Sami looking to take Islamabad past play-offs

Bowler sets sights on ensuring side reaches final to keep title defence alive


Nabil Tahir February 26, 2017
Staying focused: While Sami certainly must still be caught in the frenzy of the outcome of Friday’s match, he isn’t letting too much of it affect his focus. Photo Courtesy: PSL

DUBAI: Having guided defending Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Islamabad United to one of the most remarkable wins in T20 history, fast bowler Mohammad Sami is looking forward to making an impact in the play-offs to guide his side to the final.

Sami, miraculously, managed to defend four runs in the final over to thwart Quetta Gladiators, who just could not believe how they managed to lose from such a strong position after Kevin Pietersen and in-form Ahmad Shahzad had put up a mammoth 133-run stand to all but make the win imminent.

Gladiators had eight wickets to spare when Pietersen got dismissed in the 17th over and required just 17 runs off 18 balls to win their fifth match of the tournament.

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However, fate had other plans.

From needing 17 off 18, then seven off 12, and then five from six, Quetta managed to lose the match and it was Sami who was the one who drove the final nail in the coffin when he gave just three runs off the last over, much to the bewilderment of every single person who was watching the PSL match between last edition’s finalists.

And while Sami certainly must still be caught in the frenzy of the outcome of Friday’s match, he isn’t letting too much of it affect his focus and has his eyes set on the play-offs from where he is hoping to take his side to the final.

“The match was amazing. As I said in the post-match presentation, I wanted them to make mistakes and somehow that’s exactly what happened. It certainly is one of the greatest moments of my life but it is in the past now. We have to keep our focus and prepare for the next match as any loss in concentration could end our campaign,” he told The Express Tribune.

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Sami heroics against Gladiators have led to many asking for a national recall for the Karachi-born, but the 36-year-old does not want to look too far ahead.

“Currently all my focus is on the PSL. I just want to help in any way possible to get my team to defend the title. However, if after the PSL, the selectors are interested in including me in the national squad, then I certainly wouldn’t say no to that,” he said before adding that his services will always be available for Pakistan.

“Representing the country has always and will always be my top-most priority. But for now, I need to focus on the PSL,” he said.

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