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Sammy content with underdog tag

Peshawar Zalmi captain believes teams batting first have an advantage in Karachi

PHOTO: AFP

Peshawar Zalmi captain Darren Sammy is not bothered with the underdog’s tag, ahead of HBL Pakistan Super League final against Quetta Gladiators.

While speaking during the press conference on Saturday, the former Windies captain heaped praised on Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Gladiators.

“I like to be the underdog,” said Sammy. “To be fair Quetta have played some great cricket throughout the tournament.”

But Sammy hoped his team will give another knock-out punch.

“Quetta has had the better of us throughout the season and I always tell my boys that everything in life happens for a reason. If it is one time we chose to beat them, whey not in the final when it really matters,” he said.

He also spoke about batting first and putting runs on the board, rather than chasing considering the pressure of a final.

“I think so far the team batting first with no scoreboard pressure has set up a big total about 180 or above,” he said. “You know in a do-or-die game runs on the board always adds pressure on the opposition. Normally you win the toss and you want to bowl first, but so far batting first is proven to be a better option in Karachi.”

He also spoke about the importance of various players, who excel in a leadership role, in the side.

“Yes, I’m the captain but we have so many leaders in the team,” he said. “We have the likes of Chris Jordan, Wahab Riaz and even Misbahul Haq, which helps a great deal.”

Last year, Shane Watson decided to stay away for the Eliminators in Lahore, leaving Quetta depleted. But this time Watson, who has amassed 423 runs in the tournament, made a late decision to visit Karachi.

Speaking about Gladiators’ in-form opener Watson, Sammy said that the Aussie has proven a tough cookie to crack.

“Shane Watson has really been the pain for us,” said Sammy of the former Australia opener, who has 265 runs at 66.25 in five matches against Peshawar in two years. “He is pretty experience and he is enjoying his form.”

He was also excited about the prospect of a great final as he said: “I’m hoping to see another cracker of a game. Whenever, February come, I’m excited to play PSL whether it is Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi or in Pakistan. Hopefully, we will find ways and means to execute our plans against them.”