Marks out of 10: Player ratings for Pakistan after their 2-1 series loss against Afghanistan
Pakistan suffered their first-ever international series loss against neighbours Afghanistan – in a campaign where they rested their regular players and tested their young talents and fringe cricketers. Here are the player ratings for Pakistan from the three-match T20I series.
Saim Ayub – 4/10
3 innings, 66 runs, SR 115.78, HS: 49
Ayub got a maiden call-up after impressing in the latest edition of the PSL. He got a decent start in the first game of the series but failed to capitalise, and was bowled for a 15-ball 17. A second-ball duck followed in the next game, with a well-compiled 49 off 40 balls to finish the series. However, he and the team management would have liked those runs to have come at a faster rate.
Mohammad Haris – 2/10
3 innings, 22 runs, SR 95.65, HS: 15
Haris burst onto the scene in the T20 World Cup last year with his powerplay yrotechnics against the fastest of bowlers. Coming into this series with high expectations on his back, he failed to deliver, managing a highest score of just 15 from three games.
Abdullah Shafique – 2.5/10
3 innings, 23 runs, SR 143.75, HS: 23
Shafique had a torrid run, failing to open his account in the first two games. In fact, after his duck in the second game, he was on a streak of four consecutive no-scores in T20I cricket. Fortunately for him, he made a decent 13-ball 23 in the third game to cap off what could have been a nightmarish series for him.
Tayyab Tahir – 3/10
3 innings, 39 runs, SR 95.12, HS: 16
Tahir started on a decent note, hitting three boundaries in the first eight balls that he faced, but it all went downhill from there. He was caught and bowled off Rashid Khan for a nine-ball 16, and followed by a laborious 23-ball 13 and, after being promoted to No.3, a nine-ball 10.
Iftikhar Ahmed – 5/10
1 innings, 31 runs, SR 124, HS: 31
Iftikhar Ahmed, the incumbent No.4, sat out of the first two matches as the team management tried out the youngsters. He was recalled when they failed to live up to expectations and played a handy knock of 31 off 25 balls in the third T20I, batting at No.5. Perhaps Pakistan could have started with him in the middle order instead of going all-youth from the first game itself.
Azam Khan – 1.5/10
2 innings, 1 run, SR 16.66, HS: 1
There were high hopes for Khan on his international comeback, but he had a series he would do well to forget. He got out twice as many times than the runs he scored in the six balls he faced, falling prey to Mujeeb ur Rahman in the first game and Rashid in the second. He was consequently benched for the final match of the series.
Faheem Ashraf – 1.5/10
1 innings, 2 runs, SR 25, HS: 2
Ashraf batted at No. 8 in the first match, scored two off eight balls, and did not bowl. And if that was not bad enough for him, he was dropped for the next two games. Perhaps Pakistan could have given him more opportunities to showcase his worth.
Imad Wasim – 6.5/10
3 innings, 95 runs, SR 98.95, 1 fifty, HS: 64*
2 wickets @ 20.50, ER 5.12, BBI: 1-11
Imad Wasim was one of the best performers for Pakistan in this series. In fact, he finished as the highest run-scorer from either side, scoring 95 runs at an average of 47.50, including a 57-ball 64 not out in the second T20I to take Pakistan from 20-3 to 130. To go with it, he also picked up two wickets in the eight overs that he bowled at a miserly rate of 5.12.
Shadab Khan – 7.5/10
3 innings, 72 runs, SR 120, HS: 32
3 wickets @ 17.33, ER 4.72, BBI: 3-13
Stand-in captain Shadab was Pakistan’s best performer in the series. He got starts with the bat in all three games, with especially handy contributions in the second (32 off 25) and the third (28 off 17). His game-breaking spell of 3-13 off four overs in the third game also led his team to their only win in the series.
Mohammad Nawaz – 4/10
1 innings, 5 runs, SR 166.66, 0 50, HS: 5
0 wickets, ER: 5.40
Nawaz came into the XI after the first game when Pakistan realised the need for an extra spinner. He failed to pick a single wicket in his five overs in the series, though he kept it to under five and a half runs an over. With the bat, he got to face just three balls in the third game, off which he scored five runs.
Mohammad Wasim – 6/10
1 innings, 9 runs, SR 225, HS: 9
1 wicket @ 13, ER 4.33, BBI: 1-13
Wasim played only the final game, and returned 1-13 off three overs. He also made a four-ball nine at the end of the Pakistan innings. Once again Pakistan would have been left wondering what if they played a few more of their experienced pros from the first game itself.
Ihsanullah – 6.5/10
3 innings, 6 wickets @ 11.50, ER 6.36, BBI: 3-29
Of all Pakistan youngsters in the series, Ihsanullah lived up to the hype, starting his international career with two wickets off his first three deliveries. As in the PSL, he hurried batters for pace in this series, finishing with six wickets in three games at 11.50 apiece. Pakistan have found a gem in Ihsanullah and his introduction to international cricket is probably their biggest takeaway from this series.
Zaman Khan – 5/10
3 innings, 2 wickets @ 30.50, ER 5.80, BBI: 1-20
Zaman came into this series on the back of defending 13 runs in the final over of the PSL final earlier this month. While he bowled decently, he picked just two wickets in his 10.3 overs. However, he went for under a run a ball.
Naseem Shah – 3/10
2 innings, 1 wicket @ 66, ER 8.25, BBI: 1-27
He is only 20, but Naseem is now a senior member of the side, and was to lead the Pakistan fast bowling attack in this series. Instead, he had an ordinary outing, finishing with just one wicket from two games and an economy rate of 8.25. To put things into perspective, no other Pakistani bowler had an economy rate of over 6.5 in the series.