MIRPUR- His blistering 25-ball 59 helped Pakistan beat Bangladesh by three wickets and reach the finals of the Asia Cup and Shahid Afridi today said he was always confident of scoring the required runs as the situation gave him the license to play shots.
Afridi blasted seven sixes and two fours to turn the game on its head after Pakistan were 225-5 in 41.2 overs, chasing Bangladesh's record score of 326. "I tried my level best to perform well. Misbah has great support and it's my type of situation and I had the licence. I was confident that 10, 10.5 an over was possibly so I took a chance," Afridi, who was adjudged Man of the Match, said. "I have to congratulate Bangladesh for the score they put up. We need to do better with the ball."
Asked who was his batting coach, he said: "None, no one. Moin bhai supports me. I don't need coaching, I need confidence and he always backs me. I knew if I slog I will hit it because it was a very good pitch." Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq also heaped praise on Afridi and said he is unstoppable when in good form.
"He's really playing well and he's cashing into his form which is really good for us. Everybody knows the kind of players he is when he is in full swing and nobody can stop him. That's really encouraging," Misbah said. "We've been playing well in chases and this will give us great confidence in the coming games and years also. We have been playing a lot of cricket here and when the ball starts going, you can't stop it."
We have a world class bowling attack and even they couldn't stop it so we knew we can score 10 an over if needed. We have quite a few things in our mind."
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim said: "I thought after the last couple of games, we got a good start from the openers and we finished the batting well too. But when Afridi plays like that, he hit our best bowler, Shakib for three sixes in an over, there was very little we can do. We were hoping for a mis-hit and unfortunately I dropped one but thankfully he was out soon after. We bowled a few length balls at the wrong time but overall we played much better than the last few games and we can take a lot of positives from this game," he said.