Thursday Oct 28, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricketers Haris Rauf and Asif Ali were thrilled to have contributed to the national squad's win against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup, saying that their plans worked.
After Rauf received his first man-of-the-match award in international cricket by picking up 4-22, he said he always wanted to play a match-winning role in Pakistan’s success.
In a video interview Wednesday, the pacer said he "achieved his dream performance" by playing a decisive role in the team’s victory.
“This is my first man-of-the-match award and I am happy that it has come at a time when we really required this victory. It has always been my desire to help the team win matches. The win came against a team we wanted to defeat," The News quoted Rauf as saying.
He also complimented his new-ball partner Shaheen Shah Afridi for playing a match-winning role against India.
“He [Shaheen Sha Afridi] was there on the mark against India by putting up a decisive show and I am lucky to have got the chance to play a match-winning role here against New Zealand. Every bowler in the team is trying to put up his best effort to win matches for the team,” he said.
“Even when New Zealand batsmen tried to open up, my effort was not to allow them easy runs. At the same time, I succeeded in taking wickets which helped the side restrict Kiwis to a low total,” he said, commenting on his priorities during the all-important match against New Zealand Tuesday.
Asif, meanwhile, believed the win against New Zealand was more important now considering what had happened in the recent past.
“I always wanted to play a part in the team’s success against India or New Zealand in what happened in the recent past. Thank God I succeeded in hitting timely sixes, helping my team win against New Zealand,” he said, praising former captain Shoaib Malik’s understanding of the situation.
“When I reached the wicket, my senior partner Malik told me to play straight. Instead of hitting cross-bat sixes, he told me to go for straight hits and that is exactly what I did. I managed to play straight and, in the process succeeded in hitting three straight sixes to bring the run rate down to a manageable level.”
Asif said Malik told him it was his [Asif Ali's] day and he must follow the advice to play straight.
“That was what I had in mind. Kiwis bowlers were trying to bowl slow but I was up to the task by managing to play the innings I wanted to play in the given situation.”
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