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November 19, 2020

Our score was 20 runs short of defendable total: Qalandars captain


November 19, 2020

KARACHI: Lahore Qalandars skipper Sohail Akhtar has said that their total in the PSL final against Karachi Kings was 20 runs short of what could have been a defendable score.

“It was a big game. We wanted to set a bigger target but the pitch behaved very differently from what we had expected,” he told a virtual news conference after they were beaten by Karachi Kings by five wickets here at National Stadium on Tuesday night.

“The ball was not coming on to the bat and it was also keeping low. We were 20 runs short; if we had scored 155, the result could have been different,” Akhtar said.

He said that one well-set batsman should have played until the end. “One player should have taken the responsibility. But credit goes to Kings’ bowlers who bowled really well. The idea of going for big shots was not right as it was not easy to hit the ball. Those batsmen who were well set should have stayed till the end,” Akhtar said.

Lahore Qalandars posted 134-7, the lowest total in the PSL finals. Karachi Kings chased the target with eight balls to spare after losing five wickets.

Akhtar said he was disappointed that he did not click in the playoffs and final, but promised to come stronger next season which will begin in February 2021.

“Although I could not perform as I wanted to, I am satisfied that in the league stage I performed well. I am disappointed that I could not perform in the playoffs and the final but next time we will come with better preparation and the result will be different,” he said.

“Dilbar Hussain was also an emerging player and his performance is in front of everyone,” Akhtar said, when asked why emerging players were not given more chances. “Faizan was also an emerging player and we kept these players as per our development programme and you will see a different Faizan next season,” he said.

When asked why they struggled in batting while Babar Azam showed that there was nothing extraordinary in the wicket, Akhtar said that in the second innings after the pitch was rolled ball was coming on to the bat and it was looking good.

He said that Lahore Qalandars’ reaching the final will attract youth and they will become part of their Player Development Programme (PDP). “Around five to six lac players underwent trials last year and I hope this number will further increase. We are working on some youngsters and next season you will see two or three more talented players,” Akhtar said.

Under the PDP of Lahore Qalandars 25 to 30 players are training at the franchise’s High Performance Centre in Lahore to prepare for future.

He thanked his fans for backing Qalandars. “They are our main strength. I will say sorry to our fans that we could not give them happiness in the form of winning the trophy but next year we will return stronger and will give them the happiness which we could not give them this time,” Sohail said.

Meanwhile, Karachi Kings skipper Imad Wasim said that they would also have opted to bat first had they won the toss.

“We bowled very very well,” Imad said, who was in a hurry to join his team celebrating the win.

“”It was a team effort. Our fielding was outstanding and we batted well. Outside the park Wasim Akram and team management made their effort. The credit for this win also goes to late Dean Jones who showed us the path to victories,” Imad said.

He was satisfied with the pitches prepared for the crunch phase.

“Look in the final you want more runs. Except one or two wickets the ground staff had prepared good wickets. I understand that on this wicket too 160, 170 could have been scored but we bowled really well. In the final if you score 160 or 170 on this type of track chase becomes difficult. Our bowlers bowled with variety and that helped the team,” Imad said.