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June 30, 2019

Wahab impresses despite being injured

Sports

June 30, 2019

LEEDS, England: Wahab Riaz played Wednesday’s World Cup encounter with a fractured hand. But if the left-arm pacer was in any kind of pain he did not show it.

Wahab, 34, took the wickets of Mohammad Nabi and Hamid Hasan, finishing with 2-29 from eight overs as Pakistan restricted Afghanistan to 227-9 in their must-win World Cup game against Afghanistan.

Earlier, Pakistan had opted to field Wahab despite the fact that the seasoned pacer had injured his non-bowling hand during training on Tuesday.

Raza Kitchlew, the team’s media manager, told reporters on Wednesday that Wahab injured his hand while training during the pre-match training session. He stressed that the injury was not a serious one.

“Wahab had an injury on his right hand while he was fielding in the training session here yesterday. Two of his fingers got hit and now he has swelling on the side of his hand,” he said.

But despite the injury, Pakistan decided to keep Wahab in an unchanged playing eleven for the game against Afghanistan.

Well-placed sources told ‘The News’ that x-rays have revealed that Wahab has fractured his right hand. There are fears that he could be forced to miss Pakistan’s last group game against Bangladesh at Lord’s on July 5. It is also a do-or-die encounter for the Pakistanis as they continue pushing for a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

However, Raza played it down saying that the experienced Wahab should be fit by next Friday when Pakistan will meet Bangladesh.

“Even if there is a hairline fracture it would be a very minor one. Wahab’s injury has been examined by experts and they have given him the go-ahead to play today’s game. We are hopeful that he will be fit for the future games,” he said.

Wahab had to put two of his fingers in a plaster.

Though Wahab is a key cog in Pakistan’s pace arsenal, he is yet to deliver a match-winning performance apart from his three-wicket hauls against England (3-82) and South Africa (3-46). He has mostly played second fiddle to Mohammad Amir, one of the most successful bowlers at this World Cup so far.

Pakistan had the option of handing teenage pacer Mohammad Hasnain his World Cup debut but chose against it. Hasnain, who is the fastest bowler in the national team’s line-up, was drafted in the 15-man World Cup squad primarily on the basis of his impressive performances for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League earlier this year.

The Pakistan team’s think-tank has been criticised time and again for selecting him in the squad when they had little trust in the youngster’s abilities.