“He’s someone I have a lot of time for – someone that I believe has a lot of talent,” Bravo says of Khan
Ali Khan paid homage to long-term mentor Dwayne Bravo, who was equally chuffed with the USA seamer’s latest T10 League heroics that saw Khan take three wickets in just five balls. But Khan would be be denied the chance of a hat-trick, thanks to a deep finger cut on his bowling hand that put the leading wicket-taker in doubt for the remainder of the competition.
Khan was unable to finish his over thanks to the cut that came from his diving catch that removed dangerman Tom Kohler-Cadmore, but had already done enough to claim Man-of-the-Match honours with his figures of 3 for 0 in 0.5 overs that restricted the Pune Devils to just 57 for 7 from their ten overs.
Even with his fourth finger busted open, the 30-year-old removed Alex Davies with his first ball before bowling two dots that preceded the wickets of Nasir Hossain and Karan KC in immediate succession. After his 2 for 4 against the Gladiators the previous day, it secured a second Man-of-the-Match award in less than 24 hours for the Delhi Bulls quick. Khan said the support of Bravo has been a key factor in his excellent form with the ball.
“It’s a really nice setup. DJ Bravo is a really good captain, a leader both on and off the field and gives you a lot of confidence,” Khan said. “Especially in T10, [because] you can go for a lot of runs. He’s always the kind of leader who comes back and backs you and keeps you confident and gets you ready for the next ball.”
Bravo has played an important role in Khan’s ascent as a cricketer. It was the West Indies all-rounder who had plucked Khan from a US Open T20 tournament in 2017, and has since taken the pacer with him to the Global T20 in Canada as well as the Caribbean Premier League.
That led to Khan being selected for the first time at the last edition of the Indian Premier League, and these milestones in Khan’s career – as well as performances such as those over the past two days – give Bravo an enormous sense of pride.
“He’s someone I have a lot of time for – someone that I believe has a lot of talent and to see the way he bowled today with a lot of pace and aggression to pick up wickets, he’s very good for our team,” Bravo said.
“He’s someone who’s special to me, because I saw him in the US playing and I invited him to play for my team in Trinidad and since then, he’s done very well. Every time he does good, I feel good.”
Khan now has seven wickets from just less than eight overs in the Abu Dhabi T10, with strike rate of just 6.7 and would be a big miss for the Bulls should he not return for the remainder of the tournament. He was also denied a historic IPL debut with the Kolkata Knight Riders, as a side strain ultimately ended his time with the franchise and resulted in his release when the retention lists were drawn up last month.
Khan will be hoping that his T10 exploits don’t end in the same disappointment, and fortunately for both the player and his Super League leading team, they are guaranteed a spot in Friday’s set of knockouts with a game to go. It means they may have just enough time to get Khan sewn up and back into their attack by the weekend.
“We’re going to get stitches now, so let’s see how it feels by tomorrow,” Khan said. “If it needs to be rested because we’re in a good position, we have that luxury of having getting a rest. So we’ll see how it comes out in the next couple of days and if I can be ready for the playoffs.”