Billings takes credit for Shaheen's batting promotion in PSL 8 final

Shaheen Afridi's willow gave off unforgettable 5 sixes and 2 fours, constituting an unflinching inning of 44 off 15 deliveries only

Billings takes credit for Shaheen's batting promotion in PSL 8 final PHOTO: PSL

As the saying goes, 'no guts, no glory' - Shaheen Shah Afridi practically proved it against Multan Sultans when his team's batting line-up fell like a cardcastle in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight. It was him who took the bet, geared up, and walked down the staircase - only to imitate his father-in-law's gallant slogging. In the course of the next 20 minutes, what we witnessed was a stalwart inning of 44 runs against Sultan's quality pace attack.

England and Lahore Qalandars' batter Sam Billings, while talking to Wisden Cricket, put the cards on the table and took his fair share of credit for suggesting the promotion of Lahore's skipper up the order.

"I'm going to sound really bad here, and try and take a little bit of credit. But when I got out, I was in the dressing room, he started getting his pads on," Billings said.

"The left-arm spinner was on, and we had lost three wickets to spin. And generally, when you talk about match ups now, and in my head,  I said that why don't you go out and try and slog this left-arm spinner, left-hand bat.

"And he [Shaheen] frantically put his pads on or whatever, and the wicket went down and he just marched out. David Wiese was very disappointed and yeah so straight out," he added.

Billings accentuated that credits were due - it was Afridi's cameo that turned the tables in Qalandar's favor, and that created a remarkable impact on the overall game.

"But he ended up just kind of blocking and getting off strike. So my thinking was different and then he took down everyone who bowled to him after a couple of balls. So incredible batting and yeah, really changed the game if we're honest. Probably the difference in the whole game," Billings concluded.

The final between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans was nip and tuck to the very end. Sultans not only fell short of luck but also short of 1 run that made it possible for Shaheen XI to touch the winning ribbon.