Sarfraz Ahmed put on a show on Tuesday (June 12) to help Pakistan registered an emphatic 48-run victory over Scotland in the first of two Twenty20 Internationals at Grange Cricket Club, Edinburgh.
The Pakistan skipper played a blistering knock of 89* runs in just 49 balls (10 fours and 3 sixes) that propelled the Men in Green to a mammoth score of 204 in 20 overs. Defending the total, Pakistan’s incredible bowling attack restricted Scotland to 156/6 in 20 overs with Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan claiming two wickets each.
Speaking after the match, Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer admitted that Sarfraz’s herculean effort with the bat proved to be the difference in the end.
“Was a good wicket and credit to Sarfraz who played a good knock and put us under pressure. He was the difference in the end. Some high quality spinners in that Pakistani line up. We feel we can play spinners and we have done that in the last couple of months. Hope we will work on it in times to come,” Coetzer said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
On the other hand, Sarfraz was understandably quite happy to play a vital role in his team’s resounding win.
“Good thing is that the team is winning. I am backing myself and the coaches have been helping me. T20 is a different format and you take it ball after ball if you are not in form. We came here yesterday, could not practice because of rain but the boys did well. If you are the number 1 team, the pressure is on you when you are playing teams like Scotland and Ireland,” the Pakistan skipper stated.
This was the first time Sarfraz crossed the mark of 20 since the tour started with a first-class game against Kent in April. Despite Pakistan’s victory in the one-off Test against Ireland and at Lord’s against England, Sarfraz Ahmed had failed with the bat.
“Very relieved, he’s played beautifully today. He hasn’t been playing badly, to be honest. For him to get some runs was fantastic,” Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said while praising Sarfraz’s knock.
“I think Saffie plays well at four or five, I really do. Perhaps four is one too high in ODI cricket, he has to keep wickets and everything like that. Certainly four or five is the way to go, and in Twenty20 cricket he’s done exceptionally well at four for us,” he added.
The second T20I between Scotland and Pakistan will be played at the Grange Cricket Club, Edinburgh on Wednesday (June 13).