LAHORE: After the Lahore Qalandar’s phenomenal Pakistan Super League (PSL) victory against the Multan Sultans, skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi declared his team’s consecutive win as a fantastic achievement and result of great team work.
“We kept our nerves and finally won,” Shaheen said, commenting after the Qalandars’ win late Saturday night.
In a nerve-wracking PSL final, the Afridi-led side became the first to successfully defend their title and take the trophy home after beating Sultans by one run at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
Shaheen said that final turned out to be very interesting, as both the teams fought well and were confident of victory.
“Multan played quite well but as David Wiese gave an early breakthrough, Rashid responded at the right moment,” Afridi said and spoke about his intention to always perform for his team in difficult times which happened to be during the tournament’s final match.
The skipper added that he hit perfect shots when his team required the most and later kept the right length to get wickets.
He further credited his parents and their prayers for his match performance, and acknowledged the team management’s support.
“We got off to a good start. But there are always turning points. We had many options with the ball – 8 or 9 options,” Shaheen said.
He also gave credit to Zaman Khan for keeping his nerves under pressure.
“Credit to Zaman for the way he finished it off. Message to the team was that one wicket would bring us back,” he said.
Meanwhile, the losing team captain Mohammad Rizwan said that they planned to maintain the run-rate right from the start and were successful in their planning but Rashid Khan brought Qalandars back in the game.
“Rashid Khan took the match away with two wickets. We were still in the game by the 19th over. Khushdil and Abbas did a magnificent job but winning and losing is part of the game,” he added.
“The way we were going it looked like we would get there easily. But their bowling did exactly what they are known for. It’s cricket, it happens,” he said.
Qalandars’ fast bowler Zaman Khan said that his “heart was pounding in the last over”.
“My captain gave me a lot of confidence and he told me to try my best and don’t fear failure. I knew batters are anticipating yorkers so I bowled a few slower ones as well. Credit goes to our management who give us free hand and back us to give our 100 percent on the field,” said Zaman.