IPL 9: Sarfaraz Khan's mom defies illness to watch him bat for first time in Wankhede
Sarfaraz Khan made his way to the wicket as soon as his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Shane Watson fell for five.
RCB batsman Sarfaraz Khan plays a shot on the leg-side as wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel looks on during the IPL match against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday
Chants of 'Sar-fa-raz Sar-fa-raz' went up from the 30-odd supporters of the young Mumbai-born boy. Thanks to Sarfaraz, who managed to get four AC box tickets, his mother could make it for the match despite having an upset stomach and fever. His brother Moeen and rest of his relatives and friends were spread across in the MCA Pavilion and Divecha Pavilion. This was the first time his family and well-wishers were seeing Sarfaraz bat in an IPL match.
In last year's Mumbai Indians against RCB game on May 10, he did not get a chance to bat, thanks to the AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli show. Wearing Sarfaraz's last season RCB jersey, his supporters were armed with banners and posters of the young batting sensation. Sarfaraz ensured his supporters did not go back disappointed, striking an 18-ball 28.
They couldn't have asked for a better start when the ball raced off Sarfaraz's willow after he used the pace off Jasprit Bumrah's third consecutive short ball behind the wicketkeeper to the fence. Brother Moeen was pumped up and punched his fist in the air. Sarfaraz's uncle was seen running with a Sarfaraz banner from one end of the MCA Pavilion to the other, chanting 'Sar-fa-raz Sar-fa-raz'.
The boy in the middle looked more cautious after the strategic timeout post the 13th over. RCB skipper Virat Kohli, who was still with his pads on, was seen giving Sarfaraz some advice, probably to stay at the wicket till the end. Sarfaraz's supporters cheered for everything they could. The four and a six in the penultimate over off Mitchell McClenaghan made his well-wishers go berserk.
Sarfaraz on fire
The six on the third ball off Bumrah through midwicket was a sheer work of power Sarfaraz possess. However, the trick to send the third man back on the boundary line paid off for Bumrah as Sarfaraz provided an easy catch to Krunal Pandya while trying to scoop it over the short fine leg fielder. Sarfaraz appeared gutted on the long walk back to the pavilion, and so were his supporters.
Sarfaraz's father Naushad, who is also his first coach, was delighted with his son's performance nevertheless. "He played well and according to the situation. It was good to see him accelerate towards the end," he said.