2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Team High On Morale Ahead of Sri Lanka Clash – Imad Wasim
Just when everyone thought the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was heading towards a straightforward path, Pakistan gave a thrilling boost to the proceedings. Starting as the underdogs, the Men in Green shirts defeated South Africa by 19 runs as per the D/L method at the Oval.
Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, who had a forgettable opening game against India, looked in his old self and finished with figures of 2/ 20 in his eight over spell. His dismissals included two stalwarts – AB de Villiers for the first golden duck and opener Hashim Amla.
Speaking after the game, Imad showed a mature side of his personality and reasoned it’s all part of the game.
“Oh, it happens in cricket,” he quipped while speaking to ICC. “Sometimes you get hit, sometimes the other guy gets out. It’s just cricket.”
Imad Wasim handed AB de Villiers a dubious distinction. It was for the first time in the career of the South African batting maverick that he was dismissed for a golden duck. Wasim did not choose to boast about it and instead felt that it was a slightly lucky dismissal for him, as the batsman failed while trying a rash shot.
“You should not get carried away or feel too low by this. He hit a shot and got out, so I think I’m really lucky. He is a big player. I see it from a team’s point of view. If de Villiers gets out early, and you know what he can do if he stays for a long time, so we were just very happy that he got out,” added Wasim.
After receiving criticism for performing weakly against India, Pakistan showcased the right spirit against South Africa. They got their batting, bowling as well as fielding right. All these three aspects of the game, however, at their worst in the tournament opener.
“If we had played with such intensity against India, we could have won or lost, but you can see the difference. The way the boys bowled and fielders, it was fantastic to see our lads play like that. We are a different unit if we play with this intensity if we don’t relax or don’t become lazy.”
Group B will now witness a virtual quarterfinal situation, as Pakistan and Sri Lanka will clash against each other on June 12. Wasim asserts that Pakistan will not let the opportunity go away that easily and there is no chance that the lacklustre performance against India would be repeated.
“There is no chance of that,” he said. “When you win, the morale that is there is different. If we think too much about having beaten South Africa we might be flat again, but we are aware that it’s a do or die match for us. We’ll treat it like a knockout match and not worry about the result. Hopefully, Pakistan and the world will get to see a great performance.”
The final league game will be sort of special for Wasim, as he will be relishing the prospect of returning to play in Cardiff. The city is just 40 miles away from his birthplace, Swansea.
“Yes the next match is in Cardiff, so there is that. Last year when I played against England, the crowd was supporting me a lot. I’m thankful to them and to the Pakistan fans who give me so much love,” he concluded.
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