Rashid Khan blazed three sixes off the final four deliveries and propelled Gujarat Lions to a five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.
Rashid smacked left-arm fast bowler Marco Jansen for three big hits that not only carried Gujarat to 199-5 but also overshadowed fast bowler Umran Malik’s maiden five-wicket haul.
Hyderabad’s total of 195-6 revolved around half centuries from opening batter Abhishek Sharma (65) and Aiden Markram (56) after Gujarat won the toss and elected to field.
Shashank Singh (25 not out) gave Hyderabad a perfect finish with three successive sixes of Lockie Ferguson’s last three balls as the New Zealand fast bowler conceded 25 runs off the final over.
“I was just trying to play my game and have the belief in my batting which I’ve been working on the last two years,” Rashid said. “When it was 22 left, I just told Tewatia that we have given 25 in the last over with our best bowler Ferguson. We just have to have that belief in ourselves … and luckily we had those four sixes.”
Malik had demolished Gujarat top-order with his fearsome yorkers that included the wicket of top-scorer Wriddhiman Saha (68), who was clean bowled off a delivery which was clocked at 153 kph.
Malik regularly clocked over 140 kph during his fearsome four-over spell as he knocked back the stumps of David Miller and Abhinvav Manohar on his last two deliveries that left Gujarat needing 56 runs off the last four overs.
The 22-year-old Malik struck hard on the right shoulder of Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya off the first delivery he faced before Pandya mistimed a pull and was caught in the deep in fast bowler’s second over.
But Rahul Tewatia, who made an unbeaten 40 off 21 balls, and Rashid turned the game on its head through some clean hitting against Hyderabad’s pace and brought down the target to 22 off Jansen’s last over.
Tewatia hit the tall South African for a first-ball six before giving back the strike to Rashid with a single off the second ball.
The Afghanistan leg-spinner, who was off color with the ball with figures of 0-45, hoisted Jansen over his head for a straight six before blazing sixes over extra cover and to fine leg on the last two balls to seal a nail-biting seventh win for table-topper Gujarat.
Hyderabad had won five games in a row while successfully chasing down the targets, but lost the remaining three games this season after setting up targets.
“It was a fantastic game of cricket that ebbed and flowed throughout the whole 40 overs really,” Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson said. “Credit to Gujarat, they played outstandingly well. They’re a side that are winning some of those fine margins at the moment and credit to where they are on the table.”