Muzarabani dazzles in PSL ahead of IPL auction

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Blessing Muzarabani

The only Zimbabwe cricketer shortlisted on the list of 590 players ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction scheduled for this Saturday, is creating ripples in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani is certainly attracting the attention of IPL franchises after producing a match-winning performance for defending champions Multan Sultans. If Muzarabani gets picked in the mega auction, he will become only fourth Zimbabwe player to feature in the IPL.

The tall fast bowler took three wickets and conceded just 18 runs in his four overs as Multan Sultans stretched their winning streak in the PSL to six games in a row with a commanding 42-run win over Peshawar Zalmi on Thursday.

 

Defending champion Multan won all their five games in the Karachi leg of the tournament and put up another scintillating performance in the opening match of the Lahore leg against Peshawar to all but seal a place in the playoffs.

Muzarabani derailed Peshawar Zalmi’s run chase of 183 in his first over himself by getting the wickets of openers Kamran Akmal and Haider Ali.

The 25-year-old speedster bowled economically in the powerplay overs and then returned to take the wicket of Sherfane Rutherford. As a result, Peshawar Zalmi could manage to score 140 in 19.3 overs and lost the match by a big margin of 42 runs.

This was Muzarabani’s second match of the season. In the first game, he went for 34 runs in a high-scoring encounter but got a wicket in slog overs. Muzarabani has a bowling average just above 26 and an economy rate below eight runs per over. His raw pace and bounce can make him a tough fast bowler to negotiate.

The Harare-born pacer has a base price of 50 lakh, which translates to over US$66 000, ahead of his first auction for arguably the biggest professional men’s Twenty20 cricket league.

If picked, he will join the likes of Tatenda Taibu, Ray Price and Brendan Taylor. While Taibu was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the inaugural edition, Price played just one game for the fan-favourite franchise. Taylor was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in 2015 but never got to play a single match.

The young pacer has also had a stint with English county side Northamptonshire. He has been a regular for Zimbabwe across formats with 83 international wickets to his name already.

His best bowling performance came against Pakistan in an ODI in Rawalpindi. He took a five-wicket haul to wreck Pakistan’s batting lineup and took two wickets in the penultimate over including Babar Azam who was batting on 125. His spell helped the game end in a tie followed by Zimbabwe winning the super over.

 

 

 

 

 

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