Thursday, April 18, 2024

Azhar hails bowlers for keeping good job

Pakistani bowlers put an icing on the cake to see that their batsmen efforts did not go in vain in the series-deciding second Test match against Bangladesh, said maiden double centurion Azhar Ali on Thursday. Tigers were shot down to 107-5 in 27.5 overs in reply to Pakistan’s 557-8 declared to help visitors end the day on an upper hand, as the hosts trail them by 450 runs and need 251 runs just to avid follow on.
‘The best thing is that we as a batting unit performed well and applied ourselves,’ Azhar told reporters at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
‘The icing on the cake was that we got five wickets which was very important in the Test match.
‘I think we are sitting in a very good position and now we need another 15 wickets,’ he said.
Pakistan were put into a commanding position on the back of Azhar’s 226 runs and he was ably supported by Asad Shafiq, who plundered 107 runs.
Together they added 207 runs for the fifth wicket.
However, Azhar said batting was not as easy in the middle as it may have seemed.
‘Today it started spinning right from the start, there was an awkward bounce as well so we had to take some time which was important at that point or else we would have been behind from our target,’ said Azhar.
‘As a batsman we tried to complete our roles putting our hundred percent effort and we will try to focus on our roles and play big innings’ for Pakistan team.
‘When we came in the morning it started to turn and the bowlers were getting help from it and I think the partnership between me and Asad [Shafiq] was really important.
‘The way he scored his runs at the rate was really important and that took the pressure off me as well,’ he said while praising Asad’s batting.
Azhar said that it was more pleasing for him on personal ground as it eased of the pressure from his shoulder. It followed after his coming to form in the one-day internationals where he was called back in the team after a two-year gap to lead the ODI squad.
‘To comeback in any format the rule is to perform well and alhamdulilah that’s what I wanted to do focus on my own game and thank god I was able to perform in our one-day unit,’ said Azhar.
‘Overnight everyone was thinking about it but you can’t think at 127 that you can make 200 based on what the situation was,’ he said.
‘To achieve [double hundred] it required a little bit calmness and a little bit time on my part,’ Azhar said.
‘I did that after we started rotating the strike and in the end it did quite well,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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