Shaheen display 'one of the best I've seen', says Sarfraz

By Ben Spratt 6 July 2019 10
Shaheen display 'one of the best I've seen', says Sarfraz

Sarfraz Ahmed paid tribute to Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi after he posted his country's best Cricket World Cup figures in Friday's win over Bangladesh.

Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup as their 94-run win was not a large enough victory to overhaul New Zealand but much of the focus was on teenager Shaheen, who took 6-35 runs to decimate the Bangladesh batting order.

Captain Sarfraz considered the display "one of the best" he had seen but suggested 19-year-old Shaheen has consistently been performing at a similarly lofty level in the past couple of weeks.

"The way Shaheen is bowling in the last four matches is very good," he said in the post-match presentation. "The consistency is amazing, with the line and length.

"Today he's taken six wickets and it was one of the best bowling performances I've ever seen."

Pakistan crashed out despite winning four consecutive matches to finish the group stage, at least giving Sarfraz cause for encouragement.

"It's very unfortunate that we've played really good cricket in the last four matches but we could not qualify," he said. "There was only the one match that cost us [in terms of run rate].

"Throughout the tournament, we've played very good cricket and the boys responded very well after the India match."

Bangladesh also bowed out despite Shakib Al Hasan's 606 runs moving him clear as the tournament's top scorer, prompting captain Mashrafe Mortaza to offer an apology to his star man.

"The whole team feel very sorry for him because we couldn't support him throughout the tournament, otherwise the team would have been in a different zone," he said.

"He batted exceptionally in almost every match, bowling very well, fielding well. I think he's been fantastic."

Mortaza later indicated he will take time to decide whether to continue his international career.

"My future plan is, obviously, going home from here, and I will have a think," he added.

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