New Delhi: Yes, wrist spinners are the order of the day and of course T20, but they come with a warning. The warning says handle them at your own peril. They will get you wickets but on their off days, they can concede truckloads of runs to give the opposition the upper hand. For SRH, Rashid Khan experienced one such day on Thursday evening. The Afghan spinner was taken to the cleaners by Chris Gayle and ended his spell with forgettable figures of 4-0-55-1.
Before this game, SRH rode on Rashid's brilliant bowling and restricted every opposition under 150. In a way, the spinners had an off-day in Mohali as the ball rarely broke off the wicket and they were forced to do something extra. That extra landed a touch fuller and in the arc of Gayle. He showed no mercy and kept bludgeoning them for sixes. Shakib too gave away 28 in 2 overs, a bowler who was keeping batsmen guessing with his variation in pace.
Though Rashid got a chance to get Gayle on the first ball of his spell when a bottom edge was fluffed by Wriddhiman Saha. After that, Rashid was all over the place. Compared to his previous games, his length troubled him more than anything. He had been hitting the in-between length with aplomb and that is the length where his variations become even more dangerous. But on Thursday, more often than not, he overpitched. No matter what the variation, whenever it landed in Gayle's territory, it was clubbed over his head for huge hits.
Having bowled a brilliant second over getting KL Rahul, Rashid simply couldn't replicate the effort in his next two overs. The 14th over was plundered by Gayle, who hit him for 27 runs including 4 sixes. Then he was brought in the last over against a rusty Aaron Finch. But over after over, his length was getting fuller and helped Finch to get out of his slump, who thumped the leggie for two sixes. Had Rashid operated in his trademark fashion, SRH could have stopped KXIP well under 170 owing to the way they had started. But it was simply not their day and more importantly a nightmarish for Rashid.