Afghan fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq hit the headlines again in the Indian Premier League.

Was it for the right reasons?

Well, first thing first — Naveen was the only Lucknow Super Giants player that made the right moves in a match that saw his team slump to an embarrassing 81-run defeat to the Mumbai Indians.

Naveen took four wickets in the match, including the big ones of Rohit Sharma, Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav to help Lucknow restrict Mumbai to 182 for eight.

But his bowling heroics were not enough as Mumbai's Akash Madhwal (5/5) bowled the spell of his life to restrict Lucknow to 101 all out.

The demoralising defeat ended Lucknow's campaign in the tournament.

But fans didn't waste the opportunity to troll Naveen who had an ugly verbal spat with Virat Kohli during a league match between Lucknow and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Even Gautam Gambhir, the Lucknow Super Giants team mentor, was involved in a heated post-match argument with Kohli following the RCB star's on-field spat with Naveen.

The rookie bowler had since been trolling Kohli on social media with cryptic messages

The 23-year-old bowler teased Kohli after the former Indian captain missed out on big scores in the 12th and 13th matches for the RCB.

He shared a picture of mangoes on Instagram after Kohli's dismissal for just one run against Mumbai Indians with the caption: 'sweet mangoes'.

Kohli then hit a brilliant hundred in the last league game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad to keep RCB's playoff hopes alive.

But despite Kohli's second-straight hundred in the last league game against the Gujarat Titans, RCB suffered a six-wicket defeat and bowed out of the tournament.

As soon as that match ended, Naveen took a sly dig again at Kohli on Instagram with a funny video.

The fans, though, have hit back at the Afghan star after his team, Lucknow, was knocked out of the competition on Wednesday night.

Twitteritis have slammed Naveen for still holding a grudge against the former Indian captain.

"Karma will always hit you back, Naveen Ul haq and Gautam Gambhir," one fan tweeted.

"Virat Kohli's last IPL match score: 101. LSG total : 101. Have those sweet mangoes."

During the match against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, fans at the stadium in Chennai even chanted Kohli's name every time Naveen was placed in the deep boundary as a fielder.

The fans also chanted Kohli's name when Naveen came on to bowl.

But that didn't seem to affect the bowler as he delivered an outstanding spell against the Mumbai Indians.

"I enjoy it. I like everyone on the ground chanting his (Virat Kohli) name or any other player's name. It gives me the passion to play well for my team," said Naveen, who bamboozled three of the best Mumbai Indians batters on Wednesday night despite the crowd turning against him.

But with Afghanistan scheduled to face host India in the 50 overs World Cup later this year, Naveen can expect a hostile reception from the Indian crowd when he bowls against Kohli.

It will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure and bowls to one of the best batsmen the game has ever seen.


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Rituraj Borkakoty