KARACHI - Former skipper Wasim Akram said Pakistan team has peaked at the right time to defend their title in the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka on March 8. However, he warned Misbah-ul-Haq’s men to beware of the Sri Lankans because they are a very good side.
He said Sri Lankans are very clinical team so Pakistan team got to alert all the times. “Pakistan team is playing brilliant cricket at the moment with Shahid Afridi in his supreme best,” he commented. Wasim said Afridi’s amazing batting changed Pakistan’s fortunes against arch-rivals India and then against host Bangladesh while chasing their record total of 327. “I don’t have words what to say about Afridi’s remarkable and amazing batting,” he added.
He also praised Fawad Alam for hitting his career best score. “Fawad was making a comeback in the team after over three years. But steered his team to victory with a pair of sixes,” he remarked. He was critical of Pakistan bowling which allowed Bangladesh to score 326. “They bowled took much off-side the stump instead of bowling in the right areas,” he said.
He expressed the hope that Pakistan’s bowling attack will learn from the mistakes. Pace duo of Umar Gul and M Talah received a heavy thrashing conceding 76 and 68 runs in their 10 and seven overs respectively.
Another Former Pakistan captain, Rashid Latif expressed his surprise the way left arm spinner Abdul Rehman bowled three beamers and was disallowed to bowl further in the match as per the rules. “I was surprised with Rehman’s beamers with almost a new ball,” he said.
Former Test cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz lauded the performance of Afridi saying that the Boom Boom once again guided the team to a victory through his blistering batting. “Afridi won second consecutive match by hitting seven monstrous sixes completely banishing the Bangali tigers of the game,” he mentioned. Talking to APP, Sarfraz said Afridi’s batting not only brought opponents under pressure but also increased stress among the spectators.
The former pacer also mentioned the brilliant century of opener Ahmed Shahzad saying that he along with Fawad constructed a crucial partnership of 105 runs at a time when Pakistan lost three quick wickets. He said the team management should have gone with the same winning combination in the match, adding: “The two changes made in the team were beyond understanding.”
Undue changes were made in the batting order too as sending Abdur Rehman before Umar Akmal was a blunder, Sarfraz Nawaz said. “You cannot expect somebody like Rehman to score 10 runs an over for you,” he added. Sarfraz commented that after such poor performance of bowlers, final against Sri Lanka would not be easy. He advised the Think Tank of the team to sit with the players and make them mentally prepare for the final.