Sarfraz pleased with performance of youngsters in Scotland T20Is



Faheem Ashraf bagged three wickets in Pakistan’s 84-run win. © Getty

Scotland were hardly competition for Pakistan as they lost the second Twenty20 International, and along with that the series, on Wednesday (June 13), with the tourists winning the game by 84 runs. Although Pakistan didn’t post a total as imposing as the one they put up in the first game, their 166 proved more than enough to sink the Scots at the Grange Cricket Club in Edinburgh.

While it was an all-round show by Pakistan, Shoaib Malik came to party yet again, top-scoring with a 22-ball 49 to provide the last-minute propulsion to Pakistan’s inning. Chasing 167 to win, Scotland were bundled out for just 82, thanks to Faheem Ashraf and Usman Khan who scalped five between them to constrict the hosts. Usman in particular was very impressive, conceding only four runs while picking up two wickets in his two overs. The other youngsters in the bowling unit, Shadab Khan and Ashraf too, put their hand up in their side’s win. Unsurprisingly, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was all praise for the young guns.

“I want to credit our bowling line-up to defend targets in such small grounds,” Sarfraz said. “Feels good when new guys perform well. The likes of Faheem Ashraf, Shadab (Khan), Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat… the way Usman Khan bowled, it feels good.”

There were also three run-outs in the Scotland innings that gave a lot of solace to Sarfraz. Pakistan traditionally are not known to be a great fielding unit but on smaller grounds like the one in Edinburgh, they seemingly put a lot of thought into their fielding skills. “Fitness is really important in today’s fast-paced cricket,” Sarfraz pointed out. “We knew Scotland would come hard with the bat. We fielded really well. No praise is enough for this young team. Coaching staff worked hard too.”

For Scotland though, it was a harsh reality check following their momentous win over England in the solitary ODI. But things changed as quickly as they do in the shortest format of the game. They lost both their games to Pakistan, but what would hurt them is the manner in which they did. Their skipper Kyle Coetzer lauded the opposition bowlers and noted the early wickets did the damage for them in the second game.

“Wasn’t an ideal day for us. Pakistan came out with a high-quality seam attack and the early wickets put us in trouble,” Coetzer said. “They hit their lengths hard, the left-arm spinner (Mohammad Nawaz) mixed it up as well. Great opportunity to play the No.1 side in the world. This is where we want to be testing ourselves. Today we obviously struggled with our batting.”

Scotland will now hope for a better show in the tri-series involving Netherlands and Ireland.

© Cricbuzz


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