HomeCricketRemember the name: Sherfane Rutherford

Remember the name: Sherfane Rutherford

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Sherfane Rutherford might be the main talking point in the world of the T20 batting at the moment, but that was hardly the case if you think about what happened a little over a month ago. 

When Sherfane Rutherford was picked in the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League, he’d have certainly hoped to create some impact in the beating heart of the sub-continent. 

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For no cricketer merely desires being picked; he wishes to feature in a playing eleven and leave an exciting mark behind. 

And yet, here was Sherfane Rutherford, warming the benches wherever his Kolkata Knight Riders went and played. The left hander wasn’t played a single game. Not even one in the recent IPL season!  

As a matter of fact, so rare was the public sighting of the impactful left hander that maybe one can’t recall a proper camera shot with him occupying the central frame. 

But true to the changing vagaries of this format of cricket, things changed for the better (for Rutherford) soon after the IPL ended.  

A few hours ago, it was very the man who had got limited batting time in T20’s prior to this World Cup who single handedly saved a team that was nearly done and dusted against the BlackCaps. 

Playing a lone hand, it was none other than the understated Sherfane Rutherford himself who dragged his body through the drudge, rather importantly at a time when the Kiwis were inflicting body blows on his West Indies. 

A loss here to New Zealand would’ve neared the West Indies to the edge of paranoia and closer to hinges of permutations and combinations in a bid to contest for the Super 8’s. 

That’s precisely when Rutherford stood between a staggering batting collapse and a near certain BlackCaps win to turn the tide in the West Indies’s favour. 

He did that in an emphatic fashion.

While it is often remarked that no man can alone steady a troubled ship to the shores of safety in the great game of cricket, it seemed that Sherfane Rutherford was determined to prove just the opposite. 

He used sheer will power and mental toughness to achieve a positive result for Windies, but against the odds. 

But then a key question must be asked. 

In the light of the thoughtless batting demonstrated by the West Indian top and middle order against the Kiwis, did Sherfane Rutherford have any other choice? 

Eight in ten would concur maybe not!

They say, you understand the true worth of an inning once you examine the circumstances in which it is stroked. 

To that end, there’s no end to the importance of the knock played by the Guyanese batter for the Windies. 

Lest it is forgotten, Sherfane Rutherford arrived at the crease with the scoreboard tottering at 22 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. At best, the West Indian innings was crumbing. The collapse was evident. The defeat, but a matter of time unless someone broke through with a magic spell! 

Just how much difference would a number 6 with an experience of no more than 14 T20I’s bring about, one wondered? 

But that is when Rutherford changed the complexion of the game amid much complexity. 

It surely must not have been easy to see his captain depart for a single digit score seconds before his own arrival into  the middle.

While he saw a brief moment of recovery when Andre Russell exploded in a single over mounting an assault on Lockie Ferguson, the bulwark of the repair-work still had to be carried out. 

Someone still had to step up. And Sherfane Rutherford didn’t disappoint. 

Taking his chances by stepping down to the spinners and attacking the short ball, whether bowled towards the off side or strapped towards the legs, Rutherford seemed ready for the challenge. 

Source- Windies Cricket Twitter/ X handle 

Losing partners one after another, Rutherford replied worthily by way of fours and sixes carving on his own 37 precious runs off the last 12. 

Assisted briefly by Alzarri Joseph first and then, by Gudakesh Motie, both of whom did well to stay put, the latter half of the West Indian innings was pretty much Rutherford vs the BlackCaps. 

One thumping strokes among the many executed by the leftie was the six off Santner; despite the ball pitched just marginally short, he would put tremendous muscle power into it by lifting it over the square leg fence.  

But that wasn’t all; Rutherford crunched not one or two but three big sixes off Daryl Mitchell, amassing 19 runs from a single over that perhaps put some sort of impetus to the West Indian inning. 

The central highlight of Rutherford’s effort was the enormity of grit shown in the face of overwhelming odds.  

In the final over of the Windies innings, Rutherford carved Santner, tasked with containing the flow of runs, to a belligerent four over extra cover.  

After that he would take a couple, soon after which he prodded a flighted delivery over long on for a towering six. 

Quite frankly, there have been several half centuries thst one has seen from the bat of a West Indian in the T20 World Cup contests. But, if there was one particularly effective fifty since maybe Marlon Samuel’s game changing act at Sri Lanka in 2012, then this was it. You need to look no further. 

For the pressure that he was up against and for all that mattered, a loss here meaning Windies would’ve found themselves under much pressure, Rutherford didn’t just score a personal milestone; he dug deep to discover a blossoming lotus amid the contamination of poor scores around. 

But must he remember that this is just the start. There’s so much more he can offer.  

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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