Guyana: Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez is ecstatic after he bagged ‘Player of the Match’ award for the first time with the ball in the second T20I against West Indies on Saturday.
The 40-year-old Hafeez bowled one of the most economical spells in the history of this format as he gave away only six runs in four overs and claimed a wicket of Andre Fletcher.
“I am very happy, I am thankful to Allah that as a bowler, this is my first man of the match award and I will always remember it for the rest of my life,” he said.
Hafeez praised skipper Babar Azam for showing confidence in his abilities and opined that playing in Caribbean Premier League (CPL) helped him to counter Windies’ batters.
“The captain backed me. I am very happy that I got the chance of bowling against left handers and I am very happy to perform well against West Indies since you know that they have big hitters in their side, so the challenge is always to keep a tight line every time. But still I got my areas right and I am really happy to contribute,” he added.
“Knowing these conditions and having played cricket here before in the Caribbean Premier League certainly helped as I knew it would be difficult for the batsmen,” he maintained.
Pakistani restricted the hosts to 150/4 while defending 158. At one stage, Green Shirts looked set for a 170+ score but batting collapsed badly after the dismissal of Babar Azam (51) and Mohammad Rizwan (46).
“The morale is high but we’ll have to strengthen our execution in batting which we are completely capable of. We are capable of scoring 180 here and I am hopeful that we will be better prepared for tomorrow’s game and win the series as well,” he added.
Pakistan leads the four-match series by 1-0. The third T20I will be played today at the same venue followed by fourth on August 3.