Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mujeeb Ur Rahman of Bengal Tigers bowls against Punjabi Legends at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah. Afghanistan’s 17-year-old off spinner Mujeeb Ur Rehman, who emerged as the man of the match in Bengal Tigers’s six-wicket win over Punjabi Legends, wants to remain a mystery bowler.

Speaking to Gulf News after Bengal showed their might with their spinners and restricting Legends to 77 for 9, which is the lowest total in T10 League, Rehman said: “I enjoy bowling in the power play because it is a challenge.”

Rehman had learnt the art of how to bowl during power play only recently. “I learnt on what to do and where to bowl during power play while playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Through hard work I am mastering this art,” said Rehman, who was picked by Kings XI Punjab for the IPL 2018 for a whopping $630,000.

Rehman can bowl not only off spin with accuracy and variation but also mix it up with leg spin and even produce googlies. “I am working hard to remain a mystery bowler to all batsmen. I want to come out with more tricks in the coming future,” he added.

Rehman, who took two early wickets to push Legends to a bad start, was well supported by West Indies’ off spinner Sunil Narine, who is also known as another mystery spinner. Narine took two quick wickets along with experienced Afghanistan spinner Mohammad Nabi who also took one wicket.

Team mentor Anis Sajan, who was instrumental in shaping the team’s bowling attack with spinners, is delighted that his spinners are showing that they are a power in a format known to be as a batsman’s format. “In two matches we have got opponents out of below 100. I believe that the power of spin is very important, be it Test cricket or One-day and most important in the shorter formats because when you start with a spinner (Rehman) in the power play the batsman is not sure how to go about it. When we have a spinners like Mujeeb Ur Rehman and Sunil Narine, it is much more fickle as the batsmen would not have the time to adjust and that is why good spinners are able to maintain their consistency and pick wickets on regular basis.”

Bengal is also benefiting heavily from their coach and legendary former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming. Chasing the small target, Bengal reached the target with 24 balls to spare through their opener Jason Roy, who hit 43 runs. Luke Wright too chipped in with 23 runs.

Sajan feels that the professional approach of the team management can lift the players to greater heights. “The drills by Bradley Staddon, the assistant coach and his subordinate Clinton Berkenshaw following the instruction from Fleming have been brilliant. Our physiotherapist John Gloster is taking care of every niggle in our players. The commitment of the coaches and players have been excellent and that is showing in the results,” he said.

Brief scores: Bengal Tigers bt Punjabi Legends by six wickets. Punjabi Legends 77 for 9 in 10 overs (Luke Ronchi 23, Mujeeb Ur Rehman 2 for 11, Sunil Narine 2 for 11) Bengal Tiger 80 for 4 in 6 overs (Jason Roy 43, Luke Wright 23) Man of the match: Mujeeb Ur Rehman.