Gaming

Ashwin’s tweet on Afghanistan star Gulbadin Naib may pinch all 10 IPL franchise | Cricket

Two battle-harden warriors Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib were Afghanistan’s most impact batters in the recently-concluded T20I series against India which the hosts won 3-0. While pretty much all the Afghan batters struggled to put the Indian bowlers under pressure, Nabi and Gulbadin were hitting boundaries at will. Even in the third T20I in Bengaluru, It was the blistering 56-run stand for the fourth wicket in just 22 balls between Nabi and Gulbadin that brought Afghanistan back into the stiff 213-run chase. Nabi was out for 34 off 16 balls but Gulbadin (55* off 23) carried on till the very last ball and took the match to the Super Over.

Afghanistan’s Gulbadin Naib plays a shot during the 3rd T20I against India, at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru(Afghanistan Cricket Board-X)

So good was the experienced right-hander with the bat that he was a tad disappointed in not finishing off the match. But because Afghanistan needed 19 to win it off the last six balls, it was a gallant effort to get 18. And it was possible because of the six and the four Gulbadin hit in the final over.

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He celebrated his 100th T20I with four sixes and four boundaries. And this sparkling innings on Wednesday came after he had smashed 57 in the second match in Indore off just 35 balls.

Bowled over by Nabi’s exploits against India, Ravichandran Ashwin took an indirect dig at the IPL franchise owners. The veteran India all-rounder said Gulbadin has portrayed himself as a finisher and all he needs now is for any of the 10 franchises to give him a chance. “Gulbadin Naib says “notice me please, will you”?? I am a finisher from Asia with a base price of 50 L . Fantastic batting to get this game to a super over,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Gulbadin, who led Afghanistan in the 2019 ODI World Cup, went unsold in the IPL mini auction held in December last year.

In the Super Over, Gulbadin was run out off the first ball but it was Nabi who smashed an all-important six off Mukesh Kumar’s penultimate delivery and then ran two controversial byes off the last ball to pull Afghanistan’s total to 16.

India too got 16 and the match went into another Super Over – the first time in any match in international cricket – where India got 11 but Afghanistan could only manage 1 after Ravi Bishnoi got two wickets including that of Nabi in three balls. India won the match and the series 3-0.

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