Birmingham: Although, the man of the match for Pakistan’s remarkable six-wicket win over New Zealand on Wednesday was Babar Azam but there was another hero, Shaheen Shah Afridi - who bowled a memorable spell to push the Kiwis on the back foot.
He took three wickets for 28 runs in ten overs that included important wickets of Colin Munro, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham to give Pakistan an early control of the game.
Talking at mixed zones after the game, Shaheen said that he tries to follow Wasim Akram and his elder brother Riaz Afridi.
“I follow Wasim Akram and want to be like him. I also take guidance from my brother Riaz Afridi who has played for Pakistan,” Afridi said after Pakistan’s six-wicket win.
He added that Wasim Akram’s guidance helped him control the line and length. He revealed that he also spoke to his brother on the morning of the match who motivated him.
“They told me to keep control on line and length and not allow batsmen to settle down,” he said.
Afridi couldn’t start well in the tournament but was brought back to squad after Hasan Ali couldn’t do much with the ball.
The young fast bowler who also plays for Lahore Qalandars in Pakistan Super League (PSL) said that bowling coach Azhar Mehmood guided him a lot in nets to help keep the length in English condition.
“I credit Ajju bhai, our bowling coach for this,” Afridi said.
“He worked hard with me at nets to get my length improved according to conditions here,” the young fast bowler said.
Afridi expressed hope that Pakistan will win its remaining two games and qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament.
“I wasn’t even born in 1992, I even don’t know how things were 27 years ago so I’m not thinking much about similarities but yes I’m focused on giving my best in this tournament to achieve glory once again,” he aimed.