Veteran batsman’s fighting unbeaten half-century snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Qalandars
Veteran batsman Misbahul Haq gave a lesson to the youngsters featuring in the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League 2019 with a fighting unbeaten half-century, which snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Peshawar Zalmi over Lahore Qalanadars, by occupying the crease until the last ball was bowled.
The 44-year-old lifted Peshawar from a precarious 20 for five to anchor the innings with an undefeated 55-ball 59, to help them chase down the 125-run target in 19.5 overs. He added 100 runs for the sixth wicket with 35-year-old Darren Sammy who made a brilliant 36-ball 46.
While talking in an interview with official HBL PSL website, Misbah said love, passion, discipline and determination were his assets.
“I think I always talked about love and passion of the game and if they are there, you can go to any level,” said Misbah, whose team are now in the play-offs with 12 points from eight matches. “If these things are not there, then nothing can motivate you. I am still enjoying the game and tough situations, and that’s why you are playing cricket at this age. The key is to play for the love and passion and take challenges.”
Misbah also said that he featured in Grade-II cricket for Faisalabad earlier this year to keep himself ready for the HBL PSL.
“It depends on your determination, discipline and motivation that how far you can push yourself. If I did not play first-class and Grade-II, then it would have been difficult. Grade-II helped me as I was in the habit of fielding long overs,” he said. “When you play regularly, then you keep fitness and hunger.”
Misbah praised his bowlers, led by Tymal Mills (three for 29) and Sameen Gul (two for 17) to keep Lahore to 124 for seven in their 20 overs.
“Our bowling restricted them to 124 and made our task easier. Our effort was to play till the 20 overs. If we were chasing 160 or 170, then we would have played differently,” he said. “That situation demanded a different approach and you must play as per the situation and for that you need to have the basics right. You have to survive and stay at the crease and once you are settled, then you also have to hit out.”
Misbah said he was asked to thwart the danger posed by Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichannle.
“Lamichanne is a good bowler and has disturbed everyone in the PSL,” said Misbah while talking about the Qalandars’ spinner. “I was able to pick his googly well and that was why I was played and stay there to counter his four overs.”
Misbah added that bowling in the HBL PSL is the best among the leagues around the world.
“I think if you look at the leagues around the world, then here we have bowlers dominating. That is because that our bowlers, group of bowlers is good. Every team has a group of good set of five bowlers (in HBL PSL) and the conditions are helpful for bowlers. Here you can only score after you survive unlike other leagues where you start hitting from the very beginning.”
Misbah singled out Quetta Gladiators pacer Mohammad Hasnain, Karachi Kings’ Umer Khan and Islamabad United’s Musa Khan as the finds of HBL PSL 4.
“If you look Mohammad Hasnain is good. We are getting good bowlers, but not good batsmen. Hasnain is bowling at express pace, then Musa is good and spinner Umer Khan of Karachi is also very good and it is difficult to bowl at this stage,” he said. “If you get two to three players, then it’s good for Pakistan cricket and once they are groomed they reduce the gap of international cricket.”