Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi lauds pace partner Hasan Ali - GulfToday

Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi lauds pace partner Hasan Ali


Shaheen and Hasan (C) shone in Pakistan’s eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in the opening Test in Chittagong, each claiming five-fors. AFP

Pakistan pace bowler Shaheen Afridi said on Friday he enjoyed bowling with Hasan Ali as the latter helped him put opponents under pressure in Test matches.

Afridi and Hasan have emerged as Pakistan’s new pace bowling pair in 2021, taking 83 wickets in Tests between them.

“I enjoy bowling with him. This year he has 39 wickets, I have 44. We bowl in partnership and plan between ourselves,” Afridi told reporters in Dhaka ahead of the second Test against Bangladesh, starting on Saturday.

If a batsman plays well, he added, the pair plan “how we can hold or confuse him. This is why I enjoy bowling with him. He is a fighter”.

Hasan and Afridi shone in Pakistan’s eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in the opening Test in Chittagong, each claiming five-fors.

Hasan finished with 5-51 in the first innings as Pakistan bowled out Bangladesh for 330 runs, while Afridi’s 5-32 in the second innings kept the target within the visitors’ reach.
ShaheenBabar Shaheen Shah Afridi and his captain Babar Azam play soccer during a practice session. AFP

“The wickets in Asia are more or less slow. People say spinners get more assistance here. But if you are physically strong and have the strength it is possible to be effective here. You need to bowl in a partnership,” Afridi added.

The hosts will be desperate to make a comeback in the second leg of the series, but Afridi promised them no let-up.

“Momentum is good and the team combination is also brilliant,” he said. “The boys are ready for the second Test. Of course, we will fight and end the series on a good note.”

Bangladesh have had some success in recent years in Dhaka’s Mirpur stadium, where they have won five of their last seven Tests, including victories against both England and Australia.

Emboldened by the return of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh are ready to finally challenge Pakistan.

Shakib missed all of those matches with a hamstring injury sustained during the Twenty20 World Cup. He was included into the first Test squad but then failed a late fitness Test.

“For me, as a captain, everything gets easier when Shakib is around,” Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque said.

“Everything is fine with him at this moment. You know he is a player with two in one. He is such a player who can give us the combination we are comfortable with. We now can return to our traditional combination of four bowlers and seven batsmen.”

Mominul, however, is waiting for a fitness report on fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, who injured his right hand during the third T20 against Pakistan.

Bangladesh’s pace bowling struggled in the first test, claiming only two wickets. Pakistan’s fast bowlers had 16 wickets.

“We have to assess his condition tomorrow before the toss,” Mominul said of Taskin. “But since New Zealand series is coming up, I don’t think we’ll take any risk with him.”

Bangladesh’s top order faltered in both innings of the first test, being reduced to 49-4 and 39-4, which also played a key role in the loss.

“The first hour of the Test cricket is always important but unfortunately our top order collapsed in the first hour in both innings of the first test,” Mominul said.

“I think everyone is now aware of how important the first hour is. Our main strength is our batting. We have to bat at least six sessions to put pressure on Pakistan bowlers. We are here to win the game, so we hope we’ll come back strongly.”


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