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Tuesday, April 23 2024
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‘You need to be calm and go for big hits’: Yusuf on T10 cricket

You need to be calm and go for big hits Yusuf on T10 cricket
Photo Credit : IANS

Harare: Veteran all-rounder Yusuf Pathan, who used all his experience and powered his side, Joburg Buffaloes, into the final of the inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10, with his brilliant attacking knock, revealed his formula to chase big targets in the shortest format of the game, saying that one just needs to keep calm and go for the big hits.

Yusuf batted with panache and power, scoring an unbeaten 80 from 26 deliveries, smashing 8 sixers and five boundaries, as the crowds cheered on for the Buffaloes at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

Speaking about that innings during the Qualifier 1 contest against the Durban Qalandars, the experienced Indian cricketer said, “This is the first time I am playing in the T10. But, when you’re chasing a target of 140 runs, you don’t think of anything, You know you need to be calm and go for the big hits, and be the man for the team. This innings was one of my special performances for sure.”

So exhilarating was the manner of the win for the Buffaloes, that the celebrations too matched the occasion. The Bangladesh wicket-keeper batter Mushfiqur Rahim and Yusuf, too very experienced cricketers were over the moon.

This win was even more special for 40-year-old Yusuf as his son was present on the ground.

“This was a very special moment for sure. Also, it was wonderful because my son was sitting in the royal box and I wanted him to see the special moment. And I want him to feel proud of his father. One day, hopefully, he gets inspired by these scenes and goes on to play for India,” said Yusuf.

Yusuf, who is fondly called ‘Shumba’, which means ‘Lion’, by his Joburg Buffaloes teammates, spoke about how everyone in the squad has put their hand up at various points to help the team progress through the tournament.

“I spoke to the young Zimbabwean players and motivated them at all times. And we did the small and simple things well. And everyone played their roles well and kept things simple. I’m happy with the young players because it is a big tournament and when you contribute it is a good sign for their career,” he said.

Yusuf, who has used his brother Irfan’s bat on a few occasions during the course of the Zim Afro T10, celebrated in a special manner by waving out to his brother.

“The senior players are responsible for giving the required confidence to the young guns. This is your work because young players play a key role in crucial matches and that crucial match takes you forward. And when in difficult conditions young players play well it is good for their career too. Who knows they might play well again in the finals too. When we were young, we learned the same from our seniors,” he said further.

Yusuf Pathan and his team Joburg Buffaloes will play the Durban Qalandars in the final of the Zim Afro T10 at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday. Interestingly, the Qalandars and the Buffaloes had been the top two teams on the points table during the league stage of the tournament.

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