Hitting three sixes in four balls, including the match-winning maximum from the final delivery, is a stupendous achievement for any batter but Afghan star Rashid Khan says he has the self-belief to execute such performances after working on his batting in the last two years.
Rashid (31 off just 11 balls), known more for his match-winning leg-spin bowling, pulled off a heist as he struck three sixes from four balls, bowled by pacer Marco Jansen, to hand Gujarat Titans a thrilling five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday night.
His partner Rahul Tewatia (40 not out off 21 balls) had hit a six from the first ball and ran a single after the Titans needed 22 runs from the final over while chasing a stiff 196 for a win.
“The feeling is good…you just have it in mind to go out there and have the self-belief, keep my shape strong, and hit it,” Rashid said after his batting heroics.
“I was happy to do it against them (former club Sunrisers Hyderabad), but 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.”
Asked what transpired between him and Tewatia during the final over, Rashid said, “When it was 22 left, I just told Tewatia that we have given 25 in the last over with our best bowler (Lockie Ferguson). We just have to have that belief in ourselves.
“If we have one missed ball, don’t think about it and don’t panic. Just stay strong and we need to finish it or get as close as possible because it might help us with the run rate.
“But as long as we have that belief, anything is possible. Just stay there, keep your shape, and hit it strong. So that was our plan and luckily we had those four sixes.”
Tewatia also echoed Rashid’s sentiments and said his earlier experience of finishing matches helped him in such situations.
“We needed 22 runs from last over. Rashid Bhai said it was chaseable. I told him we can take the match closer (to a win) if I can hit six from the first ball. I said I will go all out for a six and let’s see what happens,” Tewatia said at the post-match press conference.
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“I batted in the same order for my domestic team (Haryana) and I have played in such situations a few times. When I got this role in IPL two years back, I did a lot of practice for these kinds of situations for my Haryana team as well as for IPL, especially for death overs.
“If you need 40 to 50 runs in the last four-five overs, you need to choose the deliveries of the bowler (to hit).”
Asked why he ran for a single from the second ball of the last delivery, Tewatia said, “Rashid Bhai bats very well and he had finished matches earlier and had won matches (with the bat) for us.
“I had no doubt about his abilities, so my thought was I will hit boundary if I can and I will also run singles.”
With the ball, however, Rashid had an off day against the Sunrisers as he gave away 45 runs without taking any wicket.
The 23-year-old premier leg-spinner was hit for two fours and three sixes by Abhishek Sharma and Aiden Markram and he could bowl just two dot balls.
“I haven’t bowled as good as I should have done. I bowled four or five bad deliveries which have been punished. On a wicket like this, you can’t miss your line and length and that is something which I have done and Abhishek finished it off.
“This was a good wicket to bat on…this is something that is good for my learning and something I will try my best to not repeat in the next games,” Rashid said.