‘Afridi ka shukriya, 2014 mein unhone chakke lagaye…’: Ex-Pakistan captain mocks Ashwin over his absence in Asia Cup
Shahid Afridi smacked back-to-back sixes to shock the Indians and take his team to a memorable victory in the 2014 Asia Cup contest in Mirpur.
Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi hit two blistering sixes in the last over to seal a nail-biting win over arch-rivals India in the 2014 Asia Cup. Pakistan put India in to bat after winning the toss and restricted them to a below-par total of 245/8. Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Maqsood then stitched a crucial partnership to take their team to the doorstep of victory but it all boiled down to Pakistan needing 13 runs off the last two overs. Ravichandran Ashwin sent back Saeed Ajmal on the first delivery of the 20th over, which preceded Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceding just three runs and making it tricky for Pakistan and Afridi.
Afridi, who was watching the proceedings from the non-striker’s end, got the strike after last man Junaid Khan managed a single. The hard-hitter then smacked back-to-back sixes against Ashwin and took Pakistan to a memorable win.
Eight years hence, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez has taken a brutal dig at Ashwin, who is yet to feature in the ongoing Asia Cup T20 tournament. Ravi Bishnoi came in as the second spinner alongside Yuzvendra Chahal for the Sunday (September 4) blockbuster versus Pakistan, while Ashwin warmed the bench. In absence of Avesh Khan, India accommodated two leg-spinners despite three left-handed batters in Pakistan’s eleven.
Shahid bhai, bahut-bahut shukriya. Woh jo Asia Cup 2014 mein aapne do chakke lagaa ke match finish kiya na, yeh uska impact hai (Thank you, Shahid Afridi. It is the impact of your two sixes to finish an Asia Cup 2014 match),” Hafeez told PTV Sports in a video shared on his Twitter account.
In an interview with Zainab Abbas, Afridi had talked about his strategy in the last over after Ashwin removed Saeed Ajmal on the first ball. He revealed how he tricked the Indian into bowling leg-spin instead of his conventional off-break.
“Saeed Ajmal was batting with me. I told him to put the bat on the ball and somehow get a single. I told him not to go for the sweep shot but he ended up playing one and lost his wicket. Ashwin was bowling well, he was getting some purchase from the track too. Then Junaid Khan came in and I told him the same thing – just get a single. And he somehow managed to get me back on strike,” said the ex-Pakistan skipper.
What I did against Ashwin was that I looked towards the leg side,” he added. “I wanted to trick him so that he thinks that I am going to hit on the leg side. The idea behind it was to force the off-spinner to not bowl his off-spin. And Ashwin did exactly that. He bowled the leg spin. I hit it over the extra cover region for a six.
“The next delivery was a difficult one, I did not get it in the middle. I was in two minds, I was thinking will it go over the ropes or not. But in the end, the ball sailed over the fielder for a six, and I breathed a sigh of relief.”