Saturday Sep 16, 2017
LAHORE: Opener Ahmed Shehzad said he felt relieved that he had regained the trust of his teammates and coaching staff with his destructive 89 off 55 balls that propelled Pakistan to victory in the third and final T20 of the Independence Cup.
Shehzad said he played the match with a special plan to stay longer at the crease to hunt runs and help build partnerships, and he was delighted to play his part in the team’s success against World XI.
"I made a commitment to myself to score maximum number of runs in today’s match and it was good to see that my plan worked out well and I played a fine knock and also got the support of fellow colleagues to produce partnerships to consolidate the total," he said in his post-match comments after getting Man of the Match award for his innings which helped the team to beat World XI by 33 runs.
The opener said he was happy to have played a good innings which helped him to get back the trust of his coach and the team members.
"They (coach and the team members) supported me in my thick and thin and I am thankful to them for their trust in me," he said.
The 25-year-old said Pakistan’s victory will further boost cricket in Pakistan.
"It is a young team which is putting up a good performance and I am happy to be a part of its achievement of winning the series," he said.
Shehzad expressed gratitude for the World XI for visiting Pakistan and bringing back international cricket here.
He also thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board and the law-enforcing agencies for making the tour of World XI a success.
"We are confident that other teams will also visit Pakistan in near future to supplement the efforts of PCB for having international cricket in Pakistan," said the opener.
To a question, he said he will put in more hard work to lift the level of his game to be a useful part of the Pakistan team.
"Today’s win was the victory of Pakistan cricket and it was possible due to the collective efforts of our team and our nation," he said.
The victorious skipper Sarfraz Ahmed attributed the historic series win against World XI to team efforts.
"All the players worked really hard and led the team to title victory in the three-match series, which is a big achievement on part of this young side," he said in his post-match comments after Pakistan beat the World XI 2-1 here on Friday night at the Gaddafi Stadium.
"I am very thrilled and delighted that we won in front of our crowd on our ground and this success has marked the return of international cricket in Pakistan," said a visibly joyous Sarfraz.
He praised the superb batting of Shehzad and opener Fakhar Zaman for leading the team to a decent total which the opposition failed to chase.
The skipper said a visible improvement has been seen in players’ fitness and fielding, which was evident from the fact that five players of the World XI were run out.
"The credit of this positive change goes to our coaching and training staff, especially our coach Mickey Arthur and we are thankful to him for making our team balanced in all departments of the game," Sarfraz said.
He also thanked the World XI for visiting and the Pakistan Cricket Board for arranging the tour, and the security forces for ensuring top security during the tour.