ISLAMABAD: Pacer Haris Rauf and big-hitter Asif Ali were excited at their respective contributions to the team’s success against New Zealand, saying that their plans had worked a lot.
Haris who received his first man-of-the-match award in international cricket by picking up 4-22 also cherished the moment, saying that he always wanted to play a match-winning role in Pakistan’s success.
In a video interview Wednesday, Haris said he achieved his dream performance by playing a decisive role in the team’s victory.
“This is my first man-of-the-match award and I am happy that it has come at a time when we really required this victory. It has always been my desire to help the team win matches. The win came against a team we wanted to defeat.”
Haris also praised his new-ball partner Shaheen Shah Afridi for playing a match-winning role against India.
“He was there on the mark against India by putting up a decisive show and I am lucky to have got the chance to play match-winning role here against New Zealand. Every bowler in the team is trying to put up his best effort to win matches for the team.”
On his priorities during the all-important match against New Zealand Tuesday, he said his efforts were to dry up boundaries.
“Even when New Zealand batsmen tried to open up, my effort was not to allow them easy runs. At the same time, I succeeded in taking wickets which helped the side restrict Kiwis to a low total.”
Asif said that winning against New Zealand was all the more important considering what has happened in the recent past.
“I always wanted to play a part in the team’s success against India or New Zealand in what happened in the recent past. Thank God I succeeded in hitting timely sixes, helping my team win against New Zealand.”
Asif praised Shoaib Malik’s understanding of the situation.
“When I reached the wicket my senior partner Malik told me to play straight. Instead of hitting cross-bat sixes, he told me to go for straight hits and that is exactly what I did. I managed to play straight and, in the process succeeded in hitting three straight sixes to bring the run rate down to a manageable level.”
Malik told me that it was my day and must follow the advice of playing straight.
“That was what I had in mind. Kiwis bowlers were trying to bowl slow but I was up to the task by managing to play the innings I wanted to play in the given situation.”
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