Naseem Shah talks about his unlucky spell in T20 World cup final:
Pakistan’s young pacer, Naseem Shah, has hardly played a match where he did not end up making highlights with his searing pace and unpredictable seam and swing. The 19 year old has earned many plaudits, especially in the two major events of the last year, the T20 Worldcup and Asia Cup.
In the Asia Cup, the tear-away pacer took the driving seat of Pakistan’s pace attack in the absence of country’s numero uno pacer, Shaheen Shah Afridi. Leading the attack, Naseem produced some of his most awe-inspiring performances. One of which was his spell against India, in which he gave his country’s arch-rivals a hard time on the ground. Despite suffering from cramps in that match, Naseem not only bowled economically but also made sure to remove two of India’s dangerous batters, Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul.
The prodigy carried his momentum in the T20 World cup as well. His spell in the final against the English men will forever remain etched in the hearts of those who witnessed it. Sadly, the figures he ended the match with will never be able to do justice while re-telling the story of the final. Naseem gave only 5 runs in his last two overs while batters like Harry Brook and Ben Stokes were batting. Out of the 12 deliveries he bowled, 9 were dot balls. Further, the Dir-born beat the bats of English batters at least 5 times in his final two overs. It looked as if Naseem was occupying a different plane of existence while bowling as he was throwing the ball unperturbed by what was happening around, not caring about who he was bowling to. Talking about the same unlucky spell in the final in an interview with Wisden, the teenage pacer said
“The final is a big occasion, especially when it’s your first world cup, it’s a different feeling. Whenever I bowl, I try to enjoy as much as I can and keep my body relaxed. I believe in Allah whenever I take the field, and forget the rest. I keep working on what is in my hands. I put in effort for every game. Enjoyed the final the same way. It was an incredible game. Sometimes you’re just unlucky. The way we were bowling – if, at that juncture, if we took a wicket or two, the scenario could have been different. But, that’s what the beauty of cricket is: Sometimes, you are bowling well and you don’t get wickets. It was an incredible final.”
Naseem ended his 4 over spell in the final, conceding 30 runs with zero wickets next to his name. The kind of figures no one will believe came after that thunderous spell by Naseem. The kind of figures which hand one the reality check that numbers, too, can be misleading. Those who did not see Naseem bowling those overs with their very eyes, will conclude that the 19 year old was having a bad day as he bowled at an economy of 7.5 RPO but those who did watch Naseem delivering beauties with the ball that day will, but, get lost in the magic and brilliance of that spell at its every mention.