Young pacer Mohammad Saifuddin seemed to have come of age and if yesterday's game was any indication, managed to exorcise the ghost of being struck for five sixes in an over by South Africa's David Miller in 2017, which led to him losing his place in the Bangladesh team.
Yesterday, the 22-year-old Comilla Victorians pacer successfully restricted another hard hitter in Andre Russell in the Bangladesh Premier League when Dhaka Dynamites required 13 run to win in the final over.
Player-of-the-match Saifuddin ended up with figures of four for 22 from his four overs. The right-arm seamer displayed the skill of bowling yorkers and cutters to restrict Dhaka to 126 for nine and clinch a dramatic one-run win.
Saifuddin's calm under pressure came through when, needing 12 off two balls, Russell hit a six over long on but Saifuddin responded with an inch-perfect yorker that Russell just managed to inside-edge to the fine leg fence for four.
The confident youngster, however, was annoyed when asked whether those Miller sixes were at the back of his mind when he came on to bowl the last over.
“I don't know why, but whenever I come to a press conference you always ask me about Miller. In cricket what is gone is gone, so there is no point holding on it.
“I have managed to prove myself today [Friday] and hopefully in similar conditions I will do the same in the future. Comilla Victorians gives me priority [in the death overs] and I try to repay the team by performing well. I enjoy bowling under pressure situations," Saifuddin told reporters yesterday.
Growing in confidence, the cricketer from Feni said that he was no longer willing to be just an average cricketer and was looking forward to becoming extraordinary.
"For those of us who are international cricketers, or stars, there is no value in being average. You have to perform extraordinarily compared to the others. The World Cup is knocking on the door and naturally my target is to do something different from the norm since holding on to a place in the national side is a very challenging job. From the start of the BPL, I had the urge to do something so that I can be in everyone's focus,” Saifuddin, with 17 wickets from 11 BPL games, added.
The youngster gave credit to Tamim Iqbal for giving him courage, and said that he was also inspired by Mustafizur Rahman who has displayed great death-overs bowling in the BPL.
“The biggest thing is that Mustafizur won a match against Rangpur [Riders] that day and he is the same age as me, so I felt that if he could do it, why not me? I kept that in mind while bowling and was able to get success."