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'I Decided To Attack..'- Fazalhaq Farooqi Reflects On His Match-Winning Performance

image-lod692xuFazalhaq Farooqi in action against SL at the 2023 World Cup (AP)

Afghanistan’s new-ball speedster Fazalhaq Farooqi registered his career-best ODI figures against Sri Lanka in their high-profile World Cup 2023 showdown in Pune. The cricketer dismissed Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne within the powerplay, and later returned to polish off the tail to finish with figures of 4-34 from his 10 overs.

After Afghanistan batters romped through their 242-run task with nearly five overs to spare, Farooqi was fittingly adjudged as ‘Player of the Match’ for his sublime effort with the ball upfront. 

During the post-match presentation ceremony, the youngster revealed that he did not receive enough swing with the ball, which prompted him to change his gameplan during the early stages of the contest.

Fazalhaq Farooqi reveals revised gameplan against SL

Opening the bowling alongside spin wizard Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi claimed that he did not get enough swing upfront the new ball, which prompted him to attack the stumps with tighter lines. Upon bagging the ‘Player of the Match’ award, he said:

“I tried to swing the new ball for the first couple of balls but I didn't get swing. So, I decided to attack the stumps and bowl tighter and cut out the boundaries.”

Fazalhaq Farooqi also reflected the improvement Afghanistan team has made as a bowling unit, especially in death-overs, after restricting Sri Lanka to a modest total despite being comfortably placed at 134-2 at one stage. The cricketer added that he is happy with the eventual outcome for his team, as they roll ahead in the ongoing 2023 World Cup.

“We have been working hard in the nets. We gave too many runs in the last overs but we did work on that. We had a good rest as well. I tried to stick to my strengths and I'm happy that it worked out well for me and the team.”

Afghanistan will now face Netherlands for their subsequent World Cup 2023 challenge on November 3. The much-awaited contest will be played out at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.