Babar Azam hails ‘special talent’ Shaheen Afridi after win against West Indies

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25 Aug 2021 | 03:41 AM
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Babar Azam hails ‘special talent’ Shaheen Afridi after win against West Indies

After Pakistan’s win in the second Test against West Indies, skipper Babar Azam hailed the influence of Shaheen Afridi on the proceedings

Despite Shaheen Afridi’s brilliance in the first Test, Pakistan found themselves in a spot of bother as Kemar Roach led the Maroons to a scintillating one-wicket win, that toppled all tables. Going into the second Test in Kingston, the equation for the visitors was simple – get themselves a win. Post the first innings total of 302, Pakistan bowlers, in particular Shaheen Shah Afridi changed the complexity of the encounter. 

The left-arm pacer picked up six wickets in the first innings, including the prized scalps of Windies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood. The left-arm pacer did not stop his journey in the Test there, picking up four more wickets in the second innings to complete his first ten-wicket haul in Test cricket. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam hailed the influence of the left-arm pacer on the Test win in Kingston. 

“It was an important game for us after losing the first one. The way I played with Fawad and made that partnership was crucial and I thank the almighty for getting us this win. The partnership helped us and then that exceptional spell from Shaheen yesterday made things easy for us,” skipper Babar said at the post-match presentation.

“[Shaheen] he is a genuine talent, seems like he's improving day by day and it's lovely to have and watch someone like him in the team,” he added.

Pakistan’s ultra-aggressive second innings approach with the bat put them in the pole position of winning the second Test, which gave the bowlers plenty of time to pack the Windies batsmen home. 

“We knew that the ball would turn on the last day and it worked out well. [Declaration] The plan was to take it to 330-340 and give them whatever number of overs were left after that on day 4. We needed to win the series so we had to take a bold decision.” 

Babar also credited the finger spinner Nauman Ali, who walked into the side at the expense of Yasir Shah, for taking crucial wickets on the final day of the Test. While he only bowled the single over in the first innings, his three-wicket haul in the second innings allowed the visitors to crawl their way back into the contest. 

“The bowlers delivered, Nauman especially on the final day, took some crucial wickets. We thought the last day would help the spinners, some patches were being formed. We knew it would assist Nauman and he used it well.”

Shaheen Afridi, at the post-match presentation also revealed that it was important that he delivered with the ball for the time. Alongside that, the left-arm pacer admitted that it was tough to get a win, with the conditions on the fifth day of the Test.

"Such a great effort, it's a team effort. The team needed from me and I delivered this time. It was tough because last day and the weather is really hot. As a team we knew that getting one wicket would get us another, so we looked to give 100%. All credit goes to my brother Riaz Afridi - he's a brother, he's a father, he's everything to me. Credit to my family as well who are always praying for me," Afridi said.

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West Indies vs PakistanPakistan Tour of West Indies, 2021PakistanBabar AzamShaheen AfridiNauman Ali

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