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PSL 4 would accelerate Haris Rauf & Shaheen Afridi’s learning curve

The duo could learn a thing or two from Hasan Ali’s masterful spell


The 1st ball was treated with respect, a straight bat, defended from the crease. 2nd one, offered width. What was he trying there? It was length ball but wide outside off, resulting in a 4. The next one was the in-dipper that shatters the stumps. Lahore Qalandar’s new captain is back in the pavilion. 3 balls late, their Brendon Taylor faces the same fate. Hasan Ali has 4 new ball wickets. The match more or less is done there.

The case starts. 2 wides are followed by 2 peaches. Kamran Akmal just about survives the 1st one. But the 2nd one has such ferocity, such fire there is no stopping it. Two left handers manage the remaining over well enough. Over number 3, offers one cracker. A couple sliding down the leg side. Peshawar know all they need to do is hang in there.

The ball continues to swing from the other hand. Imam faces the brunt of it. Apart from a wide there is not let off for the batsmen. 4th over, starts well. The ball is still swinging but the 2nd ball is short, offer width and gives the opposition a boundary. The 4th ball, the batsmen attempts a pull but fails. He succeeds in slapping one to square leg boundary next ball. Chasing 79, Peshawar are now 23 for 2. The glimmer of hope of upstaging Hasan Ali is gone.

Lahore started with the rookie duo of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf. Their inexperience showed. With swing on offer, they needed more discipline. Not in terms of hitting short a length, rather keeping it fuller. Shaheen tried but slipped down the leg side too often. But Haris banking on his raw pace, dropped short too quickly. It gave Peshawar, especially Umer Amin an outlet. He took it gladly.

After the game apart from having a good talk with the batsmen, Coach Aqib Javed must have pulled his young pacemen to one side and explained how they could have done better. With two days gap and little travelling to do, one would expect the Lahore management to pick up on these things. The crux of the matter is, eventually the most important purpose of PSL to prepare cricketers for Pakistan. And small adjustments and realigning like this for these young cricketers would help the grow and accelerate their learning curve.

the authorAsjad Khan

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