Pakistan’s One-Day International (ODI) and Test captain Misbahul Haq may have shifted gears but the 38-year-old has no intention of making a comeback in the Twenty20 side.
He made 227 runs at a strike-rate of 80.2 in the ODI series against South Africa – twice being the trump card in the team’s victories – and followed it up with a swashbuckling innings in the ongoing Faysal Bank Super-Eight T20 Cup.
However, Misbah, who has scored 107 runs in two matches at the T20 competition at a phenomenal strike-rate of 159.7, has not set his sights on regaining his place in the national Twenty20 side.
Despite speculation that the batsman is eyeing a return to the format, from which he was dropped after criticism over his ‘defensive approach’, Misbah said the attacking style of play was advised by coaches.
“I’m not eyeing a return in the format and want to focus on Tests and ODIs,” said Misbah. “I changed my approach in South Africa after discussions with coaches who backed me to play attacking cricket whenever it was required. Nothing has changed for me I’m just playing as per team requirements.”
Misbah leads Faisalabad to win
Meanwhile, Misbah helped his side Faisalabad Wolves register a comfortable seven-wicket win against a star-studded Karachi Dolphins outfit, hitting 85 off just 47 balls as the team made 161 for three in 19 overs while chasing a target of 158. Misbah hit five sixes and six boundaries, while Ali Waqas made 39.
Earlier, Ehsan Adil and Khurram Shehzad picked up three wickets apiece to restrict Dolphins to 157 for eight after an early assault.
Dolphins have crashed out of the event, losing their second match after they were beaten by Rawalpindi Rams by eight runs on Wednesday night.
Tanvir’s all-round show sinks Stags
In another match, Rawalpindi Rams’ skipper Sohail Tanveer scored a quickfire 28 not out and took two wickets as his team beat Stags by 20 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method after the match was interrupted by rain.
Batting first, Rams made 145 for eight in their 18 overs. In reply, Stags were bowled out for 96 in 12.2 overs as Kashid Siddiq made 45 off 20 but his effort proved futile. Hammad Azam was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.
“I’ve been doing well as an all-rounder in domestic cricket,” said Tanvir. “I’ve been a bit unlucky at the international level since I haven’t had too many chances like these. I’ve found my rhythm by playing T20 cricket in South Africa and hope to make a comeback in the team for Champions Trophy.”
Latif resigns as Karachi selector
Fuming with internal politics at the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) and infighting among the Dolphins team, Rashid Latif resigned as chief selector of the region after helping it to two title triumphs — Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and National One-day Cup.
“There is dirty politics going on in the team,” said Latif. “If there’s interference, I believe in saying goodbye.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2013.