Afridi praises Shehzad; opener returns the favour
GROS ISLET: Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad attracted praise from his captain Shahid Afridi after his match-winning ton against the West Indies on Monday.
Shehzad scored 102 runs in Pakistan’s second win of the series and was named man of the match for his effort.
The young opener received another reward after the match, as Afridi praised Shehzad’s knock.
“He (Shehzad) is a very talented guy,” Afridi told Sky Sports in a post-match interview.
Shehzad was dropped from Pakistan’s playing eleven during the World Cup after failing to score big runs in five matches. But according to Afridi, the team management continued to show faith in him by selecting him for the West Indies tour and the opener repaid them with the century.
“He showed he is capable of performing well. He did take some time (to score the runs) but chasing a total of 220 you can do that and he finished the game.”
Shehzad, who scored his second ODI century, said he was grateful to the captain for sticking with him despite the lack of runs.
“Afridi gives confidence to every player, which I think is amazing,” he said.
While his century won the match for Pakistan, it did take some time coming as the opener scored a low strike-rate.
“We had wickets in hand and it was not a huge total. I know my shots and if I slow down I can cover it at the end.”
Afridi, meanwhile, urged his team to continue with the winning run, after they took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
“The bowlers did a great job and our fielding is improving, which is very important. The batsmen are taking responsibility so we will try and keep that going.”