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AFP
June 25, 2019

Match-winner Haris likes to keep things simple

Sports

AFP
June 25, 2019

LONDON: He was the man of the moment. Just when Pakistan were looking for something special, Haris Sohail came out with what will go down as one of the best World Cup knocks by a Pakistani batsman, writes Khalid Hussain.

But after his match-winning 89 from just 59 balls in the must-win game against South Africa, Haris was as down to earth as he has always been. The fact that he won the match after being forced to be confined the bench for three key World Cup games makes his heroics even more remarkable.

But using his own words, Haris is a ‘simple’ man. He took the team management’s snub in his stride and wasn’t talking big even after winning the crucial match for Pakistan. “It was tough (to be not part of the team),” said Haris when asked how he felt during the time he was out of the team as Pakistan, for some odd reason, continued to favour the misfiring Shoaib Malik.

Was he frustrated? “I had performed well (in the lead up to the World Cup.) But they were looking for the right combination. But no, I wasn’t frustrated.”

Haris was in spectacular form on Sunday as he played a whirlwind innings, quite out of character. So was it planned, all the fours and sixes? Haris said that he played according to the demands of the situation.

“Normally I bat at one down or number four. This time it was a different situation. I was backing myself. Babar (Azam) and I had decided to take the innings as far as we could.” Asked whether he has done something different to reinvent himself in order to be more effective in limited-overs cricket, Haris said. “I’m a simple man. I back myself. I try to keep things simple. I will continue doing that in the coming games.”

Haris believes that the Lord’s wicket wasn’t an easy one to bat on. “It wasn’t an easy to bat on this wicket. The ball wasn’t coming on to the bat. So it was a bit tough in the beginning. But after Babar and I had a fifty partnership we tried go beyond that, knowing that the other batsmen will do the big-hitting later on.

“Our target was 280, 290 but thankfully we get past 300.” Haris believes all the hard work he and his team have been putting in is finally paying off. “It was a very important win for us today. We were really hurting after (what happened following the India game). But we continued to back one another. We would continue doing that and will work hard.”

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