacious scoop in the first ball of the last over, when KKR needed seven off six balls, did the magix. Shakib’s scoop went for boundary and changed the complexion of the game completely. RCB would have the chance to win the game, if Shakib couldn’t hit the first ball boundary. But the scoop proved Shakib’s innovative mind, considering the match scenario for which even Virat Kohli heaped praise on Shakib along with Narine.

This little contribution of Shakib, however, is massive for Bangladesh as the ace all-rounder was not in his usual form, much to the concern of the team management. His off-form even forced KKR drop him in some matches of the UAE part. Only Andre Russell’s injury brought him back into the team fold and now he made sure, his performance would keep the side’s IPL final hope alive.

Shakib was given NOC (No Objection certificate) to play IPL till October 9 and he was supposed to team on October 10 at Abu Dhabi. But as KKR moved to the playoffs, Shakib decided to extend his NOC to remain the part of his IPL franchise. While this move was criticized by the fans, according to cricket experts his decision to play highly competitive game and make a contribution to the team’s victory would indeed benefit Bangladesh in the Twenty20 World Cup.

“Sunil (Narine) played great cricket yesterday in both batting and bowling. Yesterday was totally his day. I am happy that his contribution has won us the game,” Shakib said in KKR’s official website.

Asked if this performance took away pressure on him, he said: “There is always pressure. But as professional players we have to adapt to it. I have been playing for a long time and representing my national team. I have the ability to control that kind of pressure. “

Kolkata will face Delhi in the second qualifier on Wednesday. Regarding the match, Shakib said, “We will apply the same formula that we have been following for so long. Since coming to Abu Dhabi or the United Arab Emirates, we have had a knockout attitude and we are tackling those challenges one by one. The good thing for our team now is that no team will take us lightly.”

Read more from Cricket
Advertisement