Afridi hails his skipper
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Abdul Razzaq, KC Sangakkara
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 22nd June 2009


Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi paid high tributes to the influence of his captain Younis Khan after he helped Pakistan claim the ICC World T20 title. The all-rounder hit a brilliant half-century to help Pakistan clinch the ICC World Twenty20 title with an astounding eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Lord's.


Afridi was also quite good with the leather as he and his fellow bowling mates restricted Sri Lankans to 138 for six. The right-hander then just followed on from where he had left in the semi-final against South Africa, top-scoring with 54 to carry the Pakistanis over the finish line.


Afridi said that he had been out of form with the willow but Younis gave him good confidence and thatís what made all the difference.


"Younis gave me good confidence" Afridi told Sky Sports 1.


"I told him that I wanted to bat at number three in the order and he said ok, if you're confident, just go and play. Don't worry about anything, just go.


"The guys really motivated themselves and Younis really supported the guys and told us to go and enjoy our cricket. Twenty20 is all about enjoyment and entertainment, if you do this then you perform well.


"The last two and a half, three years I have bowled really well but I was struggling with my batting. Younis really gave me good confidence and told me not to worry about anything and enjoy my cricket. He made it simple for me."


Shoaib Malik (24) was the other batsman at the crease when the winning runs were hit and he admitted that he felt the pressure towards the end but kept faith in his partnership with Afridi.


"I think it was a pressure game. When I was on my way to batting I just kept thinking about that, that I had to stay there until the 20th over and I did it. The way Shahid was batting too was awesome.


"I was saying to him please stay at the wicket, if you stay at the wicket I will also get some runs."


Umar Gul, one of Pakistanís major hands in this triumph hailed his bowling colleague Abdul Razzaq whole heartedly. Razzaq took three wickets while the Lankans were batting at those dismissals were the key in restricting Sri Lanka to a modest total.


"We were worried about Dilshan because he was in good form and we were depending on the first six overs," said Gul. "Razzaq and (Mohammad) Aamer did really well in the first six overs though and after that we didn't have any worries.


"I think he (Razzaq) made a lot of difference."


Losing skipper Kumar Sangakkara praised his bowling unit admitting the fact that the bowlers had bailed their batting out on numerous occasions. .


"Our main job as batsmen of assessing the wicket and the bowlers, we really didn't do.


"It was always tough for our bowling unit to keep defending totals right throughout the tournament when we probably could have scored 20 runs more.


"That's the best bowling unit on the world at the moment.


"Hopefully we can get stronger, get better, learn from what we've done and we've got a lot more cricket coming up.


"We'll really look forward to more cricket to toughen us up both physically and mentally."


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