I played with plan, says Babar

From our correspondent
KARACHI: Pakistan’s solid batsman Babar Azam on Friday said that he played according to the plan and his aim was to put a decent total on the board against Peshawar Zalmi.
“I played according to the plan and was making an effort to take my side to a decent total and that helped,” Babar told a news conference after Karachi Kings sealed a ten-run win in a thriller over former champions Peshawar Zalmi here at the National Stadium.
Babar smashed 56-ball 78 with seven fours and two sixes to enable his side post 201-4. Zalmi then were restricted to 191-7.
Zalmi had made a good comeback in the end but Umaid Asif bowled a brilliant last over to deny Zalmi take a winning start on the second day of the HBL PSL-5.
“We bowled well in the start and in the middle Zalmi produced some good runs in a couple of overs and that made the things tough but the credit goes to Umaid Asif who bowled a fine last over to seal a win for us,” Babar said.
Zalmi required 16 off the last over with Darren Sammy and Livingstone on the wicket but the right-armer picked two wickets and conceded just five runs to bring a fine win for his side.
To a querry Babar said strike rate was very important in T20 cricket. “The openers usually score runs in international level with 140 and 150 strike rate but it sometimes does not happen and it becomes difficult to play shots. But you will have to bat with a solid plan when you go out there and that benefits you,” Babar said.
Babar said that he has focussed on his duty for the last two years. “I am very focussed and particularly work more on my fitness. If you are fit then it gives you confidence,” Babar said. He said that individual performances come, adding, he enjoys more when the team win.
Babar is expected to lead Pakistan’s side in the ICC T20 World Championships later this year in Australia.
He said that those players who would perform would get the chance.
“The doors are open for all those players who will click in their respective departments,” Babar said.
He said that playing on home soil was always loveable.
“Playing at home conditions is very enjoyable. I enjoy playing in front of home fans. Playing in home conditions benefit local players more,” Babar said.
He was impressed by a few strokes from Sharjeel Khan who returned to competitive cricket after serving supension due to corruption in cricket.
“Sharjeel had taken a good start. Although he did not play long innings but at the time when I was playing with hin he played a couple of superb strokes. But it is natural when you return to competitive cricket after two and a half years then certainly there is a pressure. But the way the team management supports and backs Sharjeel I am confident he would soon find his top touch,’ Babar said.
Babar was also adjudged as man of the match for his superb innings before being got run out in the end.

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