Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed pays tribute to his team as they claim 10th straight T20 series victory

Alex Broun 02:35 27/10/2018
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Sarfraz Ahmed shakes hands with Aaron Finch

Victorious Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has paid tribute to his team after the hosts clinched the T20I series against Australia with a win in the second match in Dubai on Friday.

“It’s not easy to win 10 series on the trot in the T20 format,” said a clearly delighted Ahmed, “the way we have played and improved has been very good.”

“We have improved batting, bowling and fielding, and our management and selection committee deserves credit.

“We have given confidence to all our players.”

Although Pakistan only posted a modest total of 147-6 the hosts seemed in control until a late flurry by Australian batsmen Glenn Maxwell (52 off 37 balls) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (27 off 17) gave the tourists late hope.

With one over remaining and Australia needing 23 runs to win, Sarfraz threw the ball to young paceman Shaheen Afridi.

Although Afridi went for six off the first ball he managed to close the match out taking the wickets of both Maxwell and Coulter-Nile.

“I was confident of Shaheen bowling the last over,” explained Ahmed,  “he may be inexperienced but he showed that he has the capacity to be a big bowler. He bowled well in a tough situation.”

Ahmed also praised his spinners Imad Wasim (8-1 off four overs) and Shadab Khan (30-2 off four overs).

“The spinners are also doing well,” he said, “Imad’s arrival had brought good balance, and all the bowlers are doing really well, spinners as well as pacers.”

Explaining not using pace bowler Hasan Ali till the 11th over Ahmed said: “My strategy was to bring Hasan in in the fifth or sixth over, but seeing the pitch, I thought he’d work better later on that’s why I brought him on late.”

Although claiming the series with a match to share Ahmed said the batting can still improve, while suggesting Pakistan will make a few changes for the final match with the series now already over.

“I felt we played too many dot balls while batting,” said Ahmed, “if we cut that down then we can get to 160-170. We’ll try to give those on the bench a go in the last game.”

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