Following the first win of the series, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam stated that his side gave their 100 per cent across all departments in the first T20I against England. Babar also credited the influence of Shaheen Afridi and Hasnain with the ball, with Shaheen being named the Player of the Match.
While Pakistan put on a dismal performance in the three-match ODI series, the return of regular white-ball names in the England squad put more added pressure on the visitors. However, the result was quite the opposite, with the visitors putting on a dazzling display with the bat, led by skipper Babar Azam, who scored a 49-ball 85, stitching a 150-run partnership with Mohammed Rizwan for the opening wicket.
Pakistan’s middle-order too obliged, putting on cracking displays in the middle, with cameos of 19, 26 and 24 taking them to a total of 232 after the first innings. While the visitors started strong with the ball, sending back Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy was putting on a show. Even after Roy’s dismissal, Liam Livingstone took on the mantle and nearly dismantled the visitors, with a 43-ball 103 only for Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi to put an end with the ball.
In the post-match presentation, a happy Babar Azam stated that the team gave their best across all departments, which led to their first win in the series. He also insisted that it is crucial to change the overall mindset in the shortest format. Alongside that, the Pakistan skipper credited the bowling efforts of Shaheen and Hasnain, with the duo ending up with four wickets in between them.
“I spoke about not repeating the mistakes. Myself and Rizwan got off to a good start and every batsman played his role well. You need to change you mindset a bit (to switch to the shortest format). In T20s, you need to take quick decisions, you have to remain positive and enjoy your game. We gave our 100% in all departments. We took good catches, Shaheen and Hasnain bowled well. Credit to Hasnain for bowling the pressure 18th over. We'll look to build on the momentum,” Babar stated in the post-match presentation.
Shaheen, who was deemed as the Player of the Match, for his bowling figures of 3/30 expressed that the bowlers had to just bowl in the right areas, after the first innings total. He also added that it was crucial to target the yorkers while keeping the variations going in batting-friendly conditions.
“Our batsmen gave us a good start and laid the platform for our win. We just had to bowl in the right areas. We were targeting the yorkers and kept the variations going as it was tough to bowl in these conditions. When I am on the ground, I give my 100%. We kept attacking and tried to be positive,” Shaheen reckoned.