FAISALABAD: Pakistan left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir, speaking after his five-wicket haul that guided Sindh to 119-run win over Islamabad in Pakistan Cup, said he is optimistic of making his place in the squad for the England tour in the summer.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the 24-year-old bowler said that the Pakistan Cup will allow him to showcase his abilities and aid in his bid for travelling to England. “This is a good platform to show your form and fitness to the selectors. I have been playing well for my team here and I am optimistic that I will play for Pakistan as well,” he said.
Amir further added that he believes the atmosphere of the tournament will improve his confidence and abilities. “I am gaining confidence day-by-day. Playing one-day matches here in these hot conditions is good for my improvement,” he said.
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Speaking about his five-wicket haul, the left-arm bowler said he knew it was his day from the first wicket he took. “When I took my first wicket, I knew I could take more. By my sixth over, I took three more and I knew that I would be able to complete my five-wicket haul,” he said.
Amir received the man-of-the-match award for his performance. However, he credited his performance to Sindh’s batsmen who gave the team a good start. “If they [batsmen] had not scored so many runs, I wouldn’t have been able to experiment with my bowling,” said Amir.
Meanwhile, the highlight of the match between Sindh and Islamabad, besides Amir’s five-wicket haul, was a record opening partnership of 198 runs between Khurram Manzoor and Sami Aslam which guided Sindh to their second win in the tournament.
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Sindh had posted a high total of 336 runs losing only six wickets in their 50 overs, as Manzoor scored 123 runs off 90 balls with 16 fours and three sixes, along with Aslam making 75 off 86 deliveries.
Chasing 337, Islamabad were restricted on 218 runs in 39.5 overs, despite a 73-run hit off 59 balls by skipper Misbahul Haq. Apart from Amir’s five wickets, Bilal Asif took four wickets for 39 runs, while Hasan Khan claimed one wicket for 80 runs.
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Islamabad captain Misbah cited the loss of early wickets as the reason for defeat. “Although we did score in the middle, we were unable to have a good start and that hurt us in the match,” he said.
Winning skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, meanwhile, praised the opening partnership for guiding Sindh to victory. “The openers provided confidence to other batsmen and bowlers,” he said. “We will try to keep up with the performance and win the tournament.”