Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan made a stunning debut in Australia’s Big Bash League, winning man-of-the-match honours for the Adelaide Strikers.
Rashid, the first Afghan to play in the BBL Twenty20 competition, starred in the Strikers’ 53-run win over Sydney Thunder in Adelaide late Friday.
Rashid, 19, captured two for 22 from four overs, highlighted by a spectacular wrong’un.
“It means a lot to Afghanistan to play in such a big league,” Rashid told reporters.
“And to then to perform and get player of the match – it was a dream to play in this league, so it’s a proud moment for my country, for me, for my family.”
Rashid’s canny wrist spin helped unravel the Thunder, grabbing the wickets of Ryan Gibson caught behind followed by his peach delivery to bowl Ben Rohrer two balls later.
“That was a special wicket, a left-hander, to bowl him with a googly,” Rashid said.
“I set him up for it. He was waiting for a leg-spinner.”
Rashid warned rival batsmen that no amount of video research could properly prepare them to pick his wrong’un, which drifts through the air like an orthodox leg break only to continue on the same course after it pitches.
“I think the speed I bowl makes it difficult for the batsman,” he said.
“You can see in the video, but once you come to the centre it’s looking everything different.”