Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi credited openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan for their dominant partnership as the Men in Green thumped India by 10 wickets in Dubai on Sunday.
Chasing 152 runs, the Pakistani openers went past the target with 13 balls to spare to start their ICC T20 World Cup campaign on a winning note. Shaheen Afridi was hopeful that they can carry the momentum forward in the upcoming matches.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Shaheen Afridi said:
“It was tough against the new ball but credit to Babar and Rizwan for their partnership. Every opponent is tough to face and we hope to carry on this momentum and make it to the final.”
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were lethal with the bat against India’s bowlers.
Babar remained unbeaten on 68 runs, while Rizwan contributed with 79 runs from 55 deliveries to take Pakistan home convincingly to end their World Cup drought against the Men in Blue.
“I just wanted to stick to the right lengths” – Shaheen Afridi
While Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored important runs, it was Shaheen Afridi who broke India’s backbone with the ball in the first innings. He removed both openers – Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul – to have India at 6/2, from where they never recovered.
Shaheen admitted that his plan was to give his side an early breakthrough and was happy to contribute to the win.
“Thanks to the Almighty as we have won our first World Cup game against India. The prayers of our fans have been answered. I just wanted to stick to the right lengths.
“I tried in the nets to swing the ball since there wasn’t much swing with the white ball. My plan is to always give the early breakthrough for my side and give my 100 percent,” Shaheen Afridi concluded.
Pakistan next play against New Zealand on Tuesday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.