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February 24, 2021

Fakhar says in-form Qalandars eyeing final berth


February 24, 2021

KARACHI: Left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman did a fine job with a solid 82 not out to enable Lahore Qalandars to chase the 179-run target against Quetta Gladiators with ten balls to spare here at the National Stadium on Monday night.

Fakhar added a record 115 for the second wicket unbroken stand with Mohammad Hafeez (73) to gift the second straight win of the season to Qalandars.

Fakhar said that Lahore Qalandars have gelled well and would play the final.

“Our team is very much gelled and InshaAllah I hope we will play final this season as well,” Fakhar said after the match.

“The best thing with our team is that it carries the same combination. Players need time to adjust. Most of our players have been playing together for the last five years and have gelled well,” he said.

Qalandars had last season also played final where they were subjected to a five-wicket defeat by Karachi Kings here at National Stadium on November 17, 2020.

“Our starts have not been good every time. This time we have won the first match,” said Fakhar with a soft smile.

Commenting on their superb run-chase against Quetta on Monday Fakhar said that they had planned not to lose early wickets which would help them in the end.

“It was a big target to chase. We got a good start and did not lose a wicket in the power-play. We had planned if we score 40 runs in the power-play without losing a wicket it will boost our chasing chance. We have depth in batting and we have such pinch-hitters who could manage 12 runs per over in the end. And such happened as we did not lose wickets in the start which benefited us in the end,” Fakhar said.

Asked he did not take much risk and composed his innings well Fakhar said when he had a batsman like Hafeez he did not need to take more risk.

“If you get such a good start and you have Hafeez bhai at the other end you don’t need to take any risk because at the other end he scores runs. I had a chance to go deep and that helped,” said Fakhar.

Fakhar had missed the New Zealand tour due to fever. However he was later not considered for the T20 series against South Africa which Pakistan won 2-1 in Lahore recently.

Fakhar is happy with the sorts of wickets being prepared for the PSL.

“Good wickets are being prepared. These offer opportunities to fast bowlers, spinners and batsmen equally well. If you give your best effort it will pay dividends,” Fakhar said.

Fakhar hoped that fans would come in the play-offs.

“Fans give you energy because sports are played for fans and to inspire them. Foreign players playing this season in the PSL are also happy to have got an opportunity to play in front of some crowd in Pakistan. I hope in play-offs more people will come to witness the live action,” Fakhar hoped.

Fakhar was also declared as man of the match for his wonderful contribution in Monday’s game.