Bowled according to plan and succeeded, says Faheem Ashraf

KARACHI: Faheem Ashraf, the hero of Islamabad United’s dramatic victory against Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League match on Saturday, said he bowled according to his strength and the plan he had for the batsmen that helped him earn the top bowler title of this tournament.

Faheem, who is the new owner of the Fazal Mehmood Cap after his 6-19 haul on a wicket that was considered a paradise for batsmen, helped restrict Lahore Qalandars to 189-9 chasing a mammoth target of 239.

The bowling all-rounder said he knew the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents and that helped him made a plan against Qalandars.

“My plan was simple: to bowl according to my own strength that is to hit on the line, that’s what I always do. I knew which batsmen were good at playing close to the body so I tried to bowl them away from the body and those who play away properly, I bowled them into the body,” Faheem told Geo after the match.

The six-wicket haul has taken Faheem’s total tally to 19, one more than Hasan Ali.

Faheem said that he’s happy to be the leading wicket-taker and glad that his competition is with Hasan Ali as he wouldn’t mind Hasan winning the best bowlers’ trophy as well.

“Thanks to Allah that I have become the top bowler once again.

“I am hopeful to retain the best bowlers cap. But, I am happy that my competition for the best bowler is with Hasan Ali. So, I won’t mind if the cap goes to him. It will remain in the home.”

Elaborating on his friendship with Hasan, the all-rounder referred to the famous “Roti Gang” of Pakistan cricket team, of which they both are members.

“We created the group Roti Gang in New Zealand tour last year before PSL. We all used to dine together and message everyone together, so this group was formed,” he said.

Faheem highlighted that the Pakistan Super League is helping Pakistan’s youngsters to get familiar with top-level pressure.

“PSL is very helpful for youngsters, it helped me a lot as well,” he said.

“We get to share the dressing room with international players and compete against them which allows us to understand the pressure level of any international competition.”

The 25-year old said that he’s confident Islamabad United will manage to defend the Pakistan Super League title.

“I am hopeful that we will defend the title. The way we played today was unprecedented for us in the tournament and I hope that we’ll continue to play like this in the playoffs and then the final as well.”