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February 22, 2020

Hasnain has eyes set on World T20

Sports

February 22, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan’s rookie pacer Mohammad Hasnain has been fairly impressive in T20 cricket. He was part of Pakistan’s World Cup squad held in England last year and is aiming to make a place in the ICC T20 World Championship which will be held in Australia later this year.

“I am working hard to perform in the PSL to make a place in the country’s T20 World Cup squad,” Hasnain said at a news conference here at National Stadium late Thursday night after the match between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United.

Hasnain, who had done a great job by taking 3-30 to win PSL-4 final for Quetta Gladiators last year here at the National Stadium against Peshawar Zalmi, on Thursday pulled off his career-best figures of 4-25 in his quota of four overs to dismiss former two-time champions Islamabad United for 168. Gladiators then chased down the target with nine balls to spare after losing seven wickets.

The 19-year-old Hasnain was adjudged the man of the match. “For the last two and a half months I have been working with Waqar Younis and will continue working with him so that I could further enhance my performance,” the Hyderabad-born right-arm paceman said.

He said Sarfraz has been encouraging him which has instilled a lot of confidence in him. “Yes, I have been playing under Sarfraz. He is backing and motivating me which gives me strength,” he said.

Replying to a question about his superb start to the PSL-5, Hasnain said: “I had aimed to click and win the match for my team. It happened the way I wanted it to.”

Meanwhile, Gladiatiors’ emerging batsman Azam Khan was also happy with his performance in the opener. “I have been working on fitness for the last five months and God Almighty has rewarded,” Azam told the news conference.

The 21-year-old Azam played a match-winning innings of 59 off just 33 deliveries to bring Gladiators out of deep trouble. It was his 62-run partnership with skipper Sarfraz which gave momentum to the team.

“It was a pressure situation when I went out to bat as we had lost three key wickets for only 28 on the board. I also got help from Sarfraz and our 50-plus partnership gave momentum to the team which chased down the target,” Azam said.

About criticism that he faced in the past, he said: “Sometimes it feels bad when people turn so negative. I cannot do anything. You cannot stop anyone from speaking. I always try to reply such criticism with my bat,” Azam said.

He appreciated the support of the team management, saying he enjoyed the support of Sarfraz and manager Azam Khan. “In the practice session I had been told that I would play the game. It feels very good that I did my best. In future too I will try to live up to the billing,” Azam said.