SHARJAH: Vice-captain Shadab Khan and fast bowler Haris Rauf said Pakistan’s two wins in as many matches as ‘much needed’ at the start of the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Haris set up Pakistan’s five-wicket win with career-best figures of 4-22 against New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday, as the 2009 champions followed Sunday’s crushing 10-wicket demolition of arch-rivals India.
Player-of-the-match Haris said he bowled to a plan. “I was given a plan and I am happy that I executed that well and got four wickets.”
Pakistan romped home in the 18.4 overs after early hiccups with veteran Shoaib Malik (26) and Asif Ali (26) saw them off during an unbroken 48 run stand in 3.5 overs.
Haris said he has been learning the trade of taking wickets, having featured in the 2019 Big Bash in Australia.
“It is a learning process for me,” said Haris, who took 20 wickets for Melbourne Stars. “Big Bash and Pakistan Super League were the first platforms from where I have learnt a lot.”
Pakistan, who have four points in Group 2 of the Super 12 Stages, next play Afghanistan in Dubai on Friday.
Shadab, meanwhile, termed the win as ‘clinical’. “We needed these two wins for a head start in the Twenty20 World Cup and through some good bowling and fielding we have achieved that.”
The all-rounder Shadab said Malik’s experience was ‘invaluable’.
“Malik took the game to the final overs and that shows how much experience he has and with him anchoring the innings we were sure that we will cross the target.
“The confidence is very high and we want to take this momentum in our next matches as the first target is to reach the semi-finals.”