Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted that he was wrong to have doubted left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Misbah’s comments come after Afridi finished with figures of 6-35 in Pakistan’s 94-run win over Bangladesh in the World Cup on Friday.
The 19-year-old not only became the youngest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a World Cup match, but he also registered the best figures by a Pakistan player in a World Cup game.
Afridi only featured in five matches for Pakistan in this World Cup, but he ended up taking 16 wickets at a superb average of 14.62.
“It’s a turnaround for him. At one stage I was saying why is he playing because he was nowhere, he was out of form, he wasn’t putting the ball in the right areas, the length wasn’t right, he was giving a lot of width to batsmen and [he was] struggling,” Misbah told ESPNcricinfo.
“But after that, the way he just got back in the New Zealand game, [he] never looked back after that. He produced match-winning performances and today’s spell I think at one stage, Bangladesh would have just cruised the way they were going.
“But Shaeen, the way he got back and took wickets at regular intervals, that [made] it look so easy for Pakistan to win this game at the end. But, obviously it was Shaheen Afridi who [was] the main difference.”
Despite Afridi’s record-breaking six-for against Bangladesh, it was not enough for Pakistan to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals as they had to defeat Bangladesh by over 300 runs.