Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed refused to compare his last-ball six with the one great Javed Miandad hit at the same Sharjah Cricket Stadium some 33 years ago.
The tradition of last-ball six at the iconic stadium, host of a world record 236 ODIs, started in April 1986 when Miandad hitting India’s Chetan Sharma in the final to help Pakistan clinch the Austral-Asia Cup for Pakistan.
On Friday, the ghost of last-ball six hurt Multan Sultans when Dan Christian was smashed for a last-ball six by former South Africa all-rounder David Wiese in Lahore Qalandars’ win.
Wiese was on the receiving end within 24 hours later on Saturday as Quetta, needing two off the last ball, were helped over the line by Sarfraz’s six over deep mid-wicket.
Asked whether he followed Miandad’s tradition, Sarfraz replied“You cannot compare my feat with Miandad’s. His was an international match and the pressure of an international match – that too against India – must have been enormous.”
Sarfraz kept his nerves as wickets fell at the other end as Gladiators, chasing 144 to win, needed 36 off the last five overs.
He added 54 for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Nawaz and despite losing Nawaz in the penultimate over and then Anwar Ali off the first ball of the 20thover, did not lose his resolve of fighting till the last ball.
Sarfraz said he has learnt the art of playing calmly from international matches, a trait he also praised in his counterpart at the same match, AB de Villiers.
“AB plays so calmly and, while there is no comparison, but I have also learnt to play calmly. Whenever I get a chance to bat under pressure, I keep my cool and that’s why I delivered tonight.”
Sarfraz praised his bowlers, led by young Ghulam Mudassar (three for 21) and the seasoned Sohail Tanvir (two for 21) who restricted Lahore to 143 for seven.
“We bowled well and credit to the bowlers for keeping Qalandars to 143 and that helped us a great deal.”
Quetta Gladiators are on top of the six-team table with four wins in as many games, scoring eight points.