PSL 7: Facing Shaheen Afridi is always a ‘thrilling proposition’, says Babar Azam

PSL 7: Facing Shaheen Afridi is always a ‘thrilling proposition’, says Babar Azam

PSL 7: Speaking about Shaheen Shah Afridi ahead of the highly-anticipated match between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) seventh edition 2022, Kings captain Babar Azam said facing Shaheen is “always a thrilling proposition” because he asks a lot of questions.

PSL 7

“His searing pace, ability to bring the ball back and guileful variations keep a batter judging. He has a passion to learn and, over the years, has developed this phenomenal ability to adapt to conditions quickly.” Babar Azam said.

“It will be a tough, but exciting battle and I look forward to facing Shaheen once again. I am sure, the fans are also eagerly awaiting it,” he added.

PSL 7

Qalandars paceman Shaheen Afridi, on the other hand, described the elegant batter as a difficult opponent who does not let bowlers take the game lightly.

“Babar is a tough cookie and his solid technique tests you whenever and wherever you bowl at him. Wearing a soft smile on his face, he will dispatch you to the boundary in every part of the ground and nullify all your plans,” Shaheen Afridi said.

“The battle with Babar will be an interesting one in front of both Karachi and Lahore crowds. I will be enjoying it for sure and I hope the fans will also have fun watching it,” he added.

According to a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), PSL 7 will provide fans with even more intriguing competitions, with one of the most exciting matchups being between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars.

It’s worth noting that Babar added 1,779 T20 runs to his total of 7,471 in the previous year, making him the second-best hitter in terms of runs behind Pakistan opening partner Mohammad Rizwan. The right-hander hit two hundred and 18 half-centuries in his career, batting with a strike rate of 131.38 and averaging over 48.

Shaheen, on the other hand, was one of four pacers in 2021 to capture more than 50 T20 wickets. At a strike rate of 16.4, his thunderbolts contributed 51 scalps to his account, each for 21.50 runs. In 2021, he averaged 7.82 runs per innings, which is a testament to his exceptional control throughout the game, especially given how punishing this format has been for bowlers.

Babar Azam vs Shaheen Afridi

PSL 7: Facing Shaheen Afridi is always a ‘thrilling proposition’, says Babar Azam

Babar and Shaheen have faced each other seven times in the PSL, with the results being fairly even. In the past PSL, Shaheen bowled 46 deliveries to Babar and only got him out once — bowled, off-stump knocked over. Babar had a 73-run partnership with Shaheen, including 12 fours.

Both have outstanding records in the opening six overs of an innings in the PSL 7 and are expected to meet in the powerplay.

Head to head

Lahore Qalandars will attempt to improve their head-to-head record against Karachi Kings when they play on 30 January at National Stadium Karachi and 18 February at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The Qalandars have won five of the 13 games (one decided on Super Over) and lost all the others.

Squads

Karachi Kings

Babar Azam (c), Amir Yamin, Chris Jordan, Faisal Akram, Imad Wasim, Joe Clarke, Jordan Thompson, Lewis Gregory, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Nabi, Muhammad Imran, Qasim Akram/Mohammad Taha, Rohail Nazir, Romario Shepherd, Sahibzada Farhan, Sharjeel Khan, Talha Ahsan, Tom Abell/Ian Cockbain and Umaid Asif

Lahore Qalandars

Shaheen Shah Afridi (c), Abdullah Shafiq, Ahmed Daniyal, Akif Javed, Dawid Wiese, Dean Foxcroft, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Harry Brook, Imran Randhawa, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hafeez, Maaz Khan, Phil Salt/Ben Dunk, Rashid Khan, Samit Patel, Sohail Akhtar, Syed Faridoun, Zaman Khan and Zeeshan Ashraf

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