by Khalid Bashir Gura
SRINAGAR: The fans of Sunrisers Hyderabad may have been disappointed when the opener Bairstow was dismissed by Rabada on the fifth ball of the seventeenth over but for the people of J&K eureka moment came in as at number five, J&K’s Abdul Samad walked into the ground. The J&K star was coming off a breakout the domestic season during which he scored two Ranji Trophy centuries.
J&K’s right-handed batsman Abdul Samad came to the crease. It was a huge moment for young Samad who is known for his power-hitting prowess. A moment had come for the boy to realize his dreams and showcase his abilities as his team Sunrisers Hyderabad desperately needed a power-hitter down the order.
The very first ball Abdul Samad had to face was of the fast bowler Nortje. It was after 18.1 overs that he got to face the first ball. The captain of the 2019 New Zealand world cup match, Williamson was his partner on the other side. The ball was full and straight and Samad slogged but got it off the inside half towards mid-wicket.
Samad’s IPL career is off and he is running for the first run.
The next ball he faced without scoring a run. It was there in the slot but Samad who was a fraction late due to Nortje’s extra pace failed to connect.
The next ball had relief in store for the debutant. The ball got top-edge and went straight to the fence. Four! It was an attempted swipe across the line by Samad but young Samad was again late. The ball sliced over the wicketkeeper, very fine down to third man fence.
And then the moment came when the jittery fans had a moment of euphoria! The fists were banged and high fives were shared. ( Though not on the ground were automated crowd on speakers cheered for him as stands were empty due to Covid-19 protocol.)
Abdul Samad got hold of the last ball of the 19th over. He displayed his first signs of abilities by hitting Six. The balll was in the slot and he pounced on it and pumped it high over the wide long-on. It went high, high and high and landed in empty stands.
His teammates applauded as he helped them inch towards victory.
The six set the standard as doing against a bowler of Nortje’s pace shows that the boy from J&K has a talent for sure said the commentator.
As his team; Sunrises Hyderabad won the match, Abdul Samad, 18, who belongs to Kala Kot of Jammu and Kashmir remained not out. He faced seven balls and scored 12 runs in his Debut match with a strike rate of 171. 43.
The delirious English commentator put it on television: “Has he got it? The youngster from Kashmir has got hold of it and it has got back to Kashmir. Booom!”
Earlier, SRH had handed a debut to Jammu and Kashmir’s 18-year-old all-rounder Abdul Samad against the Delhi Capitals. He became the third cricketer from the valley to play in the Indian Premier League.
Hyderabad had made two changes in the playing eleven, Kane Williamson made his way back into the team by replacing Mohammed Nabi and Abdul Samad replaced Wriddhiman Saha.
Samad caught the eyes of former Indian pace bowler Irfan Pathan when he was playing at a camp organised for the state Ranji Trophy team. Pathan saw how this youngster was playing way better than other experienced players. Samad made his Twenty20 debut for Jammu & Kashmir in the 2018–19 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in February 2019 and that was followed by his List A and First-Class debut in the same year.
Samad scored a whopping 592 runs including 36 sixes he hit – the most by anyone in the season – that eventually led to J&K making it to the quarter-finals of the Ranji Trophy
Manzoor Dar, Rasikh Salam and Parvez Rasool are the other three cricketers from Jammu and Kashmir to have been a part of the Indian Premier League. While Salam got a game of Mumbai Indians, Rasool was a regular feature of the Pune Warriors India franchise. Dar, part of KXIP, never got a game.
The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah took to Twitter and expressed elation at Abdul Samad’s debut. “So good to see another youngster from J&K get his IPL cap. #AbdulSamad got his @SunRisers cap this evening. Here’s hoping his career goes from strength to strength,” tweeted the tech-savvy Omar.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 29, 2020
Expressing good wishes and prayers for the Abdul Samad, PDP youth president, Waheed Ur Rehman Parra also took to Twitter and wrote: “Promising player, passionate about the game and a hard worker. Our best wishes! Rise and shine.”
Promising player, passionate about the game and a hard worker. Our best wishes! Rise and shine. https://t.co/1m9EI8O6tv
— Waheed Ur Rehman (@parawahid) September 29, 2020