Bowling for Nangarhar Leopards in the Afghanistan Premier League, Mujeeb Ur Rahman took a T20 career-best 4/16 against Kandahar Knights on Saturday at Sharjah and then scored a T20 highest of 16* with the bat but his efforts were not enough as his team sunk to a 26-run loss.
Deciding to bat first, Nangarhar were hit immediately as they lost Paul Stirling in second over, Mujeeb taking the honours off just the second ball as he found the Irishman's stumps. Mujeeb struck again in his second over, and the innings' fourth, when he sent back the other opener, Karim Sadiq caught by wicketkeeper Shafiqullah.
Two balls later, the dangerous Brendon McCullum fell to Mujeeb's guile, keeper Shafiqullah coming into play again. Kandahar were 16/3 at the end of the fourth over with the teen sensation's first spell reading an astonishing 2-0-3-2.
Tottering at 27/5, Kandahar then forged a cautious 41-run partnership between Riki Wessels and Najibullah Zadran. The latter fell first, and then Mujeeb came in and got Wessels in his final over, where he conceded three runs. The 17-year-old Kings XI Punjab spinner ended up with 4/16 from his quota of four overs, his best figures in T20 cricket.
Kandahar were 75/8 at one stage before an unbeaten 61-run stand between Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad took their score to 136/8. That proved to be more than enough as Nangarhar were bundled out for 110 in the final over.
Coming in at number 10, KXIP star Mujeeb scored a run-a-ball unbeaten 16 helped by a four and his first T20 six to register his highest score in any form of cricket. The only consolation was that Mujeeb was adjudged as the Stylish Player of the Day for his efforts.
SIX! Is there a twist in the tale? Mujeeb ur Rahman hits it clean and gets the elevation right on that one.— Cricingif (@_cricingif) October 13, 2018
Ball-by-ball clips and live-streaming: https://t.co/k7vXsB4Cb3 #APLT20 pic.twitter.com/nea5wQ1ClB
In the six matches in the Afghanistan Premier League so far, Mujeeb has picked up 11 wickets at an average of 15.63 at an economy rate of 7.47 runs per over.