Hussain Talat is the player to watch. He has made his mark last year with a debut half-century and has been on the radar of selectors after impressing at the domestic level.
On Sunday he became the first from a list of emerging player to show he has a wise head on his shoulders, steadying Islamabad’s ship from a struggling 63-5 to see them off to the modest but tricky target of 114.
Given a chance by Kumar Sangakkara on 11 when the Sri Lankan old fox fumbled to miss a stumping off Shoaib Malik, Talat made the most of the reprieve by smashing 34-ball 48 not out with three sixes and four boundaries.
More than his runs, Talat impressed with his ability to take responsibility, a trait Pakistan’s young players need to learn and develop. Umar Amin and Mohammad Nawaz failed to finish off the match for Quetta Gladiators against Karachi on Friday.
Then Umar Akmal and Fakhar Zaman had a chance to finish the game against Multan but both spurned the chance. But Talat finally proved if the confidence of the coach and team management is behind you, you can conquer any task.
“When I went in things were settled down,” said Talat of Islamabad United’s score of 74-3 when he walked in. “Then we lost wickets so I decided that I needed to go untill the last. The management lifted us and gave us the confidence (after the first match defeat).
“If a player is confident then only he will give a performance.”
Talat added 54 runs for the unfinished sixth wicket stand with Faheem Ashraf who made 12 not out.
“I had no plan but I wanted to contribute for the team,” said Talat whose ssmashed two sixes off paceman Sohail Tanvir and one off Malik.
Talat said the Islamabad United dressing room is pumped up under a new captain, with Misbah-ul-Haq still nursing an injury.
“Rumman (raees) is pumped up as captain because Misbah is not there. We needed a win and that has come so everyone is happy and pumped up.”
Talat said when the team wins through your contributions, its your best.
“If you help the team win then its your best. I have been doing well for the domestic cricket. I scored 50 on my debut PSL match against Quetta. I played selected shots and it worked. Pressure was there but if you want to dominate then its great. I got the momentum when I drove Malik for a boundary.”
Islamabad now have two points from two matches and will fnext face Quetta in Sharjah on Wednesday.