Big Bash favourite Rashid Khan has wowed Aussie crowds with his short-form cricket ability but he’s shown how good he is in Tests as well.
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has taken Big Bash wickets at ease over the past four years but the spinner can be just as effective in the longer form.
The ICC T20 player of the decade has only played in five Test matches for the developing Afghanistan team.
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Just six matches into its Test playing history, Afghanistan has already won three Tests, adding another scalp after defeating Zimbabwe by six wickets in Abu Dhabi.
While the match was set up by Hashmatullah Shahidi’s 200 not out after a 307-run stand with Asghar Afghan, who scored 164, in Afghanistan’s first innings score of 4/545 declared, Rashid then went to work.
On a placid pitch, Rashid took 4/138 from 36.3 overs as Zimbabwe was bowled out for 287, with Afghanistan enforcing the follow on.
Rashid then took 7/137 — from 62.5 overs.
And as if it wasn’t enough, it was with a broken middle finger that hadn’t completely healed that kept him out of the first Test match.
It left Afghanistan needing 108 runs, which the side did four wickets down to even up the series at 1-all.
But it was Rashid’s effort that truly grabbed the attention as he threw down 99.2 overs, far from the four over spells Australians are used to seeing from the 22-year-old.
In fact his output in this one match has exceeded his total overs in the past two BBLs, where he’s bowled 94.2 overs combined.
BBC Test Match Special commentator Daniel Norcross pointed out however that despite the increased workload, it was a lot less lucrative for Rashid to play for his country.
He essentially bowled from one end throughout the 148.5 over second innings.
In the end, he bowled 596 balls for the match, and while it’s not a record, the last time more balls were bowled in a match was by Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan against England at The Oval from August 27-31, 1998.
He took 16/220 in the match, where he sent down 113.5 overs or 683 balls.
He also beat Aussie spin king Shane Warne’s record of 98 overs against South Africa at Newlands in 2002 as the most in a match in the 21st century. Warne took 8/231 in that match.
Incredibly, Murali’s performance happened just under a month before Rashid was born.
Rashid’s performance and incredible workload was quickly celebrated on social media.
Zimbabwe won the first Test — also in Abu Dhabi — by ten wickets. The two teams now play a three-match Twenty20 international series on the same venue from March 17.
Rashid, whose previous best of 6-49 came against Bangladesh at Chattogram in 2019, finished the match with figures of 11-275, his second ten wicket haul in five Tests.
The drawn two-match series now means Zimbabwe hasn’t won a series since beating Bangladesh at home in 2004.
— with AFP