Former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag feels that Afghanistan player Najibullah Zadran will get an IPL contract very soon.
On a day when his teammates were struggling to fetch runs on a sluggish track of Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan’s middle-order batter Najibullah scored 73 off 48 balls to power his team’s score to 124/8 against New Zealand.
Najibullah Zadran scored 73 in a do or die match against New Zealand
Afghanistan were in a must win situation to stay alive in the tournament but New Zealand pacers reduced them to 19/3 inside the Powerplay.
Najibullah handled the New Zealand spinners very cleverly with least risk and tonked Mitchell Santner for a couple of sixes in the 14th over.
Najibullah also stood tall against Tim Southee as he smashed the lanky pacer for a six and four in the 18th over.
The left-handed batsman forged a 59-run stand with his skipper Mohammad Nabi before the latter was caught and bowled by Southee.
Couple of balls after Nabi’s dismissal, Najibullah too joined him back in the dugout as he attempted to slog Trent Boult but a brilliant diving catch ended his gritty knock.
Najibullah Zadran can handle spin and pace with equal ease: Virender Sehwag
Najibulllah struck six fours and three sixes during his course of innings and Sehwag said that he was battling on a different pitch.
“I have seen him in T10 league. He can handle spin and pace with equal ease and I think an IPL contract isn’t far away,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
“It looked like he was batting on a different pitch. He negotiated the spin duo of Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner well. And even in James Neesham’s first over, he smashed a couple of boundaries,” he added.
New Zealand lead by Kane Williamson (40*) and with the support of Devon Conway (36*) clinched the game by eight wickets to jointly eliminate Afghanistan and India out of the semi-final race in the tournament.
The Black Caps will face England in the first semi-final clash while Pakistan, leaders of Group 2, meet Australia in the second semi-final.